Before Getting No-Bid Contract, Iowan Made 1st Big Trump Donation

Photo via White House

By Pat Rynard

May 20, 2020

David Greenspon has long been a donor to Iowa Republican causes. But the first time he ever contributed to Donald Trump was this February, two months before he happened to receive a no-bid contract on obtaining Personal Protective Equipment for the state of Iowa.

The West Des Moines businessman donated $15,000 to the Trump Victory joint fundraising PAC on February 4. The same day, he also maxed out to Trump’s presidential campaign committee with two donations of $2,800.

The $7.2 million that Greenspon’s Competitive Edge business was awarded in early April has come under scrutiny after reporting from the AP’s Ryan Foley. Greenspon’s business has never produced or acquired medical equipment before; his business has been known for producing t-shirts and Republican campaign signs in the past. He was tasked with obtaining one million gowns and 100,000 plastic goggles.

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“Greenspon … said state agencies reached out unsolicited asking for help securing supplies from China because he has long imported from there,” Foley wrote.

In subsequent reporting, Greenspon’s recent arrest and charge for felony assault on a woman from this past November was highlighted, a charge he disputes.

Greenspon has donated thousands of dollars over the years to state and federal Iowa Republican campaigns, including Terry Branstad, Joni Ernst, David Young, Kim Reynolds and others.

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The businessman has been particularly close to Branstad in the past. Branstad’s campaign rented their office space from Greenspon, and Branstad attempted to appoint Greenspon to the Iowa Finance Authority in 2017 but eventually withdrew his name.

Perhaps coincidentally, Branstad was talking in early April about how he was trying to get PPE sent from China to the U.S., though that was more on the federal side with FEMA.


by Pat Rynard
Posted 5/20/20

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  • Pat Rynard

    Pat Rynard founded Iowa Starting Line in 2015. He is now Courier Newsroom's National Political Editor, where he oversees political reporters across the country. He still keeps a close eye on Iowa politics, his dog's name is Frank, and football season is his favorite time of year.

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