January 21, 2015

I put Joni's SOTU response up there so you can listen to her little anecdote at the beginning again, but this time with a little more transparency and truth around her "bread bag" story.

Please be still, my beating heart, over the sacrifices she made for the family farm. She forgot to mention the teeny-tiny $460,000 in federal subsidies her family received via the farm subsidy program.

The District-Sentinel reports:

The truth about her family’s farm roots and living within one’s means, however, is more complex. Relatives of Ernst (née: Culver), based in Red Oak, Iowa (population: 5,568) have received over $460,000 in farm subsidies between 1995 and 2009. Ernst’s father, Richard Culver, was given $14,705 in conservation payments and $23,690 in commodity subsidies by the federal government–with all but twelve dollars allocated for corn support. Richard’s brother, Dallas Culver, benefited from $367,141 in federal agricultural aid, with over $250,000 geared toward corn subsidies. And the brothers’ late grandfather Harold Culver received $57,479 from Washington—again, mostly corn subsidies—between 1995 and 2001. He passed away in January 2003.

The Sentinel cross-referenced the Environmental Working Group farm subsidy database with open source information to verify the Culvers’ interest in the Department of Agriculture’s crop support program.

Sen. Ernst’s family’s financial interest notably came up once during her campaign. In October, Salon reported that Richard’s construction company was awarded $215,665 in contracts from the Montgomery County government in 2009 and 2010, while Ernst was the body’s auditor. The bids won by Culver included Federal Emergency Management Agency projects worth $204,794.

Here's what infuriates me most about this. Joni Ernst stood there with a straight face and told every one of us who benefit from federal subsidies under the Affordable Care Act that not only did our new Republican overlords not give a damn, they were going to work overtime to make sure they were taken away. Subsidies for farms, but the rest of you can go jump off a cliff. That's the Republican way!

All the while she's pretending she's some kind of noble child living without an extra pair of shoes. Such cynicism.

h/t Media Matters

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