Pro-Ernst group fails to toss lawsuit over undisclosed donors

The public is one step closer to learning who funded a sophisticated messaging and organizational effort to re-elect Senator Joni Ernst in 2020. A federal court on November 19 denied a motion to dismiss a watchdog group’s lawsuit against Iowa Values, which supported Ernst’s re-election in 2020 but did not disclose its fundraising or spending.

The Campaign Legal Center, a nonprofit focused on “advancing democracy through law,” sued Iowa Values in February, after the Federal Election Commission did not act on the center’s complaint against the pro-Ernst group for more than a year.

Judge Royce Lamberth of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia comprehensively rejected legal arguments the pro-Ernst group raised in trying to dismiss the lawsuit and return the case to the FEC, which would likely do nothing.

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Grassley waives off Trump's efforts to overturn 2020 election

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Democratic staff on October 7 published the most extensive report to date on how President Donald Trump and his allies pressured the Department of Justice to help overturn the 2020 presidential election. The interim report and newly-released transcripts from the committee’s interviews with three former senior DOJ officials provide many details on the criminal conspiracy that played out in plain sight last December and January.

Also on October 7, Judiciary’s ranking Republican, Senator Chuck Grassley, released the minority staff’s report on the same investigation. In this 140-page dispatch from bizarro world masquerading as a “factual summary” of DOJ officials’ testimony, Trump “did not exert improper influence on the Justice Department,” and did not use the department to overturn the election. Rather, his “concerns centered on ‘legitimate complaints and reports of crimes’ relating to election allegations.”

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Iowa GOP lawmakers demand actions to overturn 2020 election

Two Iowa Republican legislators have joined a multi-state effort demanding steps to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

State Senator Jim Carlin and State Representative Sandy Salmon were among 41 legislators from sixteen states to sign the September 24 letter, enclosed in full below. It begins by wrongly claiming state lawmakers are “vested with the plenary power” under the U.S. Constitution to oversee presidential elections.

The signers assert that “our representative republic suffered a corrupted 2020 election,” and therefore “all 50 states need to be forensically audited,” with voter rolls “scrubbed.” If such measures “prove an inaccurate election was held,” the lawmakers want “each state to decertify its electors where it has been shown the elections were certified prematurely and inaccurately.” (The Constitution grants no authority to states to decertify past presidential elections.)

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Grassley says wasn't approached to assist Trump coup attempt

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley told reporters on September 22 that associates of President Donald Trump did not attempt to enlist him in a plan to declare Trump the winner of the electoral vote on January 6.

In their new book Peril, Bob Woodward and Robert Costa were first to report on a memo Trump’s attorney John Eastman drafted, which claimed that Vice President Mike Pence “(or Senate Pro Tempore Grassley, if Pence recuses himself)” could reject slates of electors from seven states that voted for Biden. Then the presiding officer could declare Trump re-elected, or that since no candidate received 270 electoral votes, the election should be decided in the U.S. House, where Republicans control 26 state delegations.

A longer memo by Eastman, which laid out the same strategy for subverting the peaceful transfer of power, does not mention Grassley.

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Grassley spins plot to overturn election as "robust discussion"

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley asserted on August 9 that Democratic senators may “do lasting damage to our political system” by investigating former President Donald Trump’s attempts to subvert the peaceful transfer of power to President Joe Biden.

In a 12-minute speech on the Senate floor, Grassley downplayed the latest revelations about Trump’s attempts to use the Justice Department to reverse Biden wins in some states.

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Seven Iowa lawmakers who had crossover appeal in 2020

The Daily Kos Elections team performs an incredible public service every two years, calculating top-ticket results for every state legislative district in the country. Last week the staff published raw vote totals and vote shares for Joe Biden and Donald Trump in all 100 Iowa House districts and 50 Iowa Senate districts.

Take my advice and bookmark that spreadsheet, as well as an updated Daily Kos Elections spreadsheet showing how residents of each Iowa legislative district voted for president in 2012 and 2016, for governor in 2014 and 2018, and for U.S. Senate in 2014. Even though Iowa’s state legislative boundaries will soon change, the data will remain useful as evidence of changing voting patterns.

For today I want to dive into crossover voting in Iowa, which was the focus of a Daily Kos Elections post on July 26. Ticket-splitting is rarer now than it used to be, but six current House members won last November, even though their constituents preferred the other party’s presidential candidate. Four sitting state senators represent districts that voted for the other party’s presidential candidate in 2020. However, only one of them was up for re-election last year. We can’t know how the other three would have performed compared to Trump or Biden.

This post covers the legislators whose districts went the other way for president, with thoughts about how each House or Senate district might change on Iowa’s next political map.

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