Senate candidate Theresa Greenfield unveiled a detailed policy proposal today to “end political corruption” and ban “dark money” groups from influencing elections.
The first in her “Jobs that Need to Get Done” series, Greenfield’s “Plan to End Political Corruption” is multi-faceted.
It includes overturning the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and banning dark money groups; outlawing corporate PACs; ending campaign coordination with dark money groups and super PACs; enacting a lifetime ban on lobbying for all members of Congress; strengthening the power of the Federal Election Commission; and codifying the Office of Congressional Ethics.
“I’m going to put Iowa first by fighting to end political corruption and get big money out of politics, and that’s exactly what this plan will get done,” Greenfield said in a press release Thursday morning.
Tiffany Muller, president of End Citizens United, also is supportive of Greenfield’s proposal. (End Citizens United endorsed Greenfield last summer.)
“Theresa Greenfield has already proven she’s committed to rooting out the culture of corruption in Washington by rejecting corporate PAC money,” said Muller, in a statement. “Her End Political Corruption plan builds on that by laying out specific steps to tackle the outsized influence of money in politics, stop illegal campaign coordination with outside groups, and prevent lawmakers from cashing in on their public service as lobbyists.”
Greenfield’s anti-corruption proposals come at a time when Sen. Joni Ernst faces criticism for her campaign’s alleged coordination with the dark money group Iowa Values and multiple watchdog groups have filed FEC complaints in light of the Associated Press investigation.
Late last year, Starting Line reported that Ernst’s 2014 Senate campaign paid the largest FEC fine in Iowa history after it was determined they broke the law by “knowingly accepting excessive and prohibited contributions.”
“While Greenfield has a plan to clean up corruption, Senator Joni Ernst was caught breaking the law and is entrenched in Washington’s rigged system,” Muller said.
The Ernst campaign has denied coordinating with Iowa Values. Given the inability of the FEC to conduct its oversight duties due to a shortage of members, the evidence against Ernst is unlikely to be reviewed by the agency any time soon.
Anti-corruption proposals have been a hallmark of the 2020 campaign cycle, starting with the Democratic presidential candidates who released detailed plans on the topic like never before.
Fellow Democratic Senate candidates Eddie Mauro, Kimberly Graham and Cal Woods also have policy proposals on their websites, ranging from health care and immigration to racial justice and agriculture. Michael Franken’s website does not have an issues page yet.
Greenfield’s rollout mirrors that of some presidential candidates who took to Medium during the Iowa Caucus campaign to lay out their ideas with more specificity.
“Theresa believes it’s long past time to end the corrupt practices brought about by the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision and will work tirelessly to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn that ruling,” Greenfield’s “End Political Corruption” plan states.
“The Supreme Court’s decision has allowed dark money groups and super PACs to flood elections in Iowa and across the country with unlimited sums of money, including over $30 million in outside spending and dark money on Ernst’s behalf in 2014.”
The idea behind Greenfield’s “Jobs that Need to Get Done” series harkens back to her introductory campaign video where the Minnesota native recalls growing up on a farm when her dad told her “there are no boy jobs or girl jobs, just jobs that need to get done.”
“As I’m traveling across Iowa,” Greenfield said Thursday, “it’s clear too many families just can’t catch a break and they’re worried about struggling to pay their health care bills, threats to Social Security, and rural farm communities being left behind.
“But instead of working together to fix these challenges, Senator Ernst only seems to look out for whoever can cut the biggest check — just like the rest of Washington.”
By Elizabeth Meyer