A new report today reveals that approximately one of every ten dollars spent by Iowa congressman Steve King’s re-election campaign goes to him and his family members, who have together collected close to half a million dollars out of his $5.5 million campaign war chest. The review of his campaign expenditures, conducted by CREDO Action, found that King, along with his wife, son and daughter-in-law, have been paid handsomely by his campaign. This lucrative nepotism is nothing new: Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington points out that King’s family members have received tens of thousands of dollars during the last two campaign cycles. And when King isn’t using campaign money to boost himself and family members, he is using taxpayer dollars to help his own business.
Such nepotism isn’t exactly surprising coming from King, who often appears to be more concerned with making headlines with shocking statements than actually proposing meaningful legislation.
Just this year, King has accused President Obama of breaking his oath of office and destroying the Constitution while claiming that a Romney election would be a victory for God; lamented that states cannot ban contraceptives and doubted that rape can lead to pregnancy; defended dogfighting, compared same-sex marriage to desecrating the Eucharist; and sat on a panel with White Nationalists Peter Brimelow and John Derbyshire, who was subsequently fired by the National Review for his racist writings.
As noted in People For the American Way’s report Meet The Leadership , King has made stunning assertions about immigrants, progressives and gays and lesbians.
King claims that his first priority in the 112th Congress will be to abolish birthright citizenship, a right plainly established in the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. He said that his legislation will attempt to end what he calls the “anchor baby industry” and that if his bill is ruled unconstitutional he will move to amend the Constitution to repeal birthright citizenship.
King, who has appeared with violent vigilante groups, defended his proposal to have electrified wire on border fences by saying on the House floor, “We do this with livestock all the time.” He erroneously claimed that illegal immigrants kill 25 Americans each day , and referred to all immigrants as criminals and disease-carriers. King compared illegal immigration to a “slow motion Holocaust” and a “slow-motion terrorist attack on the United States.” Opposed to a pathway for citizenship for illegal immigrants working and residing in the country, hesaid that he would only support comprehensive reform if “every time we give amnesty for an illegal alien, we deport a liberal.” He defended profiling by asserting that police officers should be able to distinguish illegal immigrants from citizens “from what kind of clothes people wear – my suit in my case – what kind of shoes people wear, what kind of accident [sic] they have, um, the, the type of grooming they might have.”
After the deadly earthquake in Haiti, King resisted plans to give Haitian refugees temporary protection status, instead suggesting that deporting refugees already in the U.S. would help Haiti since the country is in “great need of relief workers.” King also fought legislation that would give protective status to translators from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and provide legal status to service members who don’t have citizenship and their families.
In 2005, King successfully marshaled opposition to naming an Oakland post office after former Oakland city councilwoman and activist Maudelle Shirek because he believed that Shirek was “un-American.” After Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Lee accused him of McCarthyism, he said, “If Barbara Lee would read the history of Joe McCarthy she would realize that he was a hero for America.”
On the House floor, King blasted the Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Hispanic Caucus as “separatist groups,” and suggested that a “very, very urban senator, Barack Obama” provided “slavery reparations” through the USDA Pigford II settlement with black farmers.
During the presidential election, King maintained if Obama won that Al-Qaeda “would be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on Sept. 11 because they would declare victory in this war on terror.”
King said that it was “bizarre” for Obama to say his middle name “Hussein” during the inauguration, and asserted that the President “has a default mechanism in him that breaks down the side of race – on the side that favors the black person.” He also dubbed the President a “Marxist” who “doesn’t have an American experience” and is in “violation of his oath of office.” When asked at a rally in support of Arizona’s draconian SB 1070 immigration law if Obama was “bringing small quantities of Muslims into this country,” King replied that he “wouldn’t be surprised that that is the real factual basis.”
Just days before Obama’s victory at the polls, he warned Americans, “When you take a lurch to the left you end up in a totalitarian dictatorship. There is no freedom to the left. It’s always to our side of the aisle.” Earlier this year, he said that Democrats were similar to “Pontius Pilate” and would have supported the Pharaohs of Egypt over the enslaved Israelites in the Bible. On Glenn Beck’s show, King declared that Democrats were trying to “take away the liberty that we have right from God” by having members vote on the health care reform bill on a Sunday.
A fierce opponent of LGBT equality, King strongly opposes the Uniting American Families Act, which allows U.S. citizens and legal residents to petition for their permanent partners (including same-sex partners) to obtain U.S. residency or citizenship. He told the Family Research Council that gay Americans should stay in the closet if they wanted to avoid discrimination, and equated gay rights with rights for “unicorns and leprechauns.” After the Iowa Supreme Court said that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, he claimed that Iowa could soon become a “gay marriage Mecca due to the Supreme Court’s latest experiment in social engineering.” King has compared homosexuality to incest and described marriage equality as “a purely socialist concept.” While addressing a rally of supporters of the successful effort to remove three Iowa Supreme Court judges from the bench, King said that gay marriage will lead to the breakdown of the family, religion, and the Constitution:
I think that if we can’t defend marriage, that it becomes very hard to defend life. So, if we lose marriage — for instance, if our children are raised in warehouses, so to speak. There have been civilizations that have tried to do that. The Spartans did that. They took the children away and taught them to be warriors. It’s a good way to defend a country, but not much of a way to run a civilization.
So, I’m afraid if that happened — if we lose the marriage, we lose the home, we lose the nuclear family then we can’t teach our values. We won’t be able to teach our faith. We won’t be able to teach life. We won’t be able to teach our Constitutional values either. That’s why I’m afraid it’s going to be very, very difficult to defend life.
King was also the only member of the House to vote against a plaque commemorating the slaves who helped build the Capitol, which he said was part of a plot “by liberals in Congress to scrub references to America’s Christian heritage from our nation’s Capitol.”