Ernst Has Refused to Call Out Shady $8.5 Million in No-Bid State Contracts to Her Own Donor for Non-Medical Grade PPE Manufactured in China

In a startling new investigation, Iowa Starting Line reported this morning that David Greenspon – a “well-connected Iowa Republican donor” and longtime campaign vendor for Senator Joni Ernst – was under a police investigation for an array of sex-related crimes potentially including “prostitution or sex trafficking, and [possession of] child pornography.”

These developments renew scrutiny raised by an Associated Press investigation over $8.5 million in shady no-bid contracts that Greenspon received from the state of Iowa to supply non-medical grade PPE manufactured in China, despite having no experience in producing medical equipment. Rather, Greenspon’s company has been a “go-to vendor for Republican campaigns,” and has been paid nearly $90,000 by Senator Ernst’s campaign and affiliate PAC for t-shirts and other promotional materials.

Despite the troubling sequence of events, Senator Ernst has refused to discuss how her campaign partner and donor was able to obtain these shady no-bid contracts. However, all signs indicate that Greenspon was able to leverage his political ties for profit during a health crisis.

“Iowans deserve immediate answers from Senator Ernst on how her longtime campaign vendor was able to obtain corrupt no-bid contracts worth millions for second-rate PPE – potentially putting the health of Iowans at risk amidst an unprecedented global pandemic,” said Jeremy Busch, Iowa Democratic Party spokesperson.

Senator Ernst must immediately come clean on the following questions:

  1. What is Senator Ernst’s relationship with David Greenspon and will she immediately terminate his work with her re-election campaign?
  2. Did Senator Ernst direct, suggest, or know about the no-bid contracts for non-medical grade PPE sourced from Chinese manufacturing plants? If not, how does she explain her lack of involvement in sourcing critical PPE for Iowa amid a pandemic?
  3. Will Senator Ernst finally condemn these no-bid contracts and push for federal leadership to deliver on American-made protective equipment?

Here are the facts:

  • Greenspon is Senator Ernst’s re-election campaign vendor for signs and t-shirts.

  • Senator Ernst and her affiliate PAC have paid Greenspon over $87,000.

  • Greenspon has personally contributed at least $3,900 to Joni for Iowa.

  • In the State Senate, Ernst voted to confirm Greenspon to a high-powered political appointment on the Iowa Finance Authority Board.