In a letter sent to House Republican Leaders, Iowa House Minority Leader Todd Prichard has called on Speaker Pat Grassley to remove State Rep. Dean Fisher of Tama County from his role as Chair of the House Environmental Protection Committee and be stripped of his committee assignments. Prichard’s insistence follows a series of false and threatening social media posts made by Fisher following the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

“A week ago, I requested that Rep. Fisher issue a public apology, accept responsibility for false social media posts, denounce the violence he condoned in his comments, and immediately stop spreading lies and conspiracy theories about the legitimacy of our elections,” said Prichard. “Since he refuses to tell the truth and condemn violence, Rep. Fisher must be held accountable for his actions. He should immediately be removed as Chair of the House Environmental Protection Committee and stripped of his committee assignments.’

In a series of Facebook posts, Rep. Fisher falsely claimed there was “outright cheating” in Democratic-led states and cities.  While referencing a United States Supreme Court decision where the court rejected an attempt to overturn election results, Rep. Fisher then wrote: “…we will survive. Remember, our side has the guns…”  When questioned about the posts by the Marshalltown Times Republican, Fisher said: “It’s a phony claim, I will not give it credence.”

“After the insurrection in Washington D.C., I challenged every lawmaker in the Iowa House to hold themselves to a higher standard, commit to truth, and recognize that our words have consequences. As state lawmakers, it is beholden upon us to strengthen our democracy, not work to tear it down,” said Prichard.  “This is not a problem unique to Washington D.C. and it cannot be ignored. We have to hold leaders who spread lies and conspiracy theories while alluding to violence accountable here in Iowa to make sure an insurrection never happens again.”

“As leaders in this state, we cannot remain silent and ignore the truth while promoting violence. This is not about left vs. right or Democrats vs. Republicans. Healing the divisions in our country starts with leaders telling the truth and setting the right example for respect. Change starts with us,” added Prichard.

The letter sent to House Republican leaders and social media posts made by Rep. Fisher below.

 

Friday, January 15, 2021

Speaker Grassley, Majority Leader Windschitl and Speaker Pro Tempore Wills:

In light of the events that happened in Washington D.C. last week, I challenged every lawmaker in the Iowa House to hold themselves to a higher standard, commit to truth, and recognize that our words have consequences. As lawmakers, it is beholden upon us to strengthen our democracy, not work to tear it down.

While I appreciate your comments on opening day, condemning violence after the fact is not enough. There were Iowans who not only participated, but led the insurrection. This isn’t just a problem in Washington D.C and cannot be ignored. We have to hold leaders who spread lies and conspiracy theories accountable here in Iowa to make sure an insurrection like last week never happens again.

To that end, I’m writing to request that you take action to hold Rep. Dean Fisher accountable for a post and comments that he made on Facebook earlier this month. They are included in this email for your review and there are two specific problems with this post.

First, Rep. Fisher claims there is “outright cheating” in Democratic led states and cities (1). This claim is untrue and based on conspiracy theories. The 2020 General Election has been reviewed, recounted, audited and ultimately certified by election officials from both parties. The claim de-legitimizes the duly elected President-elect of the United States and does a great disservice to our democracy.

Second, while referencing a United States Supreme Court decision where the court rejected an attempt to overturn election results, Rep. Fisher stated (2): “we will survive. Remember, our side has the guns…” This comment is not only threatening to millions of Americans, but also suggests violence is an acceptable solution when one does not agree with the outcome of an election. The peaceful transition of power is essential for our democracy to survive.

Finally, Rep. Fisher refuses to take responsibility for his own reckless actions. When asked about the Facebook post and comments mentioned above, he told the Marshalltown Times Republican (3): “It’s a phony claim, I will not give it credence.” Again, the Facebook posts are attached and Rep. Fisher’s refusal to admit the truth further erodes our democracy.
Given Rep. Fisher’s troubling post and denial, I respectfully request that Rep. Fisher immediately issue a public apology, accept responsibility for the post, denounce the violence he condoned in his comments, and immediately stop spreading lies and conspiracy theories about the legitimacy of our elections

If he does not, Rep. Fisher must be held accountable for his actions. He should be removed as Chair of the House Environmental Protection Committee and stripped of his committee assignments.
As leaders in this state, we cannot remain silent and ignore the truth while promoting violence. This isn’t about left vs. right or Democrats vs. Republicans. Healing the divisions in our country starts with leaders telling the truth and setting the right example for respect. Change starts with us.
I look forward to hearing your reply.

State Rep. Todd Prichard, Iowa House Minority Leader