During in Joni Ernst’s response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address, she shared with us that she grew up poor, riding to school with children who wore bread bags on their feet. I hammered Ernst for that, commenting that her idea of what makes America “great” is that you can’t distinguish between children in Iowa and children in Dhravi, Makoko, or Rocinha.
There’s a reason she’s so out-of-touch with reality, and spent so much of her time lionizing the mythic, “deserving” poverty so common in GOP mythology.
She gave us a typical rags-to-riches story, an uninspired and insipid retelling of the Horatio Alger myth skewed through the lens of the hundreds of thousands of dollars that her family received in government assistance growing up.
That’s some welfare check, Joni.
The District Sentinel reports that between 1995 and 2009, Ernst’s father, Richard Culver, received $38,395 in commodity subsidies and conservation payments, with all but $12 of that used to support his corn corps. Her uncle, Dallas Culver, reported received $250,000 in federal corn subsidies and an aditional $117,141 in aid. Her grandfather, Harold Culver, received $57,479 in aid between 1995 and 2001.
Last May, Ernst claimed that she was “philosophically opposed” to the farm subsidies; Radio Iowa reported that she made the remarks during the GOP primary debate. However, Ernst noted that if elected, she would continue to support them.
At the time, Ernst said that “unless we’re eliminating all of them across the board at the same time for every sector out there, then I’ll go ahead and support those subsidies.” It’s a shame she doesn’t feel the same way about Obamacare, isn’t it? Why, it’s almost like she’s a hypocrite or something.
Ernst also spent some time waxing on how you don’t need “special opportunities,” but the opportunity “dream big” in order to make it big. But surely she won’t dismiss the idea that having proper connections goes a long way: while she was working as an auditor for Montgomery County, Ernst’s father also recieved $200,000 in contracts for his construction company. This was in spite of a state law requiring contracts of this nature be voided if a county official or employee “had an interest” in the contractor.
I suppose the GOP is fine with that, too; after all, what’s nepotism if not promoting family values?