Veterans call out Theresa Greenfield for not recognizing Joni Ernst's military service

But complaints are 'political nonsense,' Greenfield supporter says

Military veterans are calling on Democratic U.S. candidate Theresa Greenfield to take down a television ad they say demeans Sen. Joni Ernst’s 23 years in the Army Reserves and National Guard.

In the ad, Greenfield says she’s proud of her son, Dane, who recently re-enlisted in the Army for another six years.

“And that’s why I’m running for the Senate because it’s time we have a senator who serves the people instead of the corporate interests who fund their campaigns,” Greenfield says.

For Kipp Lenth of Pleasant Hill and other veterans, Greenfield’s ad “shamelessly dismisses the service record of our fellow veteran.”

“God bless her son. I appreciate his service,” said Lenth, who retired as a major after 20 years in the Army and National Guard. “But she kind of implied that that Joni wasn’t serving.”

Lenth and 20 others signed a letter telling Greenfield they were “appalled” by the ad.

“To suggest that Lt. Col. Ernst, after 23 years in uniform and in combat, has not served our nation is not only an insult to her, but it is an insult to each and every one of us and everyone who has ever worn the uniform themselves,” they wrote.

Greenfield’s campaign defended the commercial, pointing to the second half of the statement that Iowans needs a senator who will put their interests ahead of “corporate interests.”

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Greenfield goes on to repeat what has been a central issue in her campaign — “I don’t take a dime of corporate PAC money.”

However, Ernst argues Greenfield is benefiting from “nearly $100 million worth of dark money spending ... coming directly from Big Pharma and Big Oil executives and lobbyists.”

The attack on Greenfield is “political nonsense,” according to Kevin Techau of Marion, a retired Iowa Air National Guard colonel.

“We need more leaders like Theresa who will look out for us in Washington — instead of their corporate donors and partisan political interests,” the former U.S. attorney said.

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

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