Kim Weaver more than just 'not Steve King'

Des Moines Register | Kathy Obradovich | 6/29/16


Kim Weaver more than just 'not Steve King' 

Kim Weaver isn’t the first Democrat to cut her teeth running against Congressman Steve King as a novice candidate.

She’s not the best-known. Former Iowa first lady Christie Vilsack had that distinction when she lost to King in 2012.  Weaver’s also not the best-funded: Jim Mowrer outraised and outspent King in the 2014 race, but the Republican won with about 62 percent of the vote.

Weaver says she stands out as being focused on something besides simply wanting to oust King.

“I worked really hard for both Christie and Jim, but to be honest, I couldn’t really tell you what their big issues were,” she said. “I think a lot of it was, ‘I’m not Steve King,’ which some people have told me that’s what I should do.”

I imagine she gets that advice a lot. Most recently, King has been excoriated on social media for trying to stop the Treasury Department from changing the image on the $20 bill from Andrew Jackson to Harriet Tubman. His amendment, which would have withheld money needed to redesign the currency, was blocked by the House Rules Committee.  He has said the move to replace Jackson’s image amounts to liberal activism on the part of President Barack Obama. Iowa Democratic Congressman Dave Loebsack called King “an embarrassment to Iowa” who has a history of “racist and sexist” comments.

It’s not that Weaver won’t try to gain advantage from King’s gleeful race-baiting and the way he makes liberals’ heads spin around. She said she received about $2,000 in donations just from “random people on Twitter” after the news broke about King’s currency caper. She didn’t say if the donors sent $20 bills.

Weaver casts King’s tendency to stir up controversy as an example of misplaced priorities. “Why did Congressman King think this was something relevant to the people of the 4th District? … He doesn’t focus on things that matter to Iowa,” she said.

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