It’s not easy running for public office. Especially at the federal level and in an era where dark money routinely funds hit pieces on good people. As a candidate, your entire life gets put under a magnifying glass and opposition groups can spend tremendous amounts of money to discredit you or scare you away if they think you are a threat. Last month, the top Republican smear group in the country, America Rising, started digging into every aspect of my personal and professional life.
Because I’m a government employee, they (through the Freedom of Information Act) were able to request any emails I’d sent from work where I discussed Representative Steve King (much to their disappointment, there weren’t any). Last time around I even received death threats, but that didn’t stop me from standing up and calling Steve King out for his divisive rhetoric. Sadly, these scare tactics often prevent good candidates who are passionate about helping people from running for office.
Ten years ago, while struggling as a single mother with three kids, I briefly spent time as an “online psychic” on an entertainment website. The website I used clearly stated that all services were “for entertainment purposes only”. It wasn’t something I spent a lot of time doing, it was almost exclusively over the internet, and it wasn’t anything I ever received much money from. Mostly, this amounted to just being a friendly ear for people that needed someone to talk to.
While some have tried to make this into a much bigger deal than it actually was or should be, I’m happy to report that the overwhelming response I’ve received has been positive. It’s encouraging to see so many Democrats standing with me, especially when, as a party, we often have this horrible habit of purity testing ourselves into oblivion.
Ultimately, it’s up to the voters to decide how much any of this matters, but as my Political Director recently 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.” I couldn’t agree more.
I will say, it’s extremely disappointing that the local press has devoted more time to this click-bait story than to actual issues. Even Steve King was surprised by this–two weeks ago, in the Northwest Iowa Review, King said that they’ve known about this for a long time and that “he was surprised when it made the news.”
Sadly, what hasn’t been in the news is that King recently proposed a bill that would massively defund public education at the federal level and also repeal the national nutritional standards for school lunches. If you haven’t heard about this bill, maybe it’s because the press in in Iowa has barely given it a mention.
Maybe I’m being idealistic, but I believe Iowans want to hear about issues that actually impact the lives of the people of this district. I’m running for Congress because I deeply believe in standing up for people and improving the lives of everyone in our communities. You can be assured that I will never back down from a fight when it comes to representing the people of the 4th District.
I want to expand access to education, not defund it. I want to strengthen social security, while Steve King wants to privatize it. I want to work towards Medicare-for-All and ensure that every Iowan has access to good and affordable healthcare; Steve King wants to “rip it out by the roots.”
Steve King is widely known for his racist, sexist, and homophobic remarks; I want to ensure equality for all Iowans, who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect regardless of their gender, their sexual orientation, the color of their skin, or their religious beliefs. There are very real differences in what Steve King and I stand for when it comes to actual issues. I invite each of you to study these differences, and to decide for yourself which candidate ultimately stands for the issues that matter to you.
by Kim Weaver