Washington, D.C. —The American Democracy Legal Fund (ADLF) sent a letter to the Federal Election Commission requesting an investigation into allegations that those working on behalf of Senator Joni Ernst may have violated federal election law. In a bombshell report, the Associated Press reported that a staffer for Senator Ernst solicited a likely illegal $50,000 contribution for Iowa Values PAC, a “dark money” group whose stated purpose is to educate voters about policy issues. While Iowa Values claims voter education is its primary purpose, documents obtained by the AP make clear the group’s main mission is to re-elect Senator Ernst. The report also notes that Iowa Values was founded by a longtime consultant to Senator Ernst, and the group shares a fundraiser with the Senator’s campaign.
Furthermore, the Associated Press has obtained evidence that the fundraiser for Ernst may have solicited excessive contributions for Iowa Values in clear violation of federal election law. Federal campaign finance law prohibits candidates’ agents from soliciting contributions that exceed federal limits, even if those contributions are made to an outside group.
“We are deeply concerned about allegations outlined in this bombshell report, particularly that Senator Ernst’s aides may have solicited an illegal $50,000 campaign contribution on behalf of the Senator’s re-election efforts,” said the ADLF’s Brad Woodhouse. “Politicians like Senator Ernst who think they are above the law are why Americans are fed up with Washington, and the Federal Election Commission must begin an investigation immediately to hold those who may have broken the law accountable.”
A copy of the letter can be viewed here.