New Web Ad: You Can’t Trust Joni Ernst on Federal Minimum Wage 

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Des Moines – Monday found State Senator Joni Ernst desperately trying to “etch-a-sketch” her stances on the minimum wage to U.S. News & World Report, claiming that she had never called for the federal minimum wage to be repealed:

“I never called for the abolishment of it. Never.” –Joni Ernst

Today, on the anniversary of the enactment of the first federal minimum wage, the Iowa Democratic Party released a new web ad proving that you just can’t trust State Senator Ernst when it comes to the federal minimum wage, as she has repeatedly turned her back on Iowa’s families and voiced her opposition not just to an increase in the minimum wage, but to any minimum wage set by the federal government:

 WATCH VIDEO HERE

Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Scott Brennan said, “Joni Ernst can try and pretend her previous stances never existed, but Iowans deserve to know that she would turn her back on working Iowa families and repeal the federal minimum wage if given the chance. After spending the entire GOP primary embracing an ultra-conservative agenda, Ernst’s desperate attempts to rewrite her record show that you just can’t trust Joni Ernst on the federal minimum wage, and that she’s wrong for Iowa.”

See below for more on Ernst’s long history of advocating a repeal of the federal minimum wage:

Ernst Said She Opposed Minimum Wage Increase, Said Government Should Not “Be Stepping In And Telling [Businesses] This Is What You Will Do.” “State Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Red Oak, said in an interview Thursday she is opposed to an [minimum wage]  increase. ‘I believe that businesses will do what is best for their business,’ she said. ‘I don’t know that the government needs to be stepping in and telling them this is what you will do.’ She acknowledged government already requires businesses to pay $7.25 an hour, but adds, ‘we shouldn’t take it even further.’” [Quad-City Times, 1/11/14]

Ernst On The Minimum Wage: “Government-Mandated Wage Increases Are Not The Solution.” According to a February 2014 Quad City Times report, “A new nonpartisan analysis says boosting the country’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would result in the loss of roughly 500,000 jobs, even as it lifts hundreds of thousands of Americans out of poverty by the time it’s fully implemented… Republican state Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Red Oak, who is running for the U.S. Senate, responded to the report in an email, saying, ‘government and government-mandated wage increases are not the solution — especially when doing so comes at the expense of the jobs of hard working Americans.’ ” [Quad City Times, 2/18/14]

Des Moines Register: Ernst Said That While She Supports A Legally Mandated Minimum Wage, She Believes It Should Be Set By States Rather Than The Federal Government. According to a March 2014 report by the Des Moines Register, “The candidates were also asked about their views on the minimum wage a question that prompted each of them to talk about their own experiences with low-wage work in addition to their policy position. Ernst recalled working at Hardee’s fast food restaurants as an early morning biscuit-maker, and said that while she supported a legally mandated minimum, it should be states rather than the federal government which set the wages.” [Des Moines Register,3/18/14]

Ernst Said She Had Worked For Minimum Wage As A Biscuit-Maker At Hardee’s In Red Oak And Ames. During a March 2014 Senate candidate forum, candidate Joni Ernst said: “And yes, I have worked for minimum wage before. My first paid job outside of my family – my father was a small business owner with founding and heavy construction, but outside of that yes, I did work at Hardee’s. I was the morning biscuit-maker, so I did put myself – I started right after I graduated from high school and then through college, too, part of the time I was in college. I did work for Hardee’s, both in Red Oak and in Ames where I went to Iowa State University.” [NFIB Senate Forum, Des Moines, IA, 3/18/14] (Video)

Ernst Said Working For Minimum Wage Was A “Great Opportunity” To Work An Entry-Level Position, Prove She Had “Good Hard-Working Skills,” And Then “Move On To Other Opportunities.” During a March 2014 Senate candidate forum, candidate Joni Ernst said: “So, yes, I have worked for minimum wage, and I thought it was a great opportunity for me to start in an entry-level position, prove that I had those good hard-working skills, and then move on to other opportunities.” [NFIB Senate Forum, Des Moines, IA, 3/18/14] (Video)

Ernst Said The Minimum Wage “Has Its Place,” But She Does Not “Buy Into” It Being A “Federal-Level Solution.” During a March 2014 Senate candidate forum, candidate Joni Ernst said: “So, I do believe the minimum wage has its place, but I am not willing to buy into the fact that it is a federal-level solution.” [NFIB Senate Forum, Des Moines, IA, 3/18/14] (Video) 

Ernst Said The Minimum Wage Is A “Diversion From Where we Need To Go And Really What We Need To Be Talking About.” During a March 2014 Senate candidate forum, candidate Joni Ernst said: “I do think that the way we grow our economy is by creating those jobs and putting more people to work. So, the minimum wage is really a diversion from where we need to go and really what we need to be talking about.” [NFIB Senate Forum, Des Moines, IA, 3/18/14] (Video)

Ernst Said Setting The Minimum Wage Is “Best Left Up To The States,” Said $7.25 Is “Appropriate” For Iowa. During a March 2014 Senate candidate forum, candidate Joni Ernst said: “I do believe it’s best left up to the states. Our state economies are much different from state to state so I don’t believe the federal government should be involved in setting the minimum wage. So, beyond that, though, it does have a place. I think $7.25 is appropriate for Iowa.” [NFIB Senate Forum, Des Moines, IA, 3/18/14] (Video)

Ernst Said The Minimum Wage Is Only “A Safety Net For Those Who Are Just Entering The Workplace.” In a May 2014 Republican Senate debate in Bettendorf, Ernst said, “Yes, well I think the minimum wage is, is a safety net, but it is a safety net for those who are just entering the workplace, gaining some initial skills before they hopefully move on to other positions of greater responsibility which will pay more.” [Bettendorf GOP Senate Debate, 5/19/14]. (Video)

Ernst Said That “Many Of The Jobs Here In Iowa And Across The United States Already Pay More Than The Minimum Wage.” In a May 2014 Republican Senate debate in Bettendorf, Ernst said, “And I think we’ve already determined that many of the jobs here in Iowa and across the United States already pay more than the minimum wage.” [Bettendorf GOP Senate Debate, 5/19/14]. (Video)

Ernst Said She Does Not “Think The Government Should Be Involved” In The Minimum Wage. In a May 2014 Republican Senate debate in Bettendorf, Ernst said, “I don’t think the government should be involved in that discussion. You have a free market economy, let’s get government out of the way, and what we really need to focus our discussion on is not raising the minimum wage, but making sure that we do have those good jobs available out there that pay decent wages to hard workers.  And the way we do that, we, like I said, get government out of the way.” [Bettendorf GOP Senate Debate, 5/19/14]. (Video) 

No Candidates Raised Their Hands When Asked Who Supported Raising The Minimum Wage. In May 2014,Radio Iowa reported, “The crowd at a candidate forum last night in Bettendorf applauded when none of the five Republicans vying for the GOP’s U.S. Senate nomination indicated support for a minimum wage increase. ‘Could I get a show of hands for who supports raising the federal minimum wage?’ KWQC anchor Gary Metiver asked and none of the candidates raised his or her hand.” [Radio Iowa, 5/20/14]

Ernst Opposes Increasing The Minimum Wage. In May 2014, Radio Iowa reported, “Joni Ernst, a state senator, opposes an increase in the minimum wage. ‘But it is a safety net for those that are just entering the workplace, gaining some initial skills before they hopefully move on to other positions of greater responsibility which will pay more and I think we’ve already determined that many of the jobs here in Iowa and across the United States already pay more than the minimum wage,’ Ernst said. ‘I don’t think the government should be involved in that discussion.’” [Radio Iowa, 5/20/14]

Ernst Said Minimum Wage Is Not A “Federal Issue,” Should Be Decided By States. In May 2014, POLITICO reported, “All of the candidates opposed raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, on which Democratic candidate Bruce Braley is campaigning. But Jacobs kept the door open, saying he agrees with Grassley that a higher minimum wage is ‘something we can look at.’ Ernst went the other way. ‘I don’t believe this is a federal issue,’ she said. ‘Every different state has a different cost of living. … So I believe this is more of a state’s issue.’ The moderator responded by noting that Ernst also just voted against a minimum wage hike in the state Senate. ‘I did oppose it,’ she confirmed.” [POLITICO, 5/29/14] 

Ernst: “I Do Not Support A Federal Minimum Wage.” In June 2014, Ernst told Radio Iowa, “I do not support a federal minimum wage. Every state has a different economy, different cost of living. I don’t believe that’s the role of the federal government.” [Radio Iowa, 6/1/14]

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