Updating a previous story regarding Senator Bill Dix, who has now resigned:
The Republican leader of the Iowa Senate has resigned from office after a video posted online seems to show him kissing a lobbyist in a Des Moines bar.
Bill Dix met privately with his Republican colleagues early this afternoon, about four hours after the video was posted on the Iowa Starting Line blog. Dix submitted a one-sentence resignation letter, saying he was resigning as senate GOP leader and as a state senator, effective today at 2 p.m.
Dix was elected to the Iowa Senate in 2010. He became the top Republican leader in the senate in 2013. Late this morning, Governor Kim Reynolds said Iowans hold state officials to a “high standard” and Reynolds told reporters she was “extremely disappointed” but wanted to talk privately with Dix to “get the facts” before commenting further.
Dix, a pumpkin farmer from Shell Rock, is married and is the father of three children. He served a decade in the Iowa House before launching an unsuccessful campaign for congress in 2006. Dix was elected to the state senate in 2010. Republican senators chose him as their leader in 2013.
A few months later, Dix fired a woman who worked for Republican senators after she complained of sexual harassment. This fall, Kirsten Anderson received a one-point-75 million dollar settlement from the state. Weeks later, Dix called in a former state senator to review human resources policies in the Iowa Senate. Senators were required to undergo training earlier this year in what constitutes harassment in the workplace.
Statements from Senate leaders are below:
1:23 p.m. Des Moines – Senate President Jack Whitver released the following statement regarding the resignation of Bill Dix from the Iowa Senate.
“Effective at 2pm today Bill Dix resigned his position as Majority Leader and State Senator. I believe he made the right decision for himself and for his district, but most importantly, I believe he made the decision in the best interest of his family.
Senate Republicans will continue to move the policies Iowans elected us to pursue. After discussions with the Republican Caucus this afternoon, an election to fill the position of Iowa Senate Majority Leader will be held on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.”
12:11 p.m. Statement from Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen
“The video posted on Iowa Starting Line is a serious matter for Senate Republican Leader Bill Dix to discuss with his family, his fellow Senate Republicans and Governor Reynolds.
“Because this involves Senator Dix and a lobbyist, there will be questions about the impact of this relationship on legislation.
“This incident follows Senator Dix’s failure to take any responsibility for the $1.75 million settlement that resulted from the sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation against former Senate Republican staffer Kirsten Anderson by Republican Senators and staff.”
DES MOINES — Governor Kim Reynolds is asking for a meeting with the Republican leader in the Iowa Senate after an online video seems to show the lawmaker kissing a lobbyist in a bar.
The video was posted on the Iowa Starting Line blog this morning. It shows Senator Bill Dix, a married father of three, with a statehouse lobbyist in a Des Moines neighborhood bar. Governor Reynolds spoke with reporters this morning during her weekly news conference.
“With what little I know, I’m certainly disappointed in what I’m hearing. I don’t know all of the facts,” Reynolds said. “…I’m hoping to meet with Leader Dix this afternoon and better understand what the facts all are.”
Dix was a central figure in a sexual harassment scandal at the statehouse. Dix fired a woman who used to work for Senate Republicans shortly after she complained of a toxic workplace. She won a $1.75 million judgement from the state.
Governor Reynolds told reporters she wants to “know all the facts” before she comments about the senator’s future as a leader in the legislature and in the Republican Party.
“I’m going to sit down with the leader later today,” Reynolds said. “…Iowans expect us to lead. They do hold us to a higher standard and we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard as well.”
A spokesman for Senate Republicans has not responded to a request for comment.