Excellent article today in the Iowa State Daily. The author is sounding the alarm about the possibility of having Steve King represent Ames in Congress. You can read the entire article here.
By Jacob Witte
Thanks to this redistricting, there is a new face that may be representing Ames. His name is Steve King, and he should scare the living daylights out of you.
In a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference over the weekend, King began his speech saying how, because of the new compact fluorescent lightbulbs, Americans are losing their liberty. He then went on to call the janitors of the Capitol grounds that change out incandescent bulbs for the new CFL bulbs and, I quote, “Nancy’s [Pelosi] Stasi troops.”
The Stasi, or Ministry for State Security as King is speaking of here, was one of the most repressive secret police agencies in the world. They were responsible for the arrests of upwards of 200,000 East Germans during the occupation, killing untold amounts of them, mostly for political reasons. This, King tells us, is being reincarnated in the form of the janitors who change the lightbulbs.
So while King is railing away, telling fellow conservatives how they are losing their liberty because incandescent lightbulbs are on their way out (a bill signed, mind you, during the Bush administration), King quietly voted last February to extend the most controversial provisions of the Patriot Act, including warrantless wiretapping and surveillance.
Comparing something so trivial as purchasing lightbulbs to actively supporting being illegally spied upon by your own government is perhaps the worst form of hypocrisy that comes to my mind.
King has been quoted saying that racial profiling “has always been an important component of legitimate law enforcement.” He also said in 2008 that if President Barack Obama were to be elected president, radical Islamists and al-Qaida “will be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on Sept. 11 because they will declare victory in this War on Terror.”
King also voted against a $52 billion aid package for victims of Hurricane Katrina. He joined 11 (out of 435, remember) in voting this down, citing the need for “fiscal responsibility.”
He once compared immigrants to cattle by having an electrified fence that would “discourage” them from entering the country.
This election, King will be running against Christie Vilsack, the wife of former Iowa Gov. and current Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. In the 2010 campaign, King neglected his opponent, Matthew Campbell, choosing not to debate him, and won in a landslide. It is unlikely that this same method will work in this campaign, as King will have to win a much larger portion of the electorate.
Politicians like King, whose rhetorical style relies heavily on closed-mindedness and a general lack of historical knowledge, may work well in the rolling hills of rural western Iowa, the stomping grounds of fellow ultraconservative Bob Vander Plaats, but the rest of the state knows better.