Iowa secretary of state often absent, on phone for meetings - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa secretary of state often absent, on phone for meetings

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By RYAN J. FOLEY
Associated Press

IOWA CITY (AP) - Secretary of State Paul Pate has shown up in person to less than half of the meetings of a key committee that helps run Iowa's executive branch.

Minutes reviewed by The Associated Press show Pate has missed 20 of 76 meetings of the Executive Council since January 2015 and phoned in to 21 more. He's been at the Capitol for 35, an in-person attendance record far worse than colleagues.

The five-member committee approves emergency spending, pays outside lawyers, and governs insurance plans for employees.

Pate's spokesman said he's missed meetings for reasons such as helping get care for his ailing and now-deceased mother, doctors' appointments and conferences. He noted that electronic participation is allowed under Iowa code.

Democrat Jim Mowrer, who's running against Pate, said Pate's too often failing to show up.

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