It’s hard to imagine anything positive resulting from Congressman Steve King’s latest anti-immigrant rants and tweets. However, there may be one silver lining to the dark and ugly racist cloud surrounding King: donations are pouring in to Kim Weaver, encouraging her to run against King again in 2018. Weaver challenged King in 2016, but failed to take out Iowa’s most embarrassing Republican Congressman.

Iowans and many Americans are repulsed by Congressman King’s latest tweet attacks on immigrants, and are expressing their support for Weaver with their donations. Weaver raised over $100,000, mainly in small donations, in the four days following King’s March 12th tweets. She’s up to $144,000 as of today. Weaver said a few weeks ago that she would challenge King again if she could raise $100,000 by September.

This big money infusion could be a game changer for round two of the Weaver vs. King rematch. Having sufficient funding to finance a viable campaign could finally give Weaver a real shot to take King down. In the 2016 campaign it took her two years to raise a total of $170,000. Based on her current fundraising rate, she will soon surpass that 2016 total and the 2018 election is still more than a year and half away.

We all hate the need for big money in politics, but the reality is Democrats like Weaver can’t even get in the political ring with King without it. Getting in the ring translates to building her name recognition and developing a message that gets voters’ attention. Once she gets voters to notice, it’s about building the strength of her punch that can shatter King’s shield of invincibility.

King is vulnerable on his racist anti-immigrant rants. Not all Northwest Iowans agree with his extreme positions. Weaver can hit King hard by exposing him as someone that is betraying Iowa’s historic record of civility and respect for all cultures.

This big financial haul has already given Weaver the ability to hire a top-notch political director. In 2016 had just two staffers. Todd Prieb will soon be joining her exploratory bid. Prieb worked on the successful 2016 election of the first Indian-American Congresswomen in Washington State. Prieb helped elect Pramila Jayapal, a civil rights activist who previously served in the Washington State Senate.

In addition to the boost in donations, Weaver has been interviewed by a variety of national news sources. It hasn’t hurt that both Iowa and national Republican leaders are speaking to the media and distancing themselves from King as well.

King’s March 12th tweet that created all the national rage contained a link to the Voice of Europe, an anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant right wing website. King’s tweet praised Geert Wilders, a Netherlands politician that has made his anti-Muslim rhetoric a key part of his political platform. Wilders is quoted as saying, “I don’t hate Muslims, I hate Islam.” Wilders compares the Islamic holy book, the Quran, to Hitler’s autobiography, Mein Kampf. He wants mosques to be banned in the Netherlands. This is the dangerous guy King has embraced in a special bromance.

King’s endorsement of racism and anti-Muslim European politicians is his weak spot. This doesn’t represent Northwest Iowa’s values and if Weaver can expose his statements as the racism it represents, she can take him down. King is not invincible and if Weaver can maintain her fundraising zeal, she has a chance for a King knockout in round two.

 

by Rick Smith
Posted 3/23/17

8 thoughts on “Round 2: Kim Weaver’s Fundraising Against King A Game-Changer?

  1. It will probably take a long time before we defeat Steve King. I remember when I lived in NE Iowa when we had a GOP congressman by the name of HR Gross. He always voted “no” on any spending. He was another one similiar to Steve King. If I remember correctly he had to retire for us to send him back to Waterloo. It may be the same thing for Steve King unless northwest Iowans wake up.

  2. These ARE positives, but as entrenched as King is, I sincerely wish Kim all the best. She’ll need it. If she (and her campaign) can keep the pressure on that xenophobe, I believe she DOES have a chance. Plus she has some recognition (and message) from her previous effort. Go, Kim! We love you!

  3. Weaver needs a game plan to get in front of national media and raise funds each time (because we all know it will happen again multiple times) King inserts his foot into his mouth over the next 2 years.

  4. I actually think the most effective campaign message against Steve King for Kim is that he is a ‘do nothing’ Congressman. What has he achieved in his years in office? Nothing. That will probably push votes away from him more than the racism message.

    1. I agree with that. The question Kim needs to ask in every speech, at every meeting, with everyone she talks to, is “For all of years Steve King has been in Washington, and for all of his big talk, can you name one thing he has accomplished in Congress for NW Iowa? He brings you negative attention, but can you point to any legislation he’s passed to bring you jobs?”

  5. Weaver needs to actually work to represent the people. We don’t see that in her and its concerning. Her initial goal to fundraiser or else drop out is treating the people of the 4th district as holding the people for ransom. The Iowans of the 4th district are more than just funds. It’s disgusting to see her treat the people in such a manner and on nationwide media to say that. Democrats are better than that. A call for tolerance and genuine will to serve the people and represent their values is needed. Not a fundraiser.

    1. I suspect the fundraising goal was being used as a proxy to gauge support for Weaver, not to hold the district hostage. If she couldn’t raise the money, then no need to go further because she would know the 4th district would prefer someone else. Again, the fundraising goal is best seen as a proxy for public support.

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