Non-Partisan Elections Watchdog “Campaign Legal Center” Filed FEC Complaint Following Explosive AP Investigation into Senator Ernst’s Illegal Dark Money Arrangement
Today, a U.S. District Court ordered the FEC to take enforcement action against Iowa Values, a dark money group set up and run by Senator Joni Ernst’s top aides, after they were caught illegally supporting Ernst’s re-election campaign. Ernst and Iowa Values also face additional FEC complaints detailing alleged illegal coordination, as uncovered by an AP investigation last December.
The court ruling follows an FEC complaint filed by the Campaign Legal Center, a non-partisan elections watchdog, that argued that Iowa Values was illegally operating with an expressed effort “aimed at influencing Ernst’s reelection.”
“Today’s court ruling puts an incredible amount of pressure on Senator Ernst to answer for her dark money group’s outrageous and desperate efforts to illegally boost her re-election,” said Jeremy Busch, Iowa Democratic Party spokesperson. “Knowing that her failed six years in Washington would be rejected by voters, Senator Ernst has spent the entire election evading questions and accountability for her corrupt efforts to illegally prop up her re-election prospects. Senator Ernst must immediately come clean on her full role in this scheme, and answer why she continues to host fundraising events with the dark money consultant at the center of the illegal arrangement.”
Since the AP investigation first broke news of this illegal scheme, Senator Ernst has refused to break from the allegedly illegal arrangement and done everything in her power to hide her plain-as-day corruption:
- Hid campaign staffers in an arrangement that experts say may have violated the law.
- Continued hosting fundraising events throughout the general election with the dark money consultant at the center of the illegal operation.
- Refused to answer a constituent’s question on her alleged illegal coordination during a town hall in March.