Republican activists based in Des Moines have spent $50,000 to influence our Iowa 1st Congressional District race.

Our request: Tell Quad-Citians who you are.

State and federal law allows the American Future Fund and other groups classified by the IRS as 501(c)(4) to pay for issue advertising independently with cash raised from unidentified donors.

Notably, the law does not require anonymity.

American Future Fund has launched an ad campaign condemning U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, claiming he supports the mosque planned near ground zero. The ad campaign misstates Braley’s position; he specifically steered clear by properly saying this is a New York City zoning issue, not an Iowa 1st Congressional District issue.

Congress will never vote on a mosque in New York City or anywhere. Yet we’re seeing ads that say this issue is important in this race.

American Future Fund leader Nick Ryan ran former 1st District congressman Jim Nussle’s campaign. Now he promises to spend much more than the $50,000 already committed to this anti-Braley campaign.

Fine. All we ask is for American Future Fund to let 1st District residents know who is paying for the billboards and ads in our community.

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A message bought and paid for by conservative Iowans carries a different connotation than one bought and paid for by Washington D.C.-based special interests.

Every contributor to Braley and GOP challenger Ben Lange will be disclosed under federal law. Although the same law allows American Future Fund and other 501(c)(4) groups to shield their donors, we have to ask why?

We welcome them to our congressional campaign. Just tell us who you are.