With No Positive Vision to Run On, Senator Ernst Copies McConnell Playbook to Cover Up Her Record Putting Corporate Donors Above Working Families

After spending the first month of the general election in desperation mode, endangered incumbent Senator Joni Ernst has launched her TV ad campaign with yet another transparent attempt to distract from her six years in Washington of propping up her corporate special interest allies at the expense of hard-working Iowans. 

In the ad, Senator Ernst takes a page out of Washington Republicans’ 57-page memo with her attempts to shift blame to China for her failure to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying “we rely on communist China for far too much.” Yet, Ernst and her party in Iowa and Washington have repeatedly turned to China for health and safety equipment after their own failure to protect Iowans. 

A recent AP investigation even exposed how in Iowa, a mega-donor and GOP campaign vendor with deep ties to Ernst’s 2014 and 2020 campaigns has received multiple no-bid  contracts worth at least $8.5 million to supply Iowa with Chinese-made, non-medical grade PPE. Instead of denouncing these shady contracts, Ernst has been silent. Earlier in the year, the GOP ordered 167 million face masks “primarily” sourced from China, after they sent nearly 18 tons of medical supplies to China in February while ignoring expert warnings that the pandemic was taking root across the country.

The truth is that while Ernst pretends to have workers’ interests in mind, she has repeatedly voted to block critical relief for working families while pushing bailouts for the corporate special interest donors pouring millions into her re-election campaign. As workers were laid off at record levels for weeks, she opposed extended unemployment benefits and paid family leave, while voting twice for a $500 billion corporate slush fund that could have allowed CEOs to boost their own bonuses while firing workers. Now, Senator Ernst is giving her corporate donors a free pass as big companies abuse PPP loans, while Iowa small businesses are “struggling” to access funding to keep workers on the job.

“Senator Ernst’s opening ad is a hypocritical and desperate attempt to run from her failed record during this pandemic,” said Jeremy Busch, Iowa Democratic Party spokesperson. “Senator Ernst’s top priority during this pandemic has been propping up her corporate special interest donors, while working families pay the price. Now, she’s desperately trying to change the subject as voters hold her accountable for her failure to protect Iowans.”

On Friday, Vanity Fair reported that Senator Ernst’s campaign is “pissed” that voters are holding her accountable for her disastrous record in Washington. All three polls in the general election have shown Ernst facing a widespread fallout with voters – more unpopular than ever and trailing businesswoman and Democratic nominee Theresa Greenfield.