Skip to Content

‘Dark money’ ties raise questions for Sen. Joni Ernst

WASHINGTON (AP) - Documents obtained by The Associated Press reveal an outside group founded by top political aides to Sen. Joni Ernst is working closely with the Iowa Republican to raise money and boost her reelection prospects.

Some legal experts say the degree of overlap between her campaign and the nonprofit Iowa Values could violate the law. Emails show Ernst fundraiser Claire Holloway Avella asked a donor for $50,000 for the group following an introduction by the senator. Ernst's attorney says they followed the law.

But some attorneys say Holloway Avella's request could cross a legal line because she was working on Ernst's behalf.

Iowa Values, a political nonprofit that is supposed to be run independently, was co-founded in 2017 by Ernst’s longtime consultant, Jon Kohan. It shares a fundraiser, Claire Holloway Avella, with the Ernst campaign. And a condo owned by a former aide — who was recently hired to lead the group — was used as Iowa Values’ address at a time when he worked for her.

Associated Press

Skip to content