Site menu:


November 2015 Brief: Volume 22, Number 31

  Click Here for a pdf version.


It is with great sadness that we inform you of the death of Public Interest Institute’s Founder and long-time Board Chairman, David (Dave) Maxwell Stanley on 26 August 2015. He was preceded in death by 22 days by his wife of 67 years Jean (Jeanie) Leu Stanley on 4 August 2015. A Celebration of Life service was held on 26 September at the Wesley United Methodist Church in Muscatine, Iowa.


David and Jeanie StanleyDave was born in Dubuque, Iowa, on September 9, 1928, the son of C. Maxwell Stanley and Elizabeth (Betty) M. (Holthues) Stanley. He married his high school sweetheart on June 27, 1948. They met in fifth grade at Jefferson school, went steady as Muscatine High School students, and were married at age 19. Their marriage was a true partnership and a tremendous example to many. The couple is survived by four children and ten grandchildren.


Dave was a Boy Scout, earning the Eagle rank. He was inducted to the Muscatine High School Hall of Honor. He also served in the United States Air Force. Dave earned his B.A. and law degrees from the University of Iowa and was a life-long Hawkeye fan. He founded the law firm that is now Stanley, Lande, and Hunter and grew it to the largest law firm in Muscatine, Iowa.


Dave served in the Iowa Legislature for 12 years and was House Ways and Means Chairman and Senate Majority Leader. He ran for the U. S. Senate twice, in 1968 and 1974, narrowly missing both times. As a “recovering politician” Dave founded Iowans for Tax Relief in 1978 with eleven other former Iowa Legislators, six Republicans and six Democrats. Through the tireless efforts of Dave and Jeanie, they grew ITR from the founding dozen to over 55,000 members today. ITR is thus the largest – on a per capita basis – taxpayer protection organization in the United States.


Dave dedicated himself to reducing the tax burden on Iowans so they could prosper and enjoy a better quality of life. Based on his tremendous success with Iowans for Tax Relief, Dave was asked to take over leadership of the National Taxpayers Union and National Taxpayers Union Foundation when its founder James Davidson decided to shift the focus of his efforts elsewhere in 1992. Subsequently he was also asked to take leadership of the World Taxpayers Associations for ten years.


Dave and Jeanie were active members of Wesley United Methodist Church and in the renewal and reform movement of the United Methodist Church as a whole. Dave and Jeanie co-chaired a statewide “Spirit Alive! Churches Alive!” campaign that enlisted helpers and money to revitalize Methodist churches and plant new churches. Dave served as a Director for REVIVE, a group focused on bringing renewal and revival to the people and local churches of the Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He also served as a Director of the Institute on Religion and Democracy and was chairman of its United Methodist Action committee.


Dave and Jeanie were leaders in United Marriage Encounter, a Christian ministry to help strengthen and transform marriages. They were on the presenting teams for 116 Marriage Encounter Weekends. Dave and Jeanie co-founded New Hope Foundation, a foundation that affirms, aids, and advances the traditional Christian faith, beliefs, and values. He also served on the Iowa Wesleyan Board of Trustees. Dave and Jeanie were generous with their talents, time, energy, and resources. Their sacrifices here on earth impacted many lives for the better. Dave worked diligently until the end. His brilliant mind and remarkable leadership will be missed, especially by the staff and members of Public Interest Institute.



Permission to reprint or copy in whole or part is granted, provided a version of this credit line is used:"Reprinted by permission from INSTITUTE BRIEF, a publication of Public Interest Institute." The views expressed in this publication are those of the author and not necessarily those of Public Interest Institute. They are brought to you in the interest of a better-informed citizenry.




All of our publications are available for sponsorship.  Sponsoring a publication is an excellent way for you to show your support of our efforts to defend liberty and define the proper role of government.  For more information, please contact Public Interest Institute at 319-385-3462 or e-mail us at