ThinkProgress – Why is Steve King so fascinated with Austria?

On August 21, authorities in Iowa charged 24-year-old Cristhian Rivera with the murder of Mollie Tibbetts, a 20-year-old student from the University of Iowa who had been missing for over a month. Federal officials say that Rivera, who is originally from Mexico, entered the country illegally and used false documents to get a job, although his lawyer disputes this.

The same day, Iowa Rep. Steve King (R) tweeted his condolences. “Mollie Tibbetts, our hearts are broken,” King said. “We all prayed for your safe return. May you now be with the Lord and your family one day find a peace. Justice must now be served. RIP Mollie.”

Two days later, King sent a follow-up tweet, claiming “9 of the 10 most violent countries in the world” are in Latin America and “importing millions of this demographic means death for Americans.” His tweet implied unchecked immigration was responsible for Tibbetts’ death, and would be responsible for more.

It’s not surprising that King, who has a well-documented history of supporting far-right beliefs, would want to capitalize on Tibbetts’ murder. What is curious, however, is the fact that the geo-location tag on the tweet showed it had been sent from Vienna, Austria, home to an increasingly far-right government beset by allegations of neo-Nazism and anti-Semitism.

It’s unclear whether King was actually in Austria when he posted the tweet, as his office did not respond to several requests for comment on the matter. If he was, however, it wouldn’t have been his first trip.

According to Congressional Records, King made four congressional trips to Austria between December 2013 and early 2017 — more than any other country during that period. His last documented congressional trip was for two days in late February 2017. Prior to that, he visited the country in October 2016, December 2014, and December 2013. The number of private excursions King has made to the country is unknown.

Foreign travel is hardly a rarity for a congressman, and King visited dozens of other nations during that time frame, including Israel, Sweden, Turkey, and Guatemala. While King’s foreign travel expenditures have far exceeded those of his fellow Iowa representatives over the years, they’re not entirely unusual, given his position as vice chairman of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law.

But the amount of times that King has specifically visited Austria raises questions, especially since, even when he’s not in Austria, King makes an effort to include leaders from the country’s far-right factions in U.S. political matters. In January 2017, for instance, King allegedly invited members of the right-wing populist Austria Freedom Party (FPÖ) to Trump’s inauguration, and then made sure to pose for a photo with them and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

King’s apparent fascination with Austria, and more specifically the FPÖ, makes a lot more sense once you start to examine the FPÖ’s far-right political stances.

Since forming a government in December, the FPÖ has promised to impose “sanctions” on migrants who it believes have “refus[ed] to integrate.” The head of the FPÖ, Heinz-Christian Strache, has also called for a ban on “fascistic Islam.”

“Let us put an end to this policy of Islamization… otherwise we Austrians, we Europeans will come to an abrupt end,” Strache said in January 2017, shortly after his party had urged a crackdown on asylum applications.

He added, “We need zero and minus immigration.”

Since December, the FPÖ has been beset by a number of internal scandals involving extreme far-right and neo-Nazi sympathizers within its ranks. In January, an Austrian fraternity was disbanded after it was discovered its songbook contained anti-Semitic jokes. The fraternity’s deputy leader was Udo Landbauer, a candidate with the FPÖ.

In March, an employee with the Austrian embassy in Israel was also recalled after a photo emerged of him wearing a Nazi t-shirt. Later that month, the FPÖ was forced to expel two local councilors after WhatsApp messages revealed they had been trading images of Hitler along with quotes from the genocidal dictator. The fact that the FPÖ was originally founded by a former SS officer doesn’t exactly help matters either.

None of this seems to bother King, who, in addition to his racist and anti-immigrant beliefs, has previously faced criticism for retweeting British neo-Nazis and posting messages like the ones he tweeted in March 2017 (“We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies”) and September 2016 (“Cultural suicide by demographic transformation must end”).

King faces a tricky Democratic challenger in November, and his seat has recently been moved from “Safe Republican” to “Likely Republican” by political handicapper Sabato’s Crystal Ball. This means that his friendly relationship with racist, xenophobic, right-wing European politicians may come back to haunt him later. For now, though, he seems more concerned with his far-right chums in Europe than the people and communities — Mollie Tibbetts included — he actually represents.

Full article: https://thinkprogress.org/steve-king-iowa-immigrations-austria-travel-far-right-government-d9c3a0a28ab0/

CBC Online: Scholten Campaign Is Reporting A Swing In The 4th District

According to the Scholten campaign, an April edition of the Cook Political Report moved the 4th District Congressional race between Republican incumbent, Steve King, and Democratic candidate, J.D. Sholten, into the Democrats favor. They say that King’s seat was “at risk” due to the Scholten campaign’s strong fundraising. A July prediction from Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball stated King was out of the “Safe” rating for the first time in years. And the Roll Call’s Inside Elections edition last week moved the race out of the “Solid Republican” bracket. Publisher, Nathan Gonzales says, “We added seven Republican seats to our list of competitive races…The most interesting addition might by Congressman Steve King. President Donald Trump won Iowa’s 4th District with 61 percent, but King had just $118,000 in the bank on June 30 and it’s not clear what kind of campaign he will run.” Gonzales went on to say Scholten is going to run a credible race. Scholten responded, saying he is excited to see national ranking organizations taking note of what is happening in Iowa, and that it mirrors what he has been seeing for months. “People are tired of the divisiveness and ineffectiveness of Steve King,” Scholten says, “and [they] are ready for a Representative that will work with and for ALL of the people of the district. It’s become increasingly clear that this race is going to go down to the wire.” However, the Aug. 24 Cook Political Report has King squarely back in the “Likely Republican” category, meaning that, at this time, they do not consider the seat competitive, but there is the potential for it to become engaged.

Full article: https://www.1380kcim.com/news/2018/scholten-campaign-is-reporting-a-swing-in-the-4th-district/

Radio Iowa: Congressional candidate Scholten says government policies are ‘pushing down on our farmers’

J.D. Scholten, the Democrat challenging Republican Congressman Steve King’s bid for a ninth term, says consolidation in agriculture and President Trump’s trade war are making it harder for farmers to make a profit. The EPA’s anti-ethanol moves to benefit the oil industry isn’t helping either, according to Scholten.

“Our American government is pushing down on our farmers,” Scholten said Saturday. “Who’s looking out for farmers? Who’s looking out for us?”

Scholten made his comments this weekend during a speech at The Des Moines Register’s Political Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair. Scholten, a former professional baseball player who now works as a paralegal in Sioux City, stressed his family’s farm roots.

“My great-great grandparents turned the field in Worth County and so it’s in my blood,” Scholten said. “I’m a fifth-generation Iowan, first to be raised in town. Our family farm we rent out to a family friend.”

Scholten criticized the Bayer-Monsanto merger, arguing farmers will have to pay more for seeds and farm chemicals. And Scholten saod farmers are the first victims in the Trump Administration’s trade policies.

“The fourth district is bearing the brunt of these tariffs and that’s got to end,” Scholten said. “You look at the $12 billion bailout…It’s like you’re getting punched in the face and that same guy that’s punching you in the face gives you an ice cube.”

Scholten saod both Democrats and Republicans have failed farmers by allowing the mergers of grain processing, meat packing and seed companies to create monopoligies and “it’s time to get ahead of the curve.”

Full article: https://www.radioiowa.com/2018/08/20/scholten-says-government-policies-are-pushing-down-on-our-farmers/

Saturday Spotlight: Tracy Freese, Iowa State Senate Candidate (SD-25)

Can you tell us a little bit about your race? Initially, I was running to oust Senate Majority Leader, Bill Dix. Three weeks ago, Dix was caught kissing a lobbyist on camera and immediately resigned. Today, I find myself in a surprise special election on April 10th against Annette Sweeney. 

What sets you apart from your opponent? Our biggest difference appears to be animal cruelty laws. I support the protection of animals, Sweeney does not. She also believes gun laws should be unrestricted and I believe commonsense gun reform will keep firearms out of the wrong hands and will save innocent lives. 

Past or present, what political figure or figures do you look up to? I am a huge fan of Elizabeth Warren. She and I speak the same financial language. 

What inspired you to run for office? Kirsten Anderson. Kirsten was unjustly fired by Bill Dix just hours after reporting a toxic work environment filled with sexual harassment in the Republican Senate Caucus. She sued for just under a million but the jury was so offended it awarded her $2.2 million. Eventually, the suit was settled for $1.75 million with taxpayers footing the bill. As a working mother in my thirties, I saw myself in Kirsten and launched my campaign against Dix four days later to further the fight for harassment-free workplaces in Iowa.

Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself that we wouldn’t find on your website? J.D.’s mom likes me more than she likes him!

Lastly, what’s your opinion of Steve King? He is the stain Iowa can’t seem to wash off.

Learn more about Tracy Freese at the links below:

Website:  www.tracyfreese.com/​

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/tracyafreese/​

Twitter:  www.twitter.com/TracyAFreese

Saturday Spotlight: Peter Leo, Iowa State House Candidate (HD-12)

Can you tell us a little bit about your race? House District 12 includes all of Audubon and Carroll Counties, as well as the eastern half of Crawford County. There are dozens of small cities and towns located in the three counties, as well as parts of sixteen different public school districts. Most voters here self-identify as Independents, and as I have gotten to know more of those folks I have learned they value public servants who focus on finding practical solutions to our state’s problems over politicians who prioritize party loyalty or their big-money donors’ personal agendas. That independent streak has shown up at the polls in recent years, as the district was represented by Dan Muhlbauer, a Democrat from Manilla, from 2011-2014, but is now represented by Brian Best, a Republican from Glidden who will be running for a third term this fall. It would be easy to assume west central Iowa is Republican territory because it’s a rural district. But the independent-minded voters here aren’t afraid to think for themselves. They do not feel their concerns have been adequately addressed at the statehouse over the last few years. They’re looking to make a change, and have reacted to my candidacy and my ideas with enthusiasm. I look forward to meeting even more of them, earning their trust, and sharing my vision for the district and our state in the weeks and months leading up to the election in November. 

What sets you apart from your opponent? Generally speaking, my opponent votes with his party leadership, no questions asked. Their priorities are his priorities; it’s that simple. As for me, party leaders and big-money campaign donors do not impress, intimidate, or sway me, and I will never make their agendas my own in exchange for personal gain. As a legislator, I’ll base my votes on whether a proposed policy is good for the people of the district regardless of how it affects me or my standing with fellow Democrats. In making those judgments, I will ask myself if the bill before me for a vote expands opportunities for all people regardless of their identity or their socioeconomic status, is true to the principles of fundamental fairness and basic human dignity, and is supported by unbiased, reliable data or other evidence. As for a specific policy on which we differ, my opponent and I have opposing views on what our state’s fiscal priorities should be. He has already stated publicly that he’ll vote to cut income taxes for the wealthiest Iowans and for large corporations no matter the consequences, he’ll break the state’s promise to hold local governments harmless from the state’s last round of tax cuts by eliminating the commercial property tax backfill, and that he’ll support his party leadership’s attempts to end to the tax increment financing (TIF) backfill for our school districts–a program that costs less than one-tenth of one percent of the state’s annual budget to provide. These policies will rob the state of its ability to create good jobs in rural Iowa and leave our school districts and local governments with a bill they can’t afford to pay. In contrast, my priorities as a legislator will be reinvestment in rural Iowa and economic security for every Iowan. I will fight to shore up the finances of our rural schools and local governments by providing them with additional state funding so that they can hire more workers and teachers and develop new infrastructure and curricular offerings. I would also work to create opportunities for new investments in main street businesses and Iowa’s farmers so that we can get all rural Iowans’ incomes growing again. And I will never stop working to make sure every Iowan has access to health care that they can afford, regardless of their personal means or their health history. 

Past or present, what political figure or figures do you look up to? Among current political figures, I admire Sec. Tom Vilsack. As governor of Iowa for eight years and most recently at USDA, he was a practical problem solver who put the good of the people he served above all other considerations. He continues to be a great representative for our state. If someone compared me to him one day I would be honored. As for political figures from years past, I have always been inspired by Franklin Roosevelt. His unwavering focus on bringing economic relief to the poor and the marginalized during the Great Depression reminds me of the inscription my father wrote in the John Steinbeck anthology he gave me when I was just one year old, reminding me to “Always be mindful of the human condition.” Those words have guided me since I entered adulthood, and I hope to use the gifts and good fortune I’ve received in my lifetime to give a voice and hope to the powerless, just like FDR did. 

What inspired you to run for office? My passion for solving complex problems and my empathy for others in need. I spent months trying to recruit candidates to run for state or local office in the area, and each person I talked to told me the same thing: That I should run. Finally, I decided, why not me? I love this community, and I have the drive, the intellect, and the people skills to deliver positive results to some of our state’s biggest challenges like fixing healthcare, supporting our schools and teachers, and creating high-paying jobs for the next generation of Iowans..

Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself that we wouldn’t find on your website? Like J.D., I was also a baseball player through college. Although I was not fortunate enough to play professionally after college, playing ball taught me the importance of teamwork, dedication to self-improvement, and humility in both success and failure. My campaign’s logo incorporates an image of home plate to remind me of all the valuable lessons I learned on the diamond over the years.

Lastly, what’s your opinion of Steve King? He has never accomplished anything for the people of our district. We need new leadership in Congress that will deliver for us.

Learn more about Peter Leo at the links below:

Website:  www.peopleforpeterleo.com/​

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/PeopleForPeterLeo/​

Twitter:  www.twitter.com/PeopleForPeter

Saturday Spotlight: Tim Winter, Iowa State House Candidate (HD-48)

Can you tell us a little bit about your race?  

I am running for Iowa House of Representatives because we must build up our communities in our district.   We must create good-paying jobs and help small businesses grow.  High speed internet must be provided throughout the district including rural areas.  Our district needs access to affordable health care, health facilities and education.  We must protect family farms, as well as our precious soil and water.  

Our campaign is about having integrity and compassion towards fellow Iowans: to provide leadership and civility, to work towards solutions to the many issues facing us in our district and in Iowa.  We will bring the common-sense attitude and determination needed to the Iowa Legislature.  Let’s build Iowa House District 48 up!   

What sets you apart from your opponent?  

My opponent believes that giving hundreds of millions of dollars in Iowa tax breaks and tax credits to some of the wealthiest corporations on the planet is a good thing for Iowa citizens.  In House District 48 it actually has had the opposite effect.   It has created huge shortfalls in the Iowa budget, local governments and school districts.  To make up for the Iowa budget shortfall, my opponent plans to or has voted to cut funding on things like the Dept. of Human Services, Dept. of Public Health, Dept. of Corrections, the Iowa Skilled Worker Agency, the Job Creation Fund, the Agencies on Aging, Iowa Courts System, Dept. of Public Safety, Dept. of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, Dept. of Natural Resources, the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Education.  I believe that these are desperately needed organizations and services for our District.  My opponent has stated he will be voting along with his leadership to slash $1.7 billion off tax revenues from the wealthiest Iowans and corporations, putting the emphasis of tax revenues on local governments and school districts. By breaking his promise of property tax backfills, local governments may be forced to raise property and sales taxes.  There may be more emphasis on local bond issues because of the lack of state support.  I do not want to see the people in our District have their property taxes and sales taxes go up, just so huge corporations that may not be located within our District, can show a larger profit.

Past or present, what political figure or figures do you look up to?  

Because of my background in Agronomy, I have always admired Henry A. Wallace.  Wallace was the 33rd Vice President of the United States under Franklin D. Roosevelt, after he was the 11th US Secretary of Agriculture.  An Iowa farm boy from Adair County, he was raised as a Republican and later became a Democrat.  He founded the Progressive Party and ran as its Presidential nominee in 1948. Wallace obtained a bachelor’s degree in animal husbandry from Iowa State College in Ames, was an editor for the family-owned paper Wallaces’ Farmer and experimented with breeding high-yielding hybrid corn.  Wallace’s work introduced the concept of hybrid vigor.  In 1926 with the help of his wife, Ilo Browne, founded the Hi-Bred Corn Company, which later became Pioneer Hi-Bred. Today, I have great respect for and try to emulate leaders such as President Barack Obama, Secretary Colin Powell and Secretary Tom Vilsack.  They all have great devotion to the service of others.  They tirelessly work to bring solutions to problems.  They are community minded, cerebral in their thinking, kind, and inspire others to do more. This is what great leaders do.


What inspired you to run for office?

My Great-Grandparents had dreams of being landowners and American citizens, becoming one of the founding families of Boyden, Iowa.  By their faith and perseverance they made a home and started a family that continues to grow in Iowa.  They fought against injustice and hate groups which roamed the country side after the Civil War.  They helped build the local church to feed the souls of those weary of the harsh prairie conditions.  They housed those who came to their doorstep, fed those who were hungry, and supplied what little medicine they had to the ill.  They were community leaders and hard-working, progressive farmers. Thus, building community runs in my blood.  That is why I am running for Iowa House.  Like my ancestors, we must build up our communities and help each other reach our goals.  We must help create solid, good-paying jobs.  We must help small businesses grow, find quality employees and expand markets for their products.  We must provide high speed internet throughout Iowa, including rural areas.  We must have high quality, affordable health care.  We must attract new families and business into rural areas.  We must have access to mental health facilities and quality nursing homes.  We must have high quality, affordable education for our children, and for those wanting a post-secondary education.  We must protect family farms, as well as our precious soil and water.  We can do this!  Together we can fulfill these goals, like our ancestors did, to make Iowa a better place for us, our children and our grandchildren.    

Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself that we wouldn’t find on your website?

Any farmer can tell you that the amount of time spent in a tractor can be enormous.  While monitoring the equipment and gauges, I utilized the time to sing along with the radio or practice songs learned in choir.  This lead to being in All-State Choir in High School, singing at more weddings than I could possibly count and having the booming speaking voice I have today.

Lastly, what’s your opinion of Steve King?

My family originates from Sioux County which is the heart of his district.  So many people across the district and Iowa are deeply concerned about the hateful rhetoric that resonates from his campaign.  When you are trying to get your business and economy to grow in this district, it does not help to have someone who should be leading by bringing people together, is instead, pulling people apart.  When you are trying to encourage entrepreneurs to move to this district, the biggest roadblock is the negative image that he embodies.  The legislation that he has introduced while in Congress is minimal and hasn’t been made into law.  He is ineffective.  It is time for an effective leader who can unite us and not divide us.  Not just for Democrats, but for Independents and Republicans as well.  We are all in this together.  Let’s build Iowa up!

Learn more about Tim Winter at the links below:

Website:  http://timwinterforiowa.com/

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/IowaHouse48/​

Saturday Spotlight: Connie Price, Iowa State House Candidate (HD-08)

Can you tell us a little bit about your race? I am a candidate for District 08 in the Iowa House of Representatives. This district includes all of Hancock and Wright counties, and the southern part of Kossuth County. 

What sets you apart from your opponent? I am a progressive voice for policies that would help ordinary Iowans succeed.
I support:
* Fully funding all our public schools – pre-K through 12, community colleges, and state universities
* Public control of Medicaid, Medicare, and VA, with the goal of expanding affordable, quality, accessible healthcare for all
* Funding the air and water quality initiatives
* Incentives for meaningful job growth and living wages across all Iowa, not just the city and suburbs. 

Past or present, what political figure or figures do you look up to? Eleanor Roosevelt. She was an independent woman who was very compassionate. She helped FDR see the people in need and realize how important it was for government policies to help them, not harm them. 

What inspired you to run for office?
* I am deeply dismayed about the direction the current republican-controlled legislature is taking Iowa.
* Public money being used for private gain. Public money should be used for the public good! We need our public tax dollars to be used for public investment..

Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself that we wouldn’t find on your website? I have never met a vegetable I won’t eat, I love them all, even brussel sprouts!

Lastly, what’s your opinion of Steve King? Steve King is not representative of the Iowans I know. His public statements are an embarrassment to the hard-working, kind-hearted, generous people I know in our district. He has not sponsored any meaningful legislation during his time in Congress that has become law.

Learn more about Connie Price at the links below:

Website:  www.priceforiowahouse.com/​

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/PriceforIowaHouse/

Saturday Spotlight: Jake Thompson, Iowa State House Candidate (HD-10)

Can you tell us a little bit about your race? House District 10 encompasses all of Calhoun, Humboldt, and Pocahontas counties, as well as western Webster County. As you might imagine, we’re a very rural area. I am from Rockwell City, as is my opponent, Mike Sexton. 

What sets you apart from your opponent? I am running to stand up for my friends, family, and neighbors, not to personally and politically profit off making their lives harder. 

Past or present, what political figure or figures do you look up to? I grew up listening to Grandpa Thompson talk about The Depression. At one point the locusts supposedly swarmed so thick that they chewed the paint right off the house. The family had to eat the field corn just to survive, leaving them with nothing to sell. The situation was dark, but Franklin Delano Roosevelt came in with the New Deal and helped lead America through those hard times. Generations later, the Thompson family still has not forgotten that. 

What inspired you to run for office? Rural Iowa faces many threats. Our countryside is emptying as our population ages and sickens, while the unchecked expansion of large hog confinement operations drives families away. But perhaps what hit our family dinner table the hardest was the gutting of collective bargaining.

My father is a corrections officer, and public workers of all varieties make up a large part of our employment base in this District. This is especially true in Rockwell City because it has the correctional facility. Dad getting that good job was huge for our family, and he and mom are still raising my two elementary-aged brothers. The legislature’s attack on collective bargaining and the protections it offers has put our family in financial danger and my father in physical danger.

Mike Sexton knew exactly who was going to be hurting when he voted to backstab the unions: he sees those people at the gas station. He voted against his friends and neighbors because he was told to, and he did it for his own political gain. He is completely directed by the big money controlling him, and if he won’t stand up for his hometown, he won’t do it for anyone.

Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself that we wouldn’t find on your website? I tied for second at the Iowa State Fair hot dog eating contest last year, losing to the #12 ranked eater in the world and tying with the #24 ranked eater. It is a pretty funny video to watch—they did a little interview with me for local color, then placed me at the far end of the table thinking that I didn’t have a chance—but I defeated a couple of people that were supposedly ranked in the top 50. The announcer started to get really excited by the end. I unfortunately had to decline an upcoming contest due to a conflict, but I hope to be at the Fair again this year.

Lastly, what’s your opinion of Steve King? I’ve never met him in person and he never has any legislation move forward, so like the rest of the world I only hear about him when he says something hateful. Everyone can see how divided our people are right now, and we need someone to bring us together, not drive us further apart.

Learn more about Jake Thompson at the links below:

Website:  www.thompsonforiowahouse.com/​

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/ThompsonforIowaHouse/

Saturday Spotlight: David Weaver, Iowa State House Candidate (HD-47)

Can you tell us a little bit about your race? House District #47 geographically covers approximately 100% of Greene County and 75% of Boone County (the eastern tier of 4 townships is in HD#48; that’s Tim Winter Country!). I decided to run in December of 2017 and announced in January of 2018. The current representative decided not to run, so three Republicans emerged on the day of the filing deadline. My opponent on the November ballot is actually a second cousin, though we have never met. He is 27, a veteran, and spent some time in 2016 canvassing and campaigning for the NRA; he was working as a legislative assistant for a Republican legislator when he decided to file to run for office. It is an open seat with no incumbent, which always makes things interesting. 40% of the voting population is the city of Boone, and 60% is “everything else.” That includes cities like Jefferson and Ogden, as well as a lot of corn and soybean fields. I think of this as the HWY 30 corridor (i.e. the Lincoln Highway) between Ames and Carroll. There is a lot of manufacturing in this district, including Scranton Manufacturing and Deere Planters in Paton. DMACC in Boone, as well as the National Guard in Boone are some of the things that I think about when I consider representing this District. My daughter just finished her kindergarten year at Ogden, so while I graduated from East Greene in 1988, we will be raising a little Bulldog! In the end, though, I think it is a truly blended district of both rural and urban interests, which is why I think I would best be able to represent it. I am a farmer and have been paying property taxes since 2006 in both Boone and Greene Counties. We built our home on my grandfather’s home place; he was a Greene County supervisor, and loved every minute of talking with constituents in his district. 

What sets you apart from your opponent? Our career paths have been very different. I got my degree from Central College in 1992, did an internship with Tom Harkin’s office in Des Moines, and even had an internship with a Member of Parliament while I was a student (Central College has a strong overseas program) in London. I have done a lot of traveling around the world as part of my education, but always been partial to living in Iowa. I’ve lived in Grinnell, Iowa City, Davenport, Westside and Perry, but I have always thought of the farm where I grew up as “home.” I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to raise my daughter here in Iowa, close to where I grew up and just a mile from my parents. I want to see good jobs return to this area – the success of our schools, health care, and government services depends on it. Iowans need better wages, affordable health care and insurance, and good schools for our children and grandchildren. 

Past or present, what political figure or figures do you look up to? Abraham Lincoln. He was (he said!) a simple country lawyer. During the time I was a librarian at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, I kept bumping into different aspects about Lincoln that I was unaware of. Early in his career he took up a case representing railroads, in a dispute between steamboats and railroad interests, which were specific to an incident of a Mississippi riverboat being damaged by a bridge that was built for steam locomotives. I was reminded of this story each time I crossed the Rock Island Arsenal Bridge, on my commute from Davenport to Rock Island. I look up to “Honest Abe” because he had a reputation for delving into the facts, and for being extremely thorough as a lawyer. Lincoln believed strongly in the power of words and argument. He was greatly respected among his peers. I think that most people remember Abraham Lincoln as a gentleman. Lincoln knew the importance of holding the country together, and my goal as legislator will be to reach across the aisle and work to solve problems for Iowans. 

What inspired you to run for office? While I always mention on the campaign trail that the deciding factor for me to run was my disappointment in the 2017 legislative session at the Iowa Capitol (gutting Chapter 20, de-funding the Leopold Center, the assault on women’s rights, etc.), I can tell you that in my family, we have always taken a keen interest in government and service. Elections and government have always been discussed at the Weaver dinner table. My parents were and are both active in many local boards – my mother was president of the East Greene School board for a time. My father was on several different local boards – Rippey/Heartland Co-op, Cattlemen’s Association, a nursing home, etc. and my grandfather Lee Dorris was a Greene County Supervisor. My great-grandfather, Royal Higgins, represented Greene County at the State Capitol in the 1925-1927 session. I was taught at an early age that service to your community is important, and I see this as an opportunity to serve Iowans.

Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself that we wouldn’t find on your website? I have something in common with David Bowie, Mila Kunis and Jane Seymour; we each have heterochromia (different colored eyes)!

Lastly, what’s your opinion of Steve King? I was particularly disappointed when Mr. King chose to display a flag of the Confederate States on his desk. Iowa sent more soldiers to fight in the Civil War, per capita population, than any other state in the Union. Rippey, my hometown, is named after Robert Rippey. Mr. Rippey was a Greene County Judge who lead a group of Greene County men and boys as a Captain for the Union Army in the Civil War. He died fighting to preserve our Union and our United States. I believe that Iowans are much more positive and have a much better respect for ourselves and our immigrant ancestors than our current representative seems to have. I have met JD Scholten; his youth, expectations, knowledge of law and compassion will prove him to be a much better representative in the U. S. Congress. I look forward to the day when Iowans of this district are represented by Mr. Scholten.

Learn more about David Weaver at the links below:

Website:  weaverforiowa.com/​

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/WeaverforIowa/​

Twitter:  www.twitter.com/weaverforiowa