ELECTION 2020

Greenfield raises $28 million in past three months, criticizes contributions from corporate political action committees

Theresa Greenfield, the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, talks Thursday with state Sen. Todd Taylor (left) and
Theresa Greenfield, the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, talks Thursday with state Sen. Todd Taylor (left) and Mike Olson, IBEW Local 405 union registrar, during a visit at the IBEW Local 405 union hall in Cedar Rapids. She said there’s too much money involved in politics, which gets in the way of solving problems. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — Theresa Greenfield, who announced Thursday that her campaign raised more money in three months than any U.S. Senate candidate in Iowa has raised in a complete election cycle, thinks there’s too much money in politics.

“It affects our ability to get anything done,” said Greenfield, who earlier in the day reported raising $28.7 million in the July through September quarter.

Greenfield, a Democrat who has made her refusal to accept contributions from corporate political action committees a central part of her campaign to defeat incumbent Republican Sen. Joni Ernst, told the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance and Impact CR she wants to end political corruption.

“It starts with the money,” she said during the virtual forum. “I’d like to end that so we can roll up our sleeves and work together to solve so many problems that we have.”

That would include having a “great working relationship” with conservative Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, Greenfield said.

For example, she said, she would like to see his bill to lower prescription drug costs, which had bipartisan support in the Finance Committee, get to the Senate floor.

Grassley took issue with her offer of support, pointing out in a statement later Thursday that her “number one backer is Chuck Schumer, who killed the bipartisan bill to lower prescription drug prices that Joni Ernst and I fought for.” Grassley said Schumer, the Democratic Senate minority leader, was “putting partisan politics ahead of Iowans’ health care.”

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“That’s Washington politics at its worst, and it’s clear that Theresa Greenfield would follow him lockstep.” Grassley said.

Greenfield made stops at a coffee shop, union hall and family-owned business in the Cedar Rapids metro area Thursday in addition to speaking to the business groups, which don’t endorse candidates, that advocate for policies that grow the community’s population, economy and workforce. They hosted Ernst earlier in the campaign.

Greenfield, a Des Moines businesswoman, called for more federal investment in climate change solutions such as carbon sequestration in Iowa farmland and in developing solar and wind energy. She also wants more federal investment in expanding access to child care and health care, student debt forgiveness and affordable housing.

Greenfield said she would have “sharp elbows” for both political parties “for talking about infrastructure but not getting it done.”

“We have too many parts of this state, too many families, students, farmers, entrepreneurs, who don’t have access to high speed internet,” she said. “That just makes an unlevel playing field when it comes to growing a business in more rural areas.”

Greenfield said the United States could pay for infrastructure investment with $500 billion saved by letting Medicare negotiate prescription drug prices, closing corporate tax loopholes, supporting buy American plans — measures “that would grow the domestic economy and generate more resources for those investments.”

Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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