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Watchdog files lawsuit against group backing Iowa Sen. Ernst

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An election watchdog group has filed a federal lawsuit in Washington claiming the Iowa-based nonprofit organization Iowa Values violated election laws by failing to register as a political committee while spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to support the reelection of Sen. Joni Ernst. 

Campaign Legal Center, a Washington-based nonprofit campaign finance watchdog group, filed the lawsuit on Friday. 

The lawsuit asks a federal judge to declare that Iowa Values became a political committee as of June 2019 and order the group to register, file documents and to provide information on fundraising and expenditures. 

The lawsuit also seeks a civil penalty against Iowa Values along with court and attorney fee costs.

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