Des Moines – In a shock to no one, the oil billionaire Koch brothers and their dark money Americans for Prosperity (AFP) are back on the airwaves in Iowa today, trying to buy the open U.S. Senate seat for State Senator Joni Ernst to carry out their anti-Iowa agenda. With today’s ad buy, the Kochs have now already spent almost $1.7 million in Iowa to reward Ernst for doing their bidding.
After attending a Koch Brother seminar last summer, and thanking the Kochsfor running misleading advertisements in Iowa, money from the Koch network started to flow into Ernst’s campaign. At the same time, Ernst’s positions on the issues that matter to Iowa are taken right out of the Koch policy manual: she opposes the bipartisan Farm Bill backed by every member of Iowa’s U.S. House delegation, wants to repeal the federal minimum wage, supports privatizing Social Security and turning Medicare into a voucher program, is “philosophically” opposed to the Renewable Fuel Standard that enjoys strong bipartisan support in Iowa, and favors giving tax breaks to oil billionaires while increasing taxes for middle class families.
As Iowans will likely remember, this is not the first time the Kochs have attempted to buy an election in Iowa to fulfill their special interest agenda. In the fall of 2013, the Kochs tried, and failed, to influence the races for Coralville’s mayor and city council with an influx of money. At the time, their backing was likened to being “endorsed by Charles Manson.”
“The Koch brothers’ motto seems to be if you can’t buy one election in Iowa, try, try again,” said Iowa Democratic Party Chair Scott Brennan. “The Kochs have spent almost $1.7 million in Iowa already because they trust State Senator Joni Ernst to support policies that put money in their pockets, but harm Iowa’s working families. The Koch-Ernst agenda is now one-in-the same, and Iowans come out the losers in this anti-middle class union.”
The Kochs don’t just have their eyes set on Iowa—they have pledged to spend $125 million on the midterm elections this year in attempts to elect candidates, like Ernst, who will be a rubber stamp for their corporate interests. This comes after AFP spent more than $33 million in 2012 trying to defeat President Obama.
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