By James Q. Lynch
Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Theresa Greenfield, who has pledged not to take corporate political action committee (PAC) money, has been endorsed by End Citizens United.
The PAC, which raised $44 million in the last election cycle, said Greenfield’s pledge highlights her commitment to reforming a broken system and taking on special interests.
“Greenfield knows that when senators are bought by big corporate special interests, hardworking Iowans are left behind,” said Tiffany Muller, president of End Citizens United. “By rejecting corporate PAC money, Theresa Greenfield is proving that she will put Iowans ahead of corporate special interests.”
The timing of the endorsement and Greenfield’s pledge did not go unnoticed by the Republican Party of Iowa.
“Theresa Greenfield is hoping that Iowans won’t notice that less than 24 hours ago, a shadowy outside group that benefits her launched a contrived attempt to mislead Iowans, by way of false TV ads over Joni Ernst’s record,” Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said. He called the Iowa Voices ad “hypocrisy at its finest.”
Kaufmann wondered whether End Citizens United and Greenfield would “practice what they preach” by denouncing the ad and demanding it be taken off the air.
“Or will they stand with outside special interests who are working to inflict Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s and 2020ers’ socialist agenda on Iowans?” Kaufmann said.
Greenfield, 55, president of a Windsor Heights real estate firm, is one of three Democrats competing for the nomination to face Republican U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, who is seeking reelection to a second term in 2020.
Des Moines businessman Eddie Mauro and Indianola attorney Kimberly Graham also are seeking the Democratic nomination.
End Citizens United named Ernst to its Big Money 20, incumbents who it says benefit most from a corrupt Washington establishment and put corporate special interest donors ahead of the people they’re supposed to represent.
According to the PAC, Ernst broke her promise to help Iowa families by voting “to threaten Medicare and Social Security in Washington while giving millions of dollars in tax breaks to Wall Street and the big corporations that fund her campaign.”
Unlike corporate PACs that exist to buy access and influence policy in order to benefit the corporate bottom line, End Citizens United is powered entirely grass roots donors, the PAC said. The average contribution to End Citizens United is $14.
Citizens United was a landmark Supreme Court ruling in 2010 that held the free speech clause of the First Amendment prohibits the federal government from restricting independent expenditures for political communication by corporations, including nonprofit corporations, labor unions and other associations.
“Candidates who refuse corporate PAC money, like Theresa Greenfield, are sending a powerful message that they’re fighting to unrig the system,” Bawadden Sayed, End Citizens United deputy communications manager, said.