Gazette: GOP calls Democrats’ ‘Koch problem’ attack on Ernst ‘just bomb throwing’

CEDAR RAPIDS — Iowa Democrats launched a new salvo in their attack on Republican state Sen. Joni Ernst’s connection to the billionaire Koch brothers.

“They’re trying to buy Tom Harkin’s seat,” Iowa Democratic Party Executive Director Troy Price insisted on a Wednesday conference call with reporters…

Braley has benefitted, too, from out-of-state billionaire Tom Steyer’s NextGen Climate PAC, which has spent $3 million in Iowa, according to Federal Election Commission data. The Democratic Senate Majority PAC has spent more than $500,000 for Braley and about $1.5 million against Ernst, FEC records show.

“These are expensive races,” Kaufmann said. “Before (Democrats) point out the dust in Joni’s eye, they better get the two-by-four out of Braley’s eye.” …

Kaufmann, who spent 10 years in the Iowa Legislature and hosted a number of presidential hopefuls at his fundraisers over the years, said campaign contributions don’t “automatically translate into sacrificing your principles.”

“If the Democrats are really sincere in their comments about big money in these races, then the very first thing they can control is their own candidate, Bruce Braley,” Kaufmann said. “Until they do that, all this is just bomb throwing.”