Press Releases

Scratching Each Other’s Back: A Corruption Story Featuring Senator Gardner & His Billionaire Donor Joe Ricketts

Oct 15, 2020

In 2017, the GOP-controlled House, Senate and Presidency unveiled their partisan tax bill, the centerpiece of the united Republican government. The bill, which was borne out of a fear of campaign contributions drying up, was designed to undermine the ACA and cut taxes for mega-donors and corporations at great cost to American families.

Senator Cory Gardner, who was in charge of Republican’s midterm election efforts, summarized the dilemma when he was quoted at a closed door meeting: “Donors are furious. We haven’t kept our promise.” Gardner would go on to play a “key role” in unifying Republican support for the tax scam.

Now, as he faces the toughest election of his career, Gardner’s reaping the benefits of passing legislation that hurt everyday Coloradans but made his mega-donors happy.

ESA Fund, a super PAC run by racist billionaire mega-donor and Trump confidant Joe Ricketts, recently launched false attack ads in a desperate attempt to save Gardner’s flailing campaign. The Ricketts family played a crucial role in boosting lawmakers who supported the tax bill with outside spending right after the unpopular bill was passed. Oh, and we would be remiss not to mention that the tax scam lowered the top tax rate for the wealthiest Americans and eliminated the estate tax to give $100 billion in handouts for the ultra wealthy, like Joe Ricketts – all thanks to Senator Gardner.

“Senator Gardner’s tenure in Washington can be easily summed up into a single phrase: You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. His role in passing the 2017 GOP tax bill was nothing more than a quid pro quo for Republican mega-donors like Joe Ricketts,” said End Citizens United President Tiffany Muller. “After ignoring the warnings about the consequences the bill would have on middle-class families and the national deficit, Gardner consolidated Republican support for a tax scam that benefitted the wealthiest Americans and corporations. Now, the Ricketts family, one of the biggest beneficiaries of that bill, is rushing in to save Gardner. This is an orchestrated effort to distort the facts, and a thank-you for the $835 million Gardner secured for the Ricketts. Their corruption knows no bounds.”

The Headlines:

New York Times: Behind New Obamacare Repeal Vote: ‘Furious’ G.O.P. Donors

CNN: Hill Republican dilemma: Dash to pass tax reform or face donor backlash

Daily Beast: GOP Donors To GOP Lawmakers: Yeah. We Will Cut You Off Absent Tax Reform

Salon: GOP donors threaten to withhold funds unless their agenda is passed

Salon: 5 times Republicans admitted they work for rich donors

AP: Ample tax cuts for business, wealthy in new GOP tax accord