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Watchdog Calls Out Ernst’s History of Self-Dealing and Government Corruption

Oct 23, 2020

Despite Election-Year Rhetoric, Joni Ernst’s Family Was Enriched While She Served in Office

Washington, D.C. – Before Joni Ernst went to Washington, her public position and family finances were intertwined as her  father’s construction company won hundreds of thousands of dollars in Montgomery county contracts while she served as the County Auditor- possibly violating legal and ethics standards. Despite this troubling record of self-dealing, Ernst has joined with her colleagues in a smear campaign of a political opponent for their family’s businesses practices. 

Since arriving in Washington in 2015, Joni Ernst has served on the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee where she has supported baseless, partisan investigations over the needs of her constituents.

Congressional Integrity Project Executive Director, Kyle Herrig, released the following statement:

“While Joni Ernst was an elected official as Montgomery County Auditor, the county funneled her father’s construction company over $200,000 in federal relief funds — equivalent to more than 21,000 bushels of soybeans. Today, Ernst’s interest in self-dealing continues in the Senate, where she has prioritized baseless, partisan investigations over the needs of her constituents. This type of troubling conduct needs to be exposed and called out.” 

Background on Joni Ernst’s record of corruption: 

From 2004-2011, Joni Ernst served as Montgomery County’s Auditor where she issued contract bid notices and solicited and received contract proposals. In 2004, she was appointed as Montgomery County’s CFO for federal and state assistance following flooding in Iowa.  During that time, $215,665 in county contracts were awarded to Ernst’s father’s company, “despite a strict conflict of interest code governing the provision of contracts to family members of county officials.”

After a national watchdog group filed an ethics complaint against Ernst, it was revealed that the Montgomery County attorney who dismissed the case had previously contributed to Ernst’s political career. 

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