NEW REPORT: Senator Joni Ernst’s Dark Money Scheme Facing New FEC Complaint from Nonpartisan Watchdog

//NEW REPORT: Senator Joni Ernst’s Dark Money Scheme Facing New FEC Complaint from Nonpartisan Watchdog

Associated Press: “An election watchdog filed a complaint Thursday alleging than an outside group founded by top political aides to Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst violated campaign finance law in its effort to improve the Republican’s chance of reelection next year”

A new report in the Associated Press reveals that the Campaign Legal Center – a major nonpartisan election watchdog – has filed a complaint today with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging that a dark money group founded by top political aides to Senator Joni Ernst “violated campaign finance law in its effort to improve the Republican’s chance of reelection next year.”

The complaint comes after the AP’s devastating report earlier this month on documents exposing Ernst’s close coordination with the dark money group Iowa Values to raise money and help her win the 2020 election, adding up to “a degree of overlap” that violates the law.

Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price released the following statement:

“Senator Ernst said she was going to make Washington squeal, but the undeniable facts around this dark money scheme are a sharp reminder that the truth is she’s just been breaking the law to accept secret, unlimited political donations to boost her own political career. This new complaint from a nonpartisan anti-corruption watchdog underscores that Senator Ernst’s actions are inexcusable, and Iowa voters will hold her accountable for this outrageous and blatant disregard for campaign finance law.”

Here are the highlights from the Associated Press report: Group backing Iowa’s Ernst hit with complaint after AP story

  • “An election watchdog filed a complaint Thursday alleging than an outside group founded by top political aides to Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst violated campaign finance law in its effort to improve the Republican’s chance of reelection next year.”

  • “The complaint, filed with the Federal Election Commission by the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, comes after The Associated Press reported earlier this month that Ernst’s work with the political nonprofit Iowa Values to raise money and build an electoral ‘firewall’ potentially violated campaign finance and tax law.”

  • “The complaint requests that the FEC launch an investigation. It also argues that internal Iowa Values documents revealed by the AP show the group’s major purpose is political activity. That likely violates the conditions of its tax-exempt status while breaking campaign finance laws that obligate the group to register as a political committee with the FEC and disclose its anonymous donors, the watchdog said.”

  • “There is little evidence of Iowa Values engaging in any activities in 2019 other than those aimed at influencing Ernst’s reelection,” the Campaign Legal Center wrote in the complaint.”

  • “An attorney representing both Iowa Values and the Ernst campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.”

  • “The complaint is the third to be filed against Iowa Values following the AP’s story.”

  • “Iowa Values was co-founded in 2017 by Ernst’s longtime consultant, Jon Kohan. It shares a fundraiser, Claire Holloway Avella, with the Ernst campaign. And a condo owned by a former aide — who was recently hired to lead the group — was used as Iowa Values’ address at a time when he worked for her.”

  • “The documents reviewed by the AP, including emails and a strategy memo, not only make clear that the group’s aim is securing an Ernst win in 2020, but they also show Ernst and her campaign worked in close concert.”

###

By |2019-12-19T23:05:32+00:00December 19th, 2019|Press Release|Comments Off on NEW REPORT: Senator Joni Ernst’s Dark Money Scheme Facing New FEC Complaint from Nonpartisan Watchdog