In a call this morning with reporters, the Republican Party of Iowa chairman Jeff Kaufmann called an ad attacking Joni Ernst “repulsive.” The ad is the most recent one from a group called Iowa Voices. The ad features a doctor claiming that Ernst doesn’t support healthcare for those with pre-existing conditions. The ad mentions the public health crisis and also flashes images of people in masks and those wearing biohazard suits.
“I know one thing, If a group like this was supporting Joni and this kind of fearmongering was occurring we would hear the howling for the Democrats from all over the state,” Said Kaufmann on the call. He went on to say that “It really is repulsive, and I chose the word carefully. It’s repulsive to see the Democrats try to politicize this deadly corona pandemic, in an attack ad targeting Joni Ernst.”
Kaufmann said the purpose of the ad was to pray on Iowan’s fears and prop up Theresa Greenfield. Greenfield, a corporate real estate broker from Minnesota, is one of several Democrats running to unseat Joni Ernst. The Chairman explained that just the opposite is accurate and provided details as to why the ad is false. He pointed to Ernst’s support of the Protect Act, Co-Sponsored by North Carolina Senator, Tom Tillis.
A 2019 version of the Protect Act that Ernst endorsed specifically prohibits discrimination against patients based on health status – including preventing increased premiums for patients due to pre-existing conditions, as well as bans insurance companies from excluding coverage of treatments for a beneficiary’s pre-existing condition.
Kaufmann noted that it’s not just the lies in the ad about Joni’s positions he takes issue with. Kaufmann revealed that the doctor in the ad is the husband to the former chairwoman of the Iowa Democratic party & former Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Andrea “Andy” McGuire.
Iowa Voices is a tax-exempt 501(c)4 social welfare organization. These types of social welfare groups are often referred to as dark money groups because the designation allows it to spend money on political ads, in this case, attacking Joni Ernst, without releasing any information on the donors funding them. The ad is just one of several ads Produced by Iowa Voices. Since July of 2019, the group has spent over 2 million dollars in Iowa supporting Greenfield.
The Iowa Voices ad can be found here.