IRS Complaint by End Citizens United Marks Nearly Three Months of Ernst Refusing to Answer for Allegations of Political Corruption

Today, a fourth campaign finance watchdog, End Citizens United, filed a complaint against Senator Joni Ernst and her dark money group, “Iowa Values,” demanding an IRS investigation into “a shining example of how corrupt Washington politicians break the law to protect their own interests.” But instead of coming clean, Ernst – the third-most unpopular senator in the country – is banking that she can run out the clock to hide her political corruption from Iowans.

Since the Associated Press first reported that Senator Ernst and her top aides  potentially broke the law through illegal coordination between her campaign and her dark money group, Ernst has hid from voters – refusing to answer even the most basic questions on the illicit arrangement. The fact is, Ernst has been caught in the act – and is trying to run out the clock until November so that Iowa voters never learn the truth.

“With her campaign’s back against the wall, Senator Ernst has resorted to political corruption and hiding from voters, because she knows the truth will cost her re-election,” said Jeremy Busch, Iowa Democratic Party spokesperson. “During her half-decade of cozying up to special interests in Washington, Senator Ernst has forgotten who she’s supposed to work for. Iowans demand a leader who will face voters and give them the transparency they deserve.”

Below is a timeline of election watchdog complaints calling for investigations into Ernst, her top aides, her campaign, and her dark money group, “Iowa Values.” The whole time, Ernst has refused to hold a single event open to the public to face voters.

  • December 6, 2019: The Associated Press reports on an arrangement between Senator Ernst’s campaign and her dark money group that legal experts say amounts to illegal coordination.

  • December 9, 2019: The American Democracy Legal Fund urges the FEC to investigate Ernst’s campaign for violating campaign finance law.

  • December 16, 2019: The Campaign for Accountability calls on the FEC to investigate Ernst’s campaign’s coordination with “Iowa Values.”

  • December 20, 2019: The nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center files a complaint to the FEC arguing that “Iowa Values” broke the law.

  • February 26, 2020: End Citizens United files a complaint with the IRS calling for an investigation into the ties between Ernst’s campaign and “Iowa Values.”