Two of my friends are polar opposites when it comes to politics.

One is oh so liberal. Excuse me, oh so progressive. The other is conservative. Quite so.

They don’t often agree on issues. On other topics, they are fine. Just not on politics.

That’s the reason it was so unusual earlier this month when these two found themselves agreeing on one of the most-talked-about news developments in Iowa politics since Bruce Braley made those stupid, derogatory comments about the possibility “a farmer” — read that, Chuck Grassley — might end up chairing the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.

The latest news dealt with Kim Weaver, the Democrat from Sheldon. She is running against U.S. Rep. Steve King, the Republican from Kiron who has served in the U.S. House since 2003.

The Des Moines Register broke the news that Weaver, before first challenging King in 2016, had worked as a $3.99-per-minute telephone psychic.

The most difficult job in Iowa politics has to be running against King, the master of blunt comments. While many Iowans recoil in embarrassment and disgust with some of the things he says (remember “calves the size of cantaloupes”?), the majority of voters in King’s district clearly like him.

Weaver learned that lesson firsthand. She lost to King in the 2016 election by 22 percentage points. Four years earlier, former Iowa first lady Christie Vilsack fell victim by 8 points.

Democrats aren’t giving up, though. They have an Energizer Bunny focus on King following more comments of his, such as his recent statement that “our civilization” can’t be restored with “somebody else’s babies.”

Weaver announced her 2018 candidacy shortly after the babies comment. And donors from across the nation have contributed $179,000 to her campaign.

But then Weaver ran up against her past as “Kimberanne, the Spirit Weaver.”

It’s not that working as a telephone psychic is a below the stature a potential member of the U.S. House should have. Laura Belin, who writes the “Bleeding Heartland” political blog, quoted one person’s reaction to these interesting details from Weaver’s past: “I’d rather have a psychic than a psycho.”

But this is where my two friends and their views from the opposite ends of the political spectrum merged. Both know Weaver should do voters a favor and throw in the towel.

My progressive friend said someone who charged $3.99 per minute to provide people with “readings” and “accurate advice” is never going to defeat the entrenched Steve King. Her continued presence in the race is going to distract voters, and prospective donors, from candidates who might have a better chance of unseating King.

My conservative friend thinks that being a telephone psychic is a deal-breaker, especially in the 4th Congressional District, which covers northwest and north central Iowa.

Weaver doesn’t see it that way. She told the Des Moines Register, “I didn’t really do anything. It was all for entertainment purposes.”

Todd Prieb, her campaign director, said, “Frankly, the idea that people would care about something Kim did 10 years ago on an entertainment website, more than Steve King’s horrendous voting record, is insulting to the voters of this district.”

Of course, Weaver’s online venture didn’t appear to be just a hobby or just for entertainment when some people called to tap into what she touted as her “proven track record of consistently providing accurate psychic readings.”

That was especially true when she used her nonexistent skills to reassure one woman whose husband was missing that he was not dead.

It was true, too, when a mother called to ask about her teenage daughter and boyfriend. Weaver’s “reading” that this was a positive relationship was thrown off kilter when the mother mentioned that her teen’s boyfriend was 32 years old.

Weaver is a very pleasant, knowledgeable mother whose real job these days is working for the state’s long-term care ombudsman, looking out for the interests of residents of nursing homes in northwest Iowa. She’s a passionate advocate for a government role in lending a hand to the less fortunate members of society and for dealing with the erosion of the middle class standard of living.

If she remains in the U.S. House race, however, the person who once touted herself as “an internationally recognized psychic” should be able to clearly foresee this:

Her background as a clairvoyant will be mined endlessly by opponents — by Democrats in a primary election, by Republicans in the general election — for embarrassing details to undermine her credibility as a worthy challenger to King.

There’s no need for Democrats to serve up such heaping helpings of distractions. The 2018 campaign in the 4th Congressional District should be about King, not Kim Weaver.

 

by Randy Evans
Reprint from the Bloomfield Democrat
Posted 5/3/17

24 thoughts on “Evans: You Won’t Beat Steve King With A Former Psychic

  1. “Weaver learned that lesson firsthand. She lost to King in the 2016 election by 22 percentage points. Two years earlier, former Iowa first lady Christie Vilsack fell victim by 8 points.”

    King’s opponent in 2014 was Jim Mowrer, not Christie Vilsack. Vilsack challenged King in 2012.

    1. Thank you, Dennis, for correcting an easy fact that can be checked by googling. Makes you wonder the Randy Evans credibility to being a trusted journalist or reporter. I guess they are needing some more traffic to their page and social media sites if they are posting a LEADING type of article that is missing tons of facts and correct ones.

  2. I’d say, who the heck cares?! But, I’ll wager (and I’m not psychic) that your two friends are correct. Damn. Who else is even in the bullpen, let alone ready to enter the game?

  3. Randy,

    Kim”s temporary, part-time job in an entertainment field pales in comparison to every moral value stated or acted out by King. Please focus on his failings, not hers. Let the good church ladies of NW Iowa wring their hands over it, while the rest of us compare King’s outlook to Christ, and the very real damage he does to real people, and our national goals of a well-functioning and peaceful society. Until a better candidate surfaces, let’s not tear Kim down.
    There is much more to Ms. Weaver than this episode, and sublimating her other facets to this, is playing into GOP strategies of Clinton’s “email” issues again.

  4. Hmm! I wonder what good-paying job in western Iowa Ms. Weaver could have gotten ten years ago. Weren’t we going into a deep recession? Wasn’t unemployment a problem in that part of the state? Kudos to her for creating a legal job that put food on the table.

    We like to elect and appoint public officials with more conventional work records. But, this doesn’t keep us from having liars, criminals, substance abusers, philanderers, narcissists, moochers and the truly reckless in office.

    This was a cheap shot by the Des Moines Register and Iowa Starting Line.

    1. Psychics are frauds and crooks who swindle vulnerable people out of money. Until about a month ago I thought that was a non-controversial point. I hope it is as obvious as it seems to me. But if not and Democrats start promoting kooks like psychics there truly will be no science party left.

      1. She isn’t and wasn’t a psychic. Are psychics real or all crooks isn’t the issue.
        She took a job to put food on the table for her kids. Should people call those types of businesses if they don’t realize it is only entertainment? Not in my opinion. Can you tell me about Kim’s positive aspects? Until someone else steps up, let’s offer positive encouragement to the one who worked her ass off last time, and cares enough to do it again.

        1. I’ll admit I have always had a particular sore spot for hucksters and frauds ripping off vulerable/desperate people, so the original story here hit a particular nerve for me. But I would challenge you to actually go through the stuff referenced by the DMR. I think you will come away realizing that she definitely thought she was a psychic and that she aggressively marketed herself that way. This was not a job she fell into like it was dog sitting for a neighbor. I’ve done part time jobs to make ends meat … I didn’t create my own internet empire to support it.

          This is primary season. We all want King gone. Blindly supporting a candidate that cannot win does not get us any closer to that goal. (Plus, as was reported in a recent article in the Sioux City paper, Weaver’s campaign was a mess even before the psychic stuff came out.)

          1. Internet empire? That seems really dramatic and spectacular and also not true. If it were an empire it would still be going. It was a part-time job in addition to another full-time job to make ends meet at a time when NW Iowa was in a deep recession. Did you miss the part where it said that was over 10 years ago? Ya, nobody cares. There are much bigger issues here than a part-time job. Like what has King ever done for the 4th District to make our lives better? Do you really think he cares when people lose their jobs? Find me one article where he had genuine concern for the welfare of the people he represented and I’ll easily find dozens where he’s bashing the people that live here. He does not care at all about the people he represents. He either has or is about to support an amendment that takes away health care away from 11k ppl in the 4th D. What kind of person does this to his own ppl? Tell u what u just sit there n whine n I’m gonna stand up n fight for the only person on Earth willing to stand up and fight for us. Kim Weaver 2018

      2. Peter, I get your point. However, people talking to people to get some relief is a very human activity. Think about Catholic priests hearing confession, fundamentalists guaranteeing salvation and public officials saying “We will be all right” during a natural disaster. It’s what people want and what they need. And, most importantly, like Kim Weaver, clerics and officials get paid for advice and services that may make no difference at all.

        I hate to see us go down the “what jobs are O.K.” track. The morally objectionable moniker leads us to strife and tries to disqualify a lot of people from elected office.

  5. Not too long ago Republicans ran a cowboy movie star for President and he won. Then they ran a TV show star for President and he won. My guess is that the people of NW Iowa voted for both of them.

    What’s the problem with running an internet psychic? She brings an eclectic aura to the campaign. And NW Iowans like people with a showbiz background.

    Then there’s one other problem with pushing Ms. Weaver out: who is going to run if she doesn’t? And do they want the responsibility for pushing a viable woman candidate out of the race? You have a guy for this race?

  6. I think the campaign shouldn’t just be about King. I think it should be about the people of NW Iowa. What can the candidate do for them? Clearly King has been an embarrassment for all of Iowa, but unless a candidate can convince the voters that he or she can get things done in Washington for THEM, then Steve King will have the advantage as an incumbent.

    What HAS Steve King done for NW Iowa?

  7. I BEG YOU @iowastartingline to stop sharing these type (national enquirer reporting technic) of propaganda written articles to get clicks and advertising dollars by showing their is traffic on your digital platform. Start honoring the craft of journalism…Disappointed that this is types of journalism you support, thank you for showing the type of reporting, news and media you support #showingtruecolors

    ATTENTION AUDIENCE: They’re dumbing us down to protect their own interests!!

  8. It’s rather uncomfortable having men of power and privilege determining what is and isn’t an acceptable job for a single mother in rural Iowa, trying to make ends meet when the 8-5 job isn’t enough to offset her family needs. While we occasionally encounter this paternalistic conduct and “mansplaining” in more conservative, highly religious circles, it is highly uncomfortable and alarmingly inappropriate amongst true progressives.

    Many of Steve King’s strongest supporters accept that the role of a woman is to exclusively be a mother and bearer of many children (e.g. the Quiverfull community). Women who are independent, strong, and outspoken are shunned and referred to as Jezebels. Per the community’s literature and biblical reference: “Jezebel is the bossy, bold and dominating woman, who ‘wears the pants’ in the family, and in the Bible account, things ended badly for her: “’Throw her down’Jehu said. So they threw her down and some of her blood spattered the wall and the horses as they trampled her underfoot.” (2 Kings 9:33)”

    Are we comfortable with proud and privileged “progressive” men determining what occupational choices are acceptable for Iowa’s single women and moms in particular? It would seem to many of us that we’re quickly succumbing to Steve King’s paternalistic values when we should be confronting them. Most of us recognize an ethical obligation to confront Steve King’s racist and homophobic views. Why would we embrace his paternalistic attitudes within our progressive politics?

  9. I have to agree. With Mr. Evans. I’m sorry but psychics are scam artists. They prey on vulnerable people. They don’t advertise their services as entertainment, that is something they put in small print at the bottom of the page. Kim herself said in the Register article that she doesn’t have psychic abilities. So she admits that she was just scamming people.

    I’m sorry just because Steve King is a racist xenophobe, doesn’t mean that Kim Weaver wasn’t a con woman.

  10. In 2018, a lot of 4th District voters who already know Steve King’s failings will be looking for an excuse to vote for him. The template of that decision may already ready be in their minds from past elections, waiting for the words to fill in the blank: “I know King says some offensive things, but his opponent is a _______.” In most years, all you need to put in that blank to assure another victory for King is “Democrat.” But this time, if folks are dissatisfied with Pres. Trump, and 2018 is a wave election, Democrats might just have a shot. But not if there is an obvious answer to fill in that blank. “Phone psychic” seems pretty obvious to me.

    If you want to have a prayer against an established Republican in a district that is extremely favorable to Republicans, you have to be above reproach. Even if the only source of potential reproach is fairly silly, that’s enough to doom a candidacy. It’s not fair, but it is a fact.

  11. Fear. That what I think of every time I hear Rep. Steve King speak. Because he seems to be afraid of so many groups and issues it is a wonder he can operate in the world as it is today. Generally moving forward.

  12. It’s a primary. Any Democrat in the 4th District has the right to mount a campaign. Any other Democrat in that district can challenge Weaver and win with a better message and campaign.

    If the “real” candidates Evans would prefer either won’t come forward, or can’t beat a “fringe” candidate, or are so hobbled by having to run in a primary that they can’t beat King, Kim Weaver ain’t to blame.

    Personally, I wish every Democrat over 50 (a category that includes me and Randy Evans) would think hard about stepping aside and supporting younger candidates for public office. We need new blood, new energy. But if some old warhorse decides it’s her or his turn, then it’s up to the young ones to beat ’em. That’s how it works.

  13. I have no problem with Kim Weaver doing whatever she had to do to put food on the table for her kids. However, for her to both say that this internet psychic thing is somehow related to her spirituality AND for the psychic website, and supporters of hers, to also suggest that her psychic advice was “for entertainment” only, well, that’s a problem. You can’t have it both ways. Kim’s on record as saying that she doesn’t possess any supernatural powers. Did she believe she did, at the time? If not, how was she not taking advantage of people’s willingness to believe in the bunk she was telling them? And if she was willing to tell people bunk, for money, then, what would keep her from doing that as a Congresswoman? I hate to be this harsh, but it seems to me that Kim ought to be able to see the big hole she herself has dug, here. Ignoring this will not make it go away.

  14. King can be beat, but it needs to be a new and younger Democrat that’s not afraid to expose the hypocrisies of King and the time he has wasted in accomplishing nothing worthwhile in all his time in congress, but can own fiscal responsibility when it comes to voting on programs that are supposed to actually fix something . And if those programs don’t show progress in the short term, than review and change them or eliminate them instead of throwing more money and time at something that doesn’t work , before it becomes a institutionalised waste of time and money !

  15. Give me a break. This is nonsense. Kim is smart, engaged in the issues, and unafraid to take King on. We need a strong voice that will put People First over an irrational, knee jerk twitter responder (second only to Trump) who spews hate and is an embarrassment to this state. People are behind her…she raises small dollar donations that clearly puts her above the entrenched love affair with self interest donors that, at times, makes it hard to tell the difference between some Dems and their Repub opponents. WEAVER CAN COMPETE AND WIN, if we don’t take this “distraction bait.”

  16. I couldn’t agree more, Randy. I honestly don’t know WHO could beat Steve King, though. And let’s face it, the DCCC slaps one of his quotes on a mailer, and it raises millions of dollars nationwide. You almost wonder if there’s no incentive to take him (when looking at the bigger picture).

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