New Rule Adds Further Secrecy to the Illicit Efforts of Senator Ernst’s Top Political Aides to Distort Her Voting Record Ahead of November Election
After Senator Joni Ernst and the GOP voted to defend an anti-disclosure rule by the Trump Administration that further exploits the Citizens United ruling, Senator Ernst’s dark money group, “Iowa Values,” will no longer have to disclose their largest dark-money donors after spending the last year allegedly breaking campaign finance laws to boost Ernst’s vulnerable re-election.
Under the Ernst-backed rule, the IRS will no longer require organizations like Iowa Values to disclose the names of donors who contribute more than $5,000 – enabling the group, set up by Senator Ernst’s top political aides to hide who’s behind their explicit effort at “securing an Ernst win in 2020.” The rule was pushed by multiple Koch brothers-funded groups, the notorious dark-money billionaire donors who funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to launch Senator Ernst’s political career.
Meanwhile, Senator Ernst still refuses to come clean on the illicit coordination between Iowa Values and her re-election, as thoroughly reported by the Associated Press and the subject of a nearly half–dozen FEC complaints from campaign finance watchdogs.
“Thanks to Senator Ernst and the GOP’s defense of this defenseless rule, Ernst’s dark money backers now have even greater secrecy in their attempt to distort her record of voting against the needs of Iowans,” said Jeremy Busch, Iowa Democratic Party spokesperson. “For Senator Ernst, dismantling transparency and deceiving voters are par for the course – but Iowans demand far better from their leaders. Even if the law cannot hold Senator Ernst accountable, Iowans will this November.”
Senator Ernst’s effort to block donor disclosure from dark money groups is just one of many steps she’s taken to evade accountability with voters. Earlier this month, the Daily Beast caught Senator Ernst illicitly using a shady payroll scheme to avoid disclosing the names and pay of her campaign staffers – an effort to make it “harder to detect” if Ernst’s staffers were simultaneously working for her dark money group. This comes as new reporting revealed that Ernst was still using the same fundraising consultant linked to her dark money group.
Additionally, Senator Ernst previously paid the largest-ever penalty by the FEC for any Iowa politician after “knowingly accepting excessive and prohibited contributions.”