Axne Breaks Major Campaign Promise

Congresswoman Cindy Axne was exposed this morning for taking more than $36,000 from corporate PACs “after swearing them off in previous campaigns.”

According to the report, Axne had sworn off corporate PAC donations to show she “can’t be bought by businesses seeking to influence legislation.”

What changed?

In case you missed it…

US Rep. Cindy Axne accepts corporate PAC donations after previously rejecting them

Des Moines Register | Brianne Pfannenstiel

February 2, 2022

U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne has begun accepting donations from corporate political committees after swearing them off in previous campaigns.

According to her most recent fundraising report, Axne has accepted about $36,000 worth of donations from political action committees, or PACs, representing corporations including Archer Daniels Midland Company and Berkshire Hathaway Energy Company. The donations range from $1,000 to $5,000.

Axne reported raising a total of $718,038 during the quarter ending Dec. 31.

“In the face of thousands of individual ads and millions in dark money spending already targeted at her in the past year, Cindy Axne will not let the people of Iowa be lied to or misled about her record of working for commonsense solutions for Iowa families and small businesses,” a spokesperson for Axne’s campaign said in a statement. “She is accepting donations from everyday Americans — whether as individuals or through employee-pooled groups — so she can stay on a level playing field while working to keep someone in Washington who is on Iowa’s side.”

Axne previously was among a group of Democrats who had sworn off corporate PAC donations in an attempt to show they can’t be bought by businesses seeking to influence legislation.

Even so, corporate interests have found numerous ways to funnel money to politicians — often through the PACs representing trade associations and professional organizations — without making the kinds of direct donations Democrats had rejected.

Democrats broadly have decried the use of “dark money” in politics, or money that is spent by nonprofits that are not required to disclose their donors. But a recent analysis by The New York Times found that Democrats benefited from the use of dark money during the 2020 election cycle at least as much, or often more than, their Republican counterparts.

According to the analysis, Democrats’ embraced that money in their eagerness to defeat former Republican President Donald Trump and in an effort to compete with similar Republican groups.

Axne will need a deep war chest to compete in 2022. She is one of only a handful of Democrats who won in districts that also voted for Trump in 2020. It makes her one of the top targets for Republicans going into the midterms as they look to swing the Democrats’ slim congressional majority in their favor.

Three Republicans — Johnston financial services employee Nicole Hasso, West Des Moines activist Gary Leffler and state Sen. Zach Nunn — are vying for their party’s nomination. Primary elections are scheduled for June 7.