Steyer starts ads in Iowa Senate race

Billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer stepped into Iowa’s U.S. Senate race Wednesday with an advertisement that accuses Joni Ernst of supporting companies that send jobs overseas.

The TV ad released by Steyer’s NextGen Climate group featuring two men discussing the fact that Ernst has pledged never to vote to raise taxes. The pledge is part of an ongoing campaign by Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, and NextGen says it protects tax breaks for moving jobs out of the country.

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NextGen said the ad launched Wednesday is part of a $2.6 million campaign the group is planning in Iowa over the next five weeks. Other ads will tie Ernst to the oil industry, the conservative billionaire Koch brothers and unpopular special interests.

“The tax breaks that thing protects are gold,” one man says in the first ad. “More outsourcing. China, Mexico, all the way.”

The men later confirm that Ernst “doesn’t care about Iowa jobs.”

“The ad urges Iowans to demand Ernst take back her pledge to protect special interests and start putting Iowa's families first,” NextGen said in a statement.

Ernst is running against Rep. Bruce Braley (D) for the seat being vacated by Sen. Tom Harkin (D).

Steyer has pledged to spend up to $100 million in this election cycle on candidates who support environmental causes.