DES MOINES - Lawmakers have received thousands of dollars in contributions from nursing home officials who complain that state inspectors are too aggressive when dealing with Iowa's nursing home industry.
Among the contributors is Tim Boyle, the owner of Grinnell's Friendship Manor, who now serves as the president of the board of the Iowa Healthcare Association, a lobbying organization that represents nursing homes.
According to a report in the Des Moines Sunday Register, there were 12 legislative fundraisers during one week last year that were held by the Iowa Healthcare Association. Nine were for Republicans, three for Democrats.
The newspaper says 11 of the fundraisers were held at Iowa nursing homes. The other was held at Boyle's South Dakota home, and was for Rep. Christopher Rants, R-Sioux City, then the minority leader of the Iowa House. Rants collected 15 checks totaling $3,090, according to state records.
Among the contributors were Boyle and two of his relatives; the political action committee of the Iowa Healthcare Association; Steve Ackerson, the association's executive director; and Richard Allbee, the chief executive officer of a company that operates four dozen care facilities in Iowa.
Boyle, whose Friendship Manor is facing a $112,650 federal fine for alleged neglect of an elderly woman, has complained to lawmakers that the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals is overly aggressive in policing the state's nursing home industry.
The newspaper reported that the Iowa Healthcare Association in March provided Iowa's care facility administrators with a fill-in-the-blank letter that could be given to residents forward to lawmakers.