Climate group attacks Ernst on tax pledge, not climate
July 30th, 2014
03:45 PM ET
2 months ago

Climate group attacks Ernst on tax pledge, not climate

Updated 4:40 p.m. ET, 7/30/2014

(CNN) - NextGen Climate, a Super PAC backed by liberal billionaire Tom Steyer, is dedicated to "act politically to avert climate disaster and preserve American prosperity."

But its latest attack ad is all about taxes.

The group says the television commercial, which was released Wednesday, will air in three major media markets across Iowa. But the spot never once mentions climate change or the environment. Instead the ad focuses on the Americans for Tax Reform's "no new taxes" pledge Iowa GOP Senate nominee Joni Ernst signed.

When asked for comment why the $2.6 million ad buy doesn't focus on climate change or the environment, NextGen spokesman Bobby Whithorne told CNN, "We're highlighting the fact that Ernst is in the pocket of big oil and special interests – the same crowd that's fighting good paying renewable jobs and doesn't believe we need to take action on climate change."

The pledge not to raise taxes is according to NextGen protecting "tax breaks for companies shipping jobs overseas."

In the ad, Americans for Tax Reform's staffers are depicted as dubious figures plotting in a smoky room against the interests of "Iowa jobs" and to send jobs to Mexico and China. Ernst, the figures say, "is with us."

Americans for Tax Reform shot back at Steyer's group, calling the ad "false" and "plagiarized." Grover Norquist, the President of Americans for Tax Reform, said "The plagiarized attack ads [Steyer is] running have already been proven false by several fact checkers four years ago, in 2010."

Although Norquist points to fact checks by Politifact and Factcheck.org to bolster his claim that the ad is "false," he provides no evidence it is indeed plagiarized. Political attack ads frequently recycle and repeat claims and talking points others have used if they consider them effective.

Calls to Americans for Tax Reform for further comment were not immediately returned.

Ernst, a state senator, is running this November against Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley. The winner will succeed longtime Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin, who's retiring at the end of the year.

The latest polls indicate the race is deadlocked.

Democrats have a 55-45 majority in the Senate (53 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the party). But in the midterms, the party is defending 21 of the 36 seats up for grabs, with half of those Democratic-held seats in red or purple states like Iowa.

Key races to watch in 2014


Filed under: Iowa • Joni Ernst
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    I think he's spot on by attacking the "Tax Evading Americans" Party and its' minions.

    July 30, 2014 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  2. smith

    Ah yes, the stepbrother of the Kochs at it again. This stooge calling out the repubs for being in the pocket of special interest groups is like the Kochs calling out dems for being in the pocket of special interest groups. Does Steyer understand his groups are special interest groups?..smh

    July 30, 2014 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    Ernst? You mean the imbecile who thinks states can nullify federal laws and was blabbering about it publicly the other day? Gee....wouldn't know it since CNN carefully avoided pointing it out.

    July 30, 2014 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  4. Chris..E.Al

    The leftist gorillas think they can change the future weather forcast all over the world but they cant even get down there on the border to protect us today ?

    July 30, 2014 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  5. yolanda

    Not a problem, as it is sponsored by Tom Steyer, that liberal stalwart. Please ignore the fact that he made a tidy sum investing in (gasp) coal properties. Unlike the coal, his money is clean......oh, and please ignore the fact that it is just another smear campaign. This sucks whether it is this clown or the Koch brothers.

    July 30, 2014 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  6. Thomas

    Who is the Bimbo political talking head who wears glasses , the lady who doesn't believe in climate change , something Cupe ?

    July 30, 2014 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  7. Thomas

    8 billion people , its going to be fun when we all become rich and famous .

    July 30, 2014 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  8. Boomer in Mo

    Sniffit, you forgot her hog "cuttin'" skills. That crack made my farmer husband wince even tho he's castrated his share of shoats.

    July 30, 2014 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  9. Name JK. SFL. THE GOP HOWDEE GOWDEE SHOW with special guest ISSA the CLOWN

    This PIG with lip stick WILL lose in November along with a bunch of other CANTORS , a, GOP PIGS!!!!!

    July 30, 2014 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    " leftist gorillas"

    No need to elaborate on that one with the Teatroll Rosetta Stone.

    July 30, 2014 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  11. don in albuquerque

    Simply dazzled by her brilliance. I believe she called the Santa Barbra shooting spree an "unfortunate accident". Not smart enough to know an accident from an intentional act of violence.....not smart enough to serve in any elected office.

    July 30, 2014 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  12. Chris..E.Al

    @ Come on have you not ever heard of gorilla warfare and the way it works ? I did not mean to snipe or cause a bad vibe . Im sorry :)

    July 30, 2014 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |