The Des Moines Register is reporting that the American Association for Justice PAC, the political arm for trial lawyers, gave $200,000 to the Senate Majority PAC in the first quarter of 2014. The Senate Majority PAC is the organization that began running pro-farmer ads on behalf of Democrat Congressman Bruce Braley after he was caught on tape disparaging U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley and Iowa farmers.
Braley, the trial lawyers, and the former aides to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who now run the Senate Majority PAC, insist that there was no coordination. That may be true, but a person living in a cave for the past six months could have figured out what the trial lawyers wanted done with that money.
While the pro-farmer ad was intended to help save Braley from himself, the revelation that the same trial lawyer buddies could have funded the ad only extends the controversy for Braley.
Below is a press release the Ernst campaign sent out this morning on the issue:
A Disturbing Tale About Bruce Braley, Harry Reid and Texas Trial Lawyers
April 21, 2014… In response to today’s disturbing Des Moines Register story about the six-figure support the trial lawyers’ lobby funneled through Harry Reid’s Senate Majority PAC to try to prop up Bruce Braley, Team Joni issued the following statement:
“As a sitting U.S. Congressman who cosponsored efforts to increase transparency in the political process and rallied against the use of outside “secret cash,” and an experienced trial lawyer himself, Bruce Braley should know better than to engage in dark-money games like this. He should immediately tell Harry Reid to return the fat cat trial lawyers’ $100,000 and publicly apologize for being a part of this organized and sophisticated money scam. The trial lawyer lobby may want to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to give Braley cover for his attacks on Senator Grassley and Iowa farmers, but they should stand up and do it publicly and transparently. Iowa voters shouldn’t have to navigate a complicated shell game to figure out which bank account Bruce Braley, Harry Reid, and the trial lawyers are using to hide their money and fund their large ad campaigns.
This is especially true when Bruce Braley has spent the last few years rallying against the use of so-called “dark money” in campaigns and has cosponsored the DISCLOSE Act to force donor disclosure for outside spending. In fact, in 2012 during a televised interview with liberal cohort Rachel Maddow, Braley said, “we can see that very powerful moneyed interests are trying to buy the government they want and have no restrictions—literally—on what they can spend.” Braley himself went on to implore Americans to demand greater transparency. “And that’s why Americans have to wake up and realize they need to ask the tough questions when they see these ads on TV and they have innocuous names…”.
Watch Bruce Braley express outrage at “dark money” secret donors HERE.
Unfortunately, Braley’s Democrat double-talk seems to have no bounds. In the race for U.S. Senate, Lt. Colonel Joni Ernst stands ready to expose Trial Lawyer Bruce Braley for what he is – another hypocritical Washington politician.”
The Facts As We See Them:
The video of Bruce Braley insulting Senator Grassley and Iowa farmers is made public on March 25, 2014, and within days the trial lawyers band together and come to his aid with $100,000. These lawyers knew, however, how bad it would look for the trial lawyer lobby itself to be the ones defending Braley. So what do these trial lawyers do? They funnel the money through Harry’s Reid’s political organization to pay for statewide ads, which went on the air around April 7th. Most ironically of all, to try to save Braley from himself, the trial lawyers pay for ads that feature “farmers” defending Braley from his anti-farming comments he made to trial lawyers.
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