Iowa Senate majority leader steps down after video shows him kissing lobbyist

14 March, 2018, 06:24 | Author: Sheri Evans
  • The House Chambers in the Iowa Capitol Building in Des Moines on Wednesday Mar. 7 2018

Bill Dix, the Iowa Senate Majority Leader and a self-defined "family values" politician, was filmed kissing a lobbyist earlier this month.

According to Iowa Starting Line, the patron who captured the video recognized Dix from media reports.

Sen. Bill Dix submitted a one-sentence resignation letter several hours after the liberal website Iowa Starting Line published its report about the Shell Rock Republican.

The woman in the video is a registered lobbyist with the Iowa League of Cities, an organization that lobbies state government officials on behalf of cities across the state.

A statement from Iowa Senate President Jack Whitver (R) said Dix's resignation was effective at 2 p.m.

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Senate Republicans plan to meet Wednesday in private to elect a new leader.

Dix has three children, according to the Des Moines Register, and had served in the state legislature for 18 years.

Republican senators say they were shocked by the abrupt resignation of the top Republican in the Iowa Senate.

Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen issued a statement raising the possibility that state policy had been affected by Dix's relationship with the lobbyist.

The 52-second video shows Dix, 55, and the unidentified lobbyist drinking and laughing at the bar before Dix leans in for a kiss.

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Senator Charles Schneider, a Republican from West Des Moines, says he and his colleagues were surprised.

Robert L. Palmer, director of government affairs and legislative counsel for the organization, said in an email to AP: 'We are taking what we believe are appropriate actions, but because this is a personnel matter we can not comment further'.

Dix began serving in the Iowa Senate in 2011 and became majority leader in 2013. He represented Butler, Grundy, Hardin and Story counties. An internal report later revealed senators made "sexually suggestive comments" or discussed "sexual preferences" on the chamber floor in recent years, and staff members in the Republican Senate office were unlikely to report misconduct because of fear of retaliation.

Bertrand had previously called on Dix to step down after a jury awarded two-point-two-million dollars to Kirsten Anderson, a former aide to Senate Republicans, over a sexual harassment lawsuit. She was awarded $1.75 million a year ago.

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