Former Minor League Player Wants to Take ‘Iowa Values Back’ From King

By NIK HEFTMAN, Staff Writer  |  August 29, 2017  |  Daily Times Herald

Ames – Bonnie Brown realized her passion for social activism 13 years ago while she was a freshman in high school.

Brown, a University of Iowa alumnae, maintained her passion through her collegiate studies.

She recently returned to Iowa from Charlottesville, Virginia, where she took part in a counter-protest to a large gathering titled “Unite the Right,” a violent event that took place two weeks ago in the city.

She recalled sitting in a Charlottesville church where hundreds of members of the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist organizations stood out outside and shouted, “white power,” “blood in the soil” and “Jews will not replace us.”

“It was traumatic,” Brown said. “We could not leave the church because it was too dangerous.”

Brown was one of six individuals who spoke in support of 4th District congressional candidate J.D. Scholten during a launch party Friday night at the Gateway Hotel in Ames.

It was Scholten’s second trip to Ames after announcing his campaign in late July.

Scholten, a fifth-generation Iowan, is a paralegal turned politician with no previous experience in holding office. He was born in Ames and raised in Sioux City. He pursued a professional baseball career after graduating from the University of Nebraska. His career led him to play in the minor leagues in seven countries — including four seasons with the Sioux City Explorers.

Scholten said that he has spent the last month traveling the district and “meeting a lot of amazing people along the way.”

“I think I’ve hit 30 of the 39 counties (of the district) so far,” Scholten said. “It’s been typical of what you would get in Iowa. I’m always running into people who know my parents, grandparents or cousins. There’s always someone new coming out to support me.”

Scholten took the stage as the headliner of the event. His speech centered on three goals that he will pursue should he become elected:

— Health care: Scholten said that he would push for a health-care system that offers a public option to stabilize current markets with the goal of eventually achieving Medicare for all.

— Economic opportunity: Scholten supports a “new rural economy” centered on advanced manufacturing and tech jobs.

— Infrastructure: Scholten would invest in a long-term infrastructure program that would emphasize rural access to broadband internet, quality farm-to-market roads and an updated water system.

“I aim to put Iowa values back at the center of public service,” Scholten said. “Our Iowa values will define my campaign. Together, we can make the seemingly impossible happen in every corner of every county in this district.”

Around 90 supporters, Democratic loyalists and curious voters-to-be gathered in a conference room at the Gateway as the 6-foor-6-inch Scholten walked around and greeted those already seated.

Brown was one of the last speakers to take the stage that overlooked 10 round tables where attendees sat and listened.

She continued her vivid account with details of colleagues and University of Virginia students and professors being attacked during the protest.

She ended up only a block away from the site where Heather Heyer was killed when a vehicle was driven through a crowd of protesters on Aug. 12.

“The events that transpired did not pop out of nowhere,” Brown said. “Events like these have slowly been increasing. (Hate groups) They have been emboldened by (President) Trump’s hateful rhetoric. We start by voting out so-called leaders that refuse to condemn hatred. We can start by voting out Steve king and voting for J.D. Scholten.”

Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Norris took the stage just before Scholten.

Corporate tech giant Apple announced Thursday that it would be opening a $1.3 billion data center in Waukee. The state of Iowa and local government will be giving Apple about $208 million in government incentives. Norris was critical of Reynolds’ administration for the tax break.

“If you look at the the corporate tax cuts and hand outs (the state) has done in the past four years, you will see that they’ve bankrupted the ability to fund so many things,” Norris said. “Their greed is colliding. They’re more worried about the social welfare of corporations at the expense of our future.”

Norris dubbed King as a “poster child” for “hatred and division” in America. He also said that King is driving an agenda that favors the coal and gas industries that is against “the people of the district.”

“Anyone who wants to take on Steve King is a friend of mine,” Norris said.

 

http://www.carrollspaper.com/Content/Default/Homepage-Rotating-Articles/Article/Former-minor-league-player-wants-to-take-Iowa-values-back-from-King/-3/449/25240

Scholten Talks ‘Iowa Values’ at Campaign Kickoff Event

By Grayson Schmidt, Staff Writer gschmidt@amestrib.com

Posted Aug 25, 2017 at 5:33 PMUpdated Aug 25, 2017 at 11:33 PM

In a room of just less than 100 people at the Gateway Conference Center, Iowa Fourth Congressional District Candidate JD Scholten made it known unlike his opponent, Rep. Steve King, he would not divide the people of his district.

“I feel this district deserves a representative who truly puts your needs first, someone who cares more about our values, and about building this district’s future, than he does dividing us apart,” Scholten said.

As part of his “Campaign Kickoff” event Friday, Scholten, 37, talked about his background growing up in northwest Iowa, his baseball career — domestically and abroad — and what life in Iowa taught him about fighting for his “teammates.”

Scholten spent the evening talking about issues such as economic development, and health care, which he seemed to be especially passionate about.

“Everybody in Iowa should have affordable, reasonable, and effective health care, period,” Scholten said. “We shouldn’t have a regular Iowan paying $15,000 to $20,000 per year for health care when we know we can do better, and we can do it for less.”

Scholten also spoke about the personal significance of last November, not only the 2016 Presidential Election, but the last month he got to spend with his grandmother, who inspired him to move back to Iowa from Seattle, and take care of the family farm.

“More than being bald or tall, the number one thing that defines me is my Iowa roots,” Scholten said. “This is how I can take of the farm, by ensuring that every farm, and every farmer, every city professional, every union worker, and every student, mother, father, and child in this district has somebody in Washington putting them first.”

This was Scholten’s second visit to Ames since announcing his candidacy, after making a campaign stop at London Underground in late July. Ames resident Jane Montgomery said that she wanted to see Scholten Friday night because she feels his values are exactly what is needed in congress, and to represent Iowa.

“His Iowa values sound like a great place to start, and that’s something that’s been missing here as of lately,” Montgomery said.

Scholten is the third candidate to announce his challenge to King, along with Spencer City Councilwoman Leann Jacobsen, and former Humboldt County Pastor Paul Dahl. King was first elected to Congress in 2003 and is in his eighth term after defeating Democratic challenger Kim Weaver in November’s General Election. Weaver mounted a brief repeat challenge to King earlier this year before withdrawing, citing family medical concerns and threats made against her.

Weaver has already endorsed Scholten, who was joined Friday night by several speakers including Democrats 25th Senate District candidate Tracy Freese, Third Congressional District candidate Austin Frerick, gubernatorial candidate John Norris, Ames Mayoral candidate Victoria Szopinski, and activists Jack Schuler and Bonnie Brown, the latter of whom was part of the counter-protests in Charlottesville, Va. earlier this month.

“Every individual can make a difference, and we can start here in Iowa’s Fourth Congressional District by voting out Steve King, and replacing him with an upstanding candidate who will represent all the people,” Brown said. “By talking with JD, I know he has the energy and passion to beat Steve King, and compassion to represent all of us the way we deserve to be represented.”

For Norris, the former chief of staff to Gov. Tom Vilsack, said that King is on the path of leading the country “to the right”, and that Scholten is the candidate that will help move everyone “forward.”

“There’s a lot at stake here folks, and I’m glad people like JD are stepping up, stepping up to fight for you,” Norris said.

But what each of the speakers seemed to share, was their passion for someone who they believe can take the district from King. And Scholten appeared to share that same passion.

“Youthful stubbornness, an athlete’s energy, and a passion for helping others is a dangerous combination,” Scholten said. “Tell me this race is unwinnable; tell me Steve King is unbeatable, and that only adds fuel to my fire.”

 

http://www.amestrib.com/news/20170825/scholten-talks-8216iowa-values8217-at-campaign-kickoff-event

Scholten Hosts Campaign Launch Party in Ames

Bonnie Brown realized her passion for social activism 13 years ago while she was a freshman in high school.

Brown, a University of Iowa alumnae, maintained her passion through her collegiate studies.

She recently returned to Iowa from Charlottesville, Virginia, where she took part in a counter-protest to a large gathering titled “Unite the Right,” a violent event that took place two weeks ago in the city.

She recalled sitting in a Charlottesville church where hundreds of members of the Ku Klux Klan stood out outside and shouted, “white power,” “blood in the soil” and “Jews will not replace us.”

“It was traumatic,” Brown said. “We could not leave the church because it was too dangerous.”

Brown was one of six individuals who spoke in support of fourth district congressional candidate JD Scholten during a launch party Friday night at the Gateway Hotel in Ames.

It was Scholten’s second trip to Ames after announcing his campaign in late July.

“The event is signifying our progression to the next level,” Scholten said before the event. “We are really starting to create our own campaign and come into our own.”

Scholten, a fifth generation Iowan, is a paralegal turned politician with no previous experience in holding office. He was born in Ames and raised in Sioux City, Iowa. He pursued a professional baseball career after graduating from the University of Nebraska. His career lead him to play in seven countries – including 4 seasons with the Sioux City Explorers.

Scholten said that he has spent the last month traveling the fourth district and “meeting a lot of amazing people along the way.”

“I think I’ve hit 30 of the 39 counties [of the district] so far,” Scholten said. “It’s been typical of what you would get in Iowa. I’m always running into people who know my parents, grandparents or cousins. There’s always someone new coming out to support me.”

Scholten took the stage as the headliner of the event. His speech centered around three goals that he will pursue should he become elected:

– Healthcare: Scholten said that he would push for a healthcare system that offers a public option to stabilize current markets with the goal of eventually achieving medicare for all.

– Economic Opportunity: Scholten would build a “new rural economy” centered around advanced manufacturing and tech jobs.

– Infrastructure: Scholten would invest in a long term infrastructure program that would emphasize rural access to broadband internet, quality farm-to-market roads and an updated water system.

“I aim to put Iowa values back at the center of public service,” Scholten said. “Our Iowa values will define my campaign. Together, we can make the seemingly impossible happen in every corner of every county in this district.”

To learn more about Scholten’s background and what he brings to the table in the congressional race of 2018, click here.

Around 90 supporters, Democratic loyalists and curious voters-to-be gathered in a conference room at the Gateway as the 6’6” Scholten walked around and greeted those already seated.

Brown was one of the last speakers to take the stage that overlooked ten round tables where attendees sat and listened.

She continued her vivid account with details of colleagues and University of Virginia students and professors being attacked during the protest.

She ended up only a block away from the site where Heather Heyer was killed when a vehicle was driven through a crowd of protesters on Aug. 12.

“The events that transpired did not pop out of nowhere,” Brown said. “Events like these have slowly been increasing. [Hate groups] They have been embolden by [President] Trump’s hateful rhetoric. We start by voting out so-called leaders that refuse to condemn hatred. We can start by voting out Steve king and voting for JD Scholten.”

State Senate candidate Tracey Freese was the speaker of the night. She is running against Senator Bill Dix for the Senate seat. After slamming King and Dix for “investing in corporate interests” and “living in the past,” Freese said that Scholten embodied “Iowa’s ethics.”

“We are looking for better government,” Freese said. “We’re going to win it because the moment is behind us. We’re standing with JD Scholten for all.”

Third district congressional candidate Austin Frerick and Ames Mayoral candidate Victoria Szopinski were the next two to speak.

Frerick stressed that Iowa agriculture is in an identical state as it was during the Farm Crisis of the 1980’s.

He also addressed the recent five-year 7 percent tuition increase proposed by the University of Iowa, stating that tuition hikes were a driving factor in many of his classmates leaving the state of Iowa.

Szopinski, a founding member of the Ames Progressive Alliance, used the event as a platform to highlight several accomplishments of the Alliance, which included the implementation of the Ames Pride Fest and their support of the Black Lives Matter Movement.

“Facing challenges in housing, mental health and creating environmental commitments,” Szopinski said. “We need a representative like JD in Washington.”

Democratic gubernatorial, John Norris, took the stage just before Scholten.

Corporate tech giant Apple announced Thursday that it would be opening a $1.3 billion data center in Waukee. The state of Iowa will be giving giving Apple about $208 million in tax abatements, according to the LA Times. Norris was critical of Reynolds’ administration for the tax break.

“If you look at the the corporate tax cuts and hand outs [the state] has done in the past four years, you will see that they’ve bankrupted the ability to fund so many things,” Norris said. “Their greed is colliding. They’re more worried about the social welfare of corporations at the expense of our future.”

Norris dubbed King as a “poster child” for “hatred and division” in America. He also said that King is driving an agenda that favors the coal and gas industries that is against “the people of the district.”

“Anyone who wants to take on Steve King is a friend of mine,” Norris said.

 

http://www.iowastatedaily.com/news/article_8c85f1b6-8a04-11e7-bebd-275c72cc76e7.html

I’m J.D. Scholten, and I’m Here to Dethrone Steve King

Daily Kos  |  ​By Scholten4Iowa  |  Tuesday Aug 22, 2017

Nearly a month ago, our campaign kicked off the effort to dethrone Steve King with the statement below: 

I’m running for Congress because the 4th District of Iowa deserves someone who truly represents the people of this district. Like most Americans, I am sick and tired of how divisive politics in this country has become, and how divorced it is from people’s lives. I was raised to believe that hard work, civility, and community are the values we should all aspire to, and I’m committed to bringing the same values and a new energy to this campaign. The 4th needs a voice that cares more about building our district’s future than it does about dividing us apart.

It’s going to take a unified effort to defeat Steve King and restore the voice of the people — our government is supposed to work for the people that live in this district, not for special interests and the privileged elite. I want to put Iowa values back at the center of public service, create new opportunities for Iowa’s middle class, and ensure that Iowans never again need to worry about healthcare as a barrier to living free, productive, and successful lives.

I look forward to being on the campaign trail everyday, meeting voters, listening to their concerns, and earning their support.

It’s been a busy first month on the campaign. I’ve already visited 29 of the 39 counties in this district and heard story after story about how Steve King doesn’t stand for Iowa values. Steve King has been rated “America’s Worst congressperson” and not only routinely votes against the best interests of the people of our district, he also regularly denigrates women, immigrants, people of color, and people of the LGBT community. But the other thing I’ve heard repeatedly is that for us to win this election, we can’t just be AGAINST Steve King; we also have to stand FOR something.

Our campaign motto, “Standing Tall for ALL” isn’t really about me being 6’6”. It’s about standing FOR the people of this district. Since I’m asking you to support this campaign, I want to make sure you know some of the things I stand for:

I stand for creating new opportunities for our rural communities and our middle class, by reinvesting in America and rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure.

I stand for protecting the rights of unions and workers.

I stand for tax reform that benefits the middle class.

I stand for improving our education system and making it accessible to all.

I stand for raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

I stand for creating a working healthcare system that benefits Iowans and moving toward Medicare for all.

I stand for a strong but flexible conservation title in the next Farm Bill.

I stand for providing veterans the care and support they’ve earned in honor of their service.

I stand for the environment, addressing climate change and investing in renewable energy.

I stand for campaign finance reform, our democracy should never be for sale.

I stand for protecting a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions.

I stand for fixing our broken immigration system.

I stand for equality—for women, for people of color, and for the LGBTQ community.

I stand for voting rights and making sure everyone in this country has a voice.

And I stand against Steve King and politics of division.

 

Standing Tall for All,

J.D.

 

P.S. Be sure to check out our campaign kickoff video HERE!

 

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/8/22/1692139/-I-m-J-D-Scholten-and-I-m-Here-to-Dethrone-Steve-King

Sioux City Hurler Scholten Looks to Shut Out King

By NIK HEFTMAN, Staff Writer  –  August 9, 2017

The year is 2006. Professional baseball player J.D. Scholten is struggling to find a team willing to give him a chance.

Scholten, a Sioux City native, played for the Sioux City Explorers in previous years. He decided to give the team a call.

“I had no place to play,” Scholten said in an interview Friday with this newspaper in Carroll. “I was desperate. I asked if they would take me back.”

The Explorers allowed Scholten into their camp as the 18th pitcher on the roster. The team kept only 10 for the season.

“I just out worked everybody,” Scholten said. “I made the squad and played my best season of professional baseball.

That’s the same mentality I’m bringing to this campaign.”

Today, Scholten, 37, is a freelance litigation paralegal running for Congress as a Democrat against longtime GOP U.S. Rep. Steve King in Iowa’s 4th District. No other Democrat has formally announced a campaign, but time remains, as the primaries aren’t until next June.

The campaign will be Scholten’s first run for public office. Scholten said that he will rely on a competitive spirit he garnered through years of athletics to push them through what he dubbed “an uphill battle.”

“I wasn’t a very good baseball player, but I played for a long time because I outworked people,” Scholten said. “It’s an uphill battle because I’ve never run for office before. Being competitive means being diligent in everything I do.”

Scholten is a fifth-generation Iowan. He was born in Ames. His family moved to Sioux City when he was 3 years old.

He graduated from East High School and attended Morningside College. He transfered to the University of Nebraska, where he played on a College World Series team.

Scholten would pursue a professional baseball team following his time at the University of Nebraska. He played professionally in seven countries. He also played for the Sioux City Explorers over the course of four seasons.

After living in Seattle for the last decade, Scholten returned to Iowa a month ago to buy his childhood home.

“I’m a fifth-generation Iowan,” Scholten said. “That defines me more than being tall; more than being bald; more than being a baseball player. I’m a product of the 4th District.”

Scholten, who stands 6-6, defined the congressional race as a matter of restoring decency and integrity in the 4th District. He scalded King’s rhetoric as divisive, calling the eight-term representative a “controversial figure.”

In July, King proposed allocating billions from Planned Parenthood and federal foods stamps to pay for President Trump’s proposed border wall. Four Iowa Planned Parenthood facilities closed in June as a result of legislation passed last session that stopped family-planning funds from going to clinics that provide abortion.

“Aside from the abortion issue, Planned Parenthood does a lot of wonderful things,” Scholten said. “Nobody is for abortion. You have those other services (at Planned Parenthood) that try to prevent it.”

Scholten is strongly pro-choice. He cited a study that presented abortions at an all-time low before federal cuts to Planned Parenthood. He said that rural communities are struggling with providing adequate health care in general.

“We’re going to have a huge shortage of doctors in rural areas. That’s very serious,” Scholten said.

King has also been open about his opinion of undocumented students protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program enacted by former President Barack Obama in 2012. In April, King took to twitter to celebrate the deportation of a non-valedictorian DREAMer.

King was widely criticized for the tweet, though he would double down on the comment in later interviews. Scholten said that undocumented immigrants have been important contributors to western Iowa. If elected, Scholten said, he would seek a more “common sense” approach to immigration reform.

“The Farm Bureau has come out and said that if we continue to enforce the enhancement of ICE, it’s going to cost agriculture $60 billion. We need to go beyond that. We need a way to get undocumented immigrants legalized,” Scholten said.

In terms of education, Scholten said his main focus would be reducing student debt. He said that he would develop a crossroads between educators and employers in an effort to establish a vision for future generations.

“We’re going to see a change in the economy,” Scholten said. “We can’t continue to let people come out of college with great debts and expect them to find great jobs right away.”

Despite having no previous experience in politics, Scholten is confident that his work ethic and values will win Iowa’s 4th District. Kim Weaver, the Democratic nominee in the district in 2016 who withdrew from a 2018 candidacy, has already announced that she is endorsing Scholten. A top aide from Weaver’s campaign is now Scholten’s political director, according to the Des Moines Register.

“I’m going to bring a new, youthful energy to the district,” Scholten said. “Maybe I’m not ready today, but I will be ready and I am working my way and catching up to (King). I will outwork him.”

http://www.carrollspaper.com/Content/Local-News-Archive/Politics/Article/Sioux-City-hurler-Scholten-looks-to-shut-out-King/1/335/25075