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Noon Newscast 12.6.19

Associated Press

'Dark money' ties raise questions for GOP Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa

Documents obtained by The Associated Press reveal an outside group founded by top political aides to Sen. Joni Ernst is working closely with the Iowa Republican to raise money and boost her reelection prospects.

Some legal experts say the degree of overlap between her campaign and the nonprofit Iowa Values could violate the law.

Emails show Ernst fundraiser Claire Holloway Avella asked a donor for $50,000 for the group following an introduction by the senator.  

Ernst's attorney says they followed the law.

But some attorneys say the rquest could cross a legal line because she was working on Ernst's behalf.

It’s now looking likely the five Democratic U-S Senators running for president will be tied up in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump in January.

A vote of impeachment by the full House is expected by Christmas. That would presumably send it to a Senate trial in January.

That’s when presidential hopefuls are spending that last campaign push in places like Iowa which goes first with its caucuses on February 3.

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar says she’ll find a way to balance her time.

“And I can’t control that schedule and nor am I going to try to and nor am I going to weigh in on what the schedule should be because we have to let the evidence come out as it should. That’s what I learned as a prosecutor.”

Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker and Michael Bennett will all be faced with the same challenge.

The prospect of an all-white Democratic presidential debate later this month is concerning for some candidates and party activists.

But, some critics have larger issues with the overall nomination process.

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker was in Des Moines, laying out his critique of a political environment he says favors billionaires over black people.

The recent exit of California Senator Kamala Harris is reviving concerns for others too. 

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro is taking issue with not just the DNC debate rules but with the role of Iowa and New Hampshire as well.

There’s no reason that a caucus system that makes it harder for working people and people with disabilities to participate should be what we begin with. We need to work to reform how we elect a president in the first place. 

Castro made simular comments recently in Sioux City.

Castro and other presidential candidates are taking part in the “Local America Presidential Forum,” in Waterloo today.

Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott is joining other mayors from across the country to ask the candidates questions about their agenda for America’s local communities. 

Mayor Scott says he “looks forward to the dialogue and sharing the important issues communities face,” in the non-partisan forum.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources wants hunters to help track a deadly condition in deer.

Chronic wasting disease killed hundreds of animals across the state.

The shotgun season kicks off tomorrow in Iowa and the DNR wants hunters to provide samples to be tested for CWD. 

A deer with the deadly condition was recently found on the south side of Sioux City.

Plans for a radical overhaul of South Dakota's high school football system are gaining some traction.

An advisory committee has advanced plans to reconfigure the seven-class system to five classes.

Thea proposal will be considered by the state's athletic directors and ultimately the South Dakota High School Activities Association Board of Directors.

The committee took a look at the current system and considered trends across the state such as consolidations and growth of the Sioux Falls metro area.