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First Time Candidate J.D. Scholten Outraises 8 Time Incumbent Steve King Nearly 2-1

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 31, 2018

J.D. Scholten Outraises  15 Year Incumbent Steve King Nearly 2-1

Sioux City, IA – J.D. Scholten, Democratic candidate for the U.S. House in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District, today reported an impressive 4th quarter total of over $174,000 from over 2,700 individual donors. This total includes contributions from all 39 counties in the district, as well as all 50 states and Washington D.C. 

Additionally, the campaign has over 500 volunteers signed up, including at least one from each of the 39 counties in the district.

Scholten’s comment on the campaign’s strong showing:

We’re grateful for the amount of support this campaign has received. At first, our focus was to get out on the road to engage with as many people as possible. At the time, people liked us simply because I wasn’t Steve King. Now we’re seeing the shift to people responding to our message of inclusiveness. I’m fighting for an inclusive health care system, an inclusive economy, and an inclusive community. My campaign is about beating Steve King, but our grassroots movement is about invoking the voice of the working class in Iowa’s 4th District.

More impressively, the campaign’s haul was nearly double that of Republican incumbent Steve King*. Scholten’s Political Director, Todd Prieb said of the numbers:

Raising nearly twice as much money as Steve King did shows that this seat is absolutely in play in 2018. We’re equally proud of the number of volunteers that have signed on to help Team Scholten. We’re building the kind of movement it’s going to take to win. This is a clear sign that people are energized by J.D. and our message, not just in the district, but all across the country.

 

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*Scholten4Iowa Campaign Committee:

Total Receipts – $174,343.57

Cash on hand – $133,522.62

http://docquery.fec.gov/cgi-bin/forms/C00650622/1205817/

 

King for Congress:

Total Receipts – $87,543.50

Cash on Hand – $52,578.83

http://docquery.fec.gov/cgi-bin/forms/C00373563/1205674/

2017 Women’s March: A Personal Moment of Clarity

What a difference a year makes…

Every day out on the campaign trail I get asked about what made me decide to run for Congress. There are many variables that played significant roles but the defining moment came on January 21, 2017.

On that Saturday, I was living in Seattle and a lot of my female friends were getting together in Judkins Park to join the Women’s March from Pioneer Square to the Seattle Center. To be honest, I didn’t really know what to expect. I didn’t realize that this would become a pivotal moment for many Americans. The day before, we watched Donald J. Trump become our 45th President. You could sense the anxiety of America and the uneasiness of not knowing what the next four years would be like. It was the Women’s March that harnessed that energy and directed it forward.

In my personal life, I was still in mourning. This was less than a month after I gave the eulogy at my Grandma Fern’s funeral, arguably the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.

Reports were coming in that Judkins Park was so packed that people couldn’t get within blocks of there. So I decided to walk downtown and find my spot on a wall across from the central public library. Afterwards we found out that the organizers were anticipating 40,000-50,000 people but an estimated 100,000-140,000 showed up. As the first wave of people marched past us, the steadiness, the energy, and the passion continued. I saw friends, neighbors, and colleagues constantly stream past.

At about the two hour mark, we heard that the first marchers finally reached the end of the march, yet there was still a huge crowd of people waiting to start back in Judkins Park. I was waiting for a friend’s group to march with the rest of the way when I saw a father with his little girl, who looked to be around 4 or 5 years old. This exact moment hit me in a way I couldn’t have imagined—it was a turning point in my life. I found myself thinking about the special bond between this father and his daughter. This moment was larger than this little girl could probably comprehend, but her dad wanted to make sure she was part of it so that when she grows up she can say “I was there.”

It was also at this moment that I remembered an article that I read a couple of years ago. It said that life is not about the pursuit of happiness; it’s about the pursuit of meaningfulness. When I was thinking about the meaning of my life, I thought about some of the last words my grandmother told me: “You should move back to Iowa and take care of our farm.” It was in this moment of clarity that I realized the most meaningful thing in my life is my family and where I am from. I am defined by my Iowa roots. And it was standing there across from the Seattle downtown library while feeling the passion of the march that I decided that it’s time for me to move back home to Iowa. And it was time for me to fight.

That decision has snowballed into running for Congress in my beloved home district against one of the most controversial and ineffective members of Congress, Steve King. Tomorrow I’ll be joining the Women’s March in Des Moines to honor the one-year anniversary of that day. That passion and energy that I felt that day is still alive and burning in my heart. I know I am right where I need to be, doing exactly what I want to be doing.

Standing Tall for All,

JD. Scholten

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/1/19/1734236/-2017-Women-s-March-A-Personal-Moment-of-Clarity

Scholten to Steve King: ‘I Didn’t Care Where my Shortstop was From’

Iowa Political Alert –

Democratic congressional candidate J.D. Scholten says leaders should care about results, not obsess over countries of origin for immigrants in the United States.

“I didn’t care where my shortstop was from,” Scholten, a former minor league and University of Nebraska pitcher from Sioux City said in an interview.

Running in the 4th District, political territory now represented by U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Kiron, Scholten criticized his would-be general election opponent’s Twitter activity this morning.

King reinforced President Donald Trump’s reported sentiments on certain “shithole countries” from which the commander in chief wants to limit emigation to the United States.

“Hang in there Mr. President,” King wrote early this morning, using the social media messaging service Twitter. “If those countries aren’t as you described, Democrats should be happy to to deport criminal aliens back to them & End #anchorbabies, too.”

The King message had been re-tweeted more than a thousand times as of late this morning.

“You would think somebody would be a little more articulate,” Scholten said. “These folks are making national decisions.”

King engaged in brief Twitter war of words with the entertainer George Lopez.

“Hey George Lopez: To paraphrase you, I’ll flush you, too,” King said on Twitter.

Lopez had hurled on a profanity at King.

Scholten described King’s exchange as “childish.” Scholten said the King/Lopez spat actually concerned him in some ways more than the congressman’s Trump backing.

“What does that little spat have anything to do with the 4th District of Iowa and bettering it,” Scholten said.

A political newcomer, Scholten has amassed 21,500 followers on Twitter as he battles for the Democratic nomination in the heavily Republican 4th District. Much of that audience is built in reaction to King’s provocations, Scholten said.

According to The New York Times, in a discussion with lawmakers Thursday about immigration from certain African nations, Trump asked why he would want “all these people from shithole countries,” according to people with direct knowledge of the conversation, including U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, who was there.

Trump, who had met with the prime minister of Norway this week, said the United States should instead seek more immigrants from nations like Norway.

https://www.iowapoliticalalert.com/news/scholten-steve-king-%E2%80%98i-didn%E2%80%99t-care-where-my-shortstop-was-%E2%80%99

J.D. Scholten Plans To Beat Arch Villain Steve King This Year– This Guest Post Explains How

DOWN WITH TYRANNY – Before you read J.D.’s guest post, you might want to take a look ay the brand new Iowa Survey results. You’ll notice that in IA-04, the most Republican district in the state, only 49% approve of Trump, only 43% approve of Republican Governor Kim Reynold’s job performance and that just 26% approve of the Republican-controlled state legislature. And when those IA-04 voters were asked if they think the legislature should reinstate a requirement that local and state government negotiate with public employee unions regarding the safety and benefits of workers, 56% said yes and just 24% said no.

Reaching Out to Rural Iowa: How I am going to beat Steve King
-by J.D. Scholten

When I first thought about running for Congress in Iowa’s 4th District to unseat Steve King, one of the first people I reached out to was Frank LaMere, a family friend, activist, and former Democratic Party chairman of the National Native American Caucus. He told me, “J.D., if you want this, you have to get uncomfortable. Once you get uncomfortable, you have to make others uncomfortable.”

Being uncomfortable in this district means going to where you are not invited, going to the counties that historically vote around 80% Republican. If you don’t, then you can’t expect change. This is the largest and most rural district in Iowa. It contains 39 counties, and is larger than the land area of the smallest 115 U.S. Congressional Districts combined. Since this journey began, I have put over 35,000 miles on my car. I easily could stay in my hometown, Sioux City, or the Democratic hub, Ames. Instead, I choose to be uncomfortable and drive to those inconvenient places because I want change and am willing to put in the work to make it happen.

You have to also understand that in rural Iowa, much of our work goes into products that are exported: The crops we grow and harvest get shipped away. The energy we harness (Iowa leads the nation in wind energy) gets exported. The youth we educate often leave for outside opportunities. We have a selfless mentality of bettering the world.

Rural Iowans don’t view the government as something that can do things “for” them, but as something that does things “to” them. For Democrats to have an impact, we have to be willing to work with them. We need to show them that government is supposed to be a resource and not a burden.

It’s important to understand what it’s like to have the closest Target store be an hour and a half away, the significance of bringing the community together for high school athletics, and the value of church on Sunday mornings. Rural Iowans like having their space and independence while also having an identity with their community.

I understand that having “Democrat” by my name will immediately turn some of them off. In fact, nothing turns them off more than the National Democratic Party. That’s not going stop me from getting uncomfortable. I might not always get their vote, but I am going to show that I am trustworthy. At the end of the day, I will tell them all the same thing: I am fighting for their job and their retirement, I am fighting for their paycheck, I am fighting for their healthcare, and I am fighting for their children’s education.

Ultimately, this is how I am going to beat Steve King. I may not win the counties that usually go 80% for Republicans. But by God, I am going to work my tail off to get enough votes in these areas to allow me to shrink the margins and win big in the areas that I can. I wouldn’t be running against Steve King if I didn’t believe in my heart that this race could be won. It’s going to take a grassroots effort like we’ve never seen in this district. We’re already laying the foundation– join us in getting uncomfortable, and together, we will create that movement of change we’re all looking for!

Standing Tall for All,

J.D. Scholten

https://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2018/01/jd-scholten-plans-to-beat-arch-villain.html#undefined.ejhh.gbpl.uxfs

Winning the Unwinnable

I heard stories of my father being a feisty pitcher back in the day. He went on to become an Iowa High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame baseball coach for his time leading Mason City Newman and Nevada High Schools. In 1983, he was hired to be the head baseball coach at Morningside College (a small liberal arts school here in Sioux City, Iowa) where he went on to coach for almost thirty years. There are many things he has passed on to me throughout the years, but the two that helped me play professional baseball and are relevant to beating Steve King are fiery competitiveness and a strategic mind.

Being around sports my entire life, I understand what it takes to pull off an upset. It’s about preparation. It’s about using your strengths and exploiting your opponent’s weaknesses. It’s about how you react when you get punched in the face. It’s about having the heart and the mentality that you’re going to win regardless of what other people think. And it’s about luck. Not blind luck, but the type of luck Thomas Jefferson was describing in the paraphrased, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”

That’s what we saw in Doug Jones and his campaign in Alabama. The last time that seat was up for election, the Democrats didn’t even field a candidate, and Jeff Sessions won with 97% of the vote. This year, the Democratic Party had a good candidate who ran a great campaign. He suffered a couple of blows but persevered, and put himself in a position to get lucky.

That’s also what we saw in the Iowa State Senate special election in my district last night. We had a great candidate in Todd Wendt. We witnessed the power of fired up Woodbury and Plymouth County Democrats. We saw what happens when you combine that passion with a well executed game plan. Although we ultimately didn’t win, it resulted in a 30 point shift from the 2016 presidential election. 

So where do we go from last night? In baseball, there’s an expression that “momentum is tomorrow’s starting pitcher.” Our campaign is putting itself in the position to defeat Steve King. A great example of that is Friday when Steve King tweeted that “Diversity is not our strength.” we seized that opportunity and gained 3,000 new followers on Twitter.

As I’ve said before, tell me this race is unwinnable, tell me Steve King is unbeatable, and that only adds fuel to my fire. And I will tell you that I have felt the energy and the buzz in this district and together we can make the seemingly impossible happen.

This campaign is about beating Steve King, but our movement is about much more than that. It’s about re-establishing the Democratic Party in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District by having a vision for this district and invoking the voice of the working class.

Join our movement, and together we’ll be celebrating once again in November!

Standing Tall for All,

J.D. Scholten

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1724090/

Hey Steve King, E Pluribus Unum!

You undoubtedly know of my opponent, Steve King. He’s been in Congress now since 2003. You might have seen him at the RNC Convention when he asked “what ‘sub-groups’ besides whites made contributions to civilization,” or remember that in July, he said we should take all the money that goes to Food Stamps and Planned Parenthood and put it into building a border wall with Mexico, or in March when former KKK leader David Duke praised King for tweeting, “We can’t restore our civilization with someone else’s babies.” You may have seen the pictures of a Confederate flag on his desk, despite the fact that over 75,000 Iowans fought for the Union in the Civil War. And the list goes on and on…

Yesterday, Steve King was at it again when he tweeted “diversity is not our strength.”What’s more anti-American than a statement like that? The concept of diversity and multiculturalism is not a partisan issue that just sprang up from the left. Diversity and the idea of the Great Melting Pot is what this country was founded on! King is so hyper focused on alt-right politics and spewing divisive vitriol that he has completely abandoned the people of our district. Diversity represents the best of America and is what truly makes this nation special. Steve King represents the worst of America. His divisive viewpoints are best left in our rear view mirrors, and that’s why I plan on taking his seat in November.

My campaign motto is “Standing Tall for All.” I happen to be 6’6”, but the motto isn’t really about my height. It’s about standing up and fighting for all of the people in my district and treating all people equally. It’s about fighting for the Native Americans who lived here first. It’s about fighting for the folks who are similar to me, whose ancestors came to Iowa to farm. It’s also about fighting for those folks who came from different backgrounds, but came here for the same reason that my ancestors did, the pursuit of the Great American Dream. It’s about fighting to ensure that every one of us—regardless of race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity—has an equal opportunity to achieve that same American Dream.

My background is in professional baseball. I never got to pick my teammates. It didn’t matter if my shortstop was from Texas, the Dominican Republic, or Delaware, we all worked our tails off for a common goal. Despite serving nearly 15 years in Congress, Steve King still hasn’t figured it out. The beauty of any good team is diversity, and diversity is what truly makes America great.

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/12/9/1722825/-Hey-Steve-King-E-Pluribus-Unum

Professional Baseball Player Turns Congressional Candidate

DAILY TIMES HERALD – For J.D. Scholten, it doesn’t matter where he’s traveled or how tall he is. And he’s tall. What defines him are Iowa roots, the Democratic candidate for Congress in Iowa’s sweeping 4th District said in Carroll Wednesday night.

Standing 6 feet, 6 inches, Scholten, 37, is a fifth-generation Iowan and the first in his family, which has deep agricultural roots, to be born in an Iowa city — Ames.

Scholten once pitched for minor league professional baseball teams throughout Europe and the United States before he became a paralegal.

Then, after being upset at President Donald Trump’s election, a politically animated Scholten returned home to Iowa from Seattle and dedicated his life to politics.

Scholten held a meet-and-greet at Pizza Ranch in Carroll Wednesday to discuss what drove him to run for the Iowa 4th District seat.

Scholten’s family moved from Ames to Sioux City when he was 3 years old after his dad accepted the position as head baseball coach at Morningside College.

Scholten himself played Division II baseball for as long as he could at Morningside before transferring to a Division I school — University of Nebraska at Lincoln — to focus on pitching. He was a member of a Husker team that played in the College World Series in Omaha.

Scholten’s baseball career took him to Canada, Belgium, France and even Cuba, where he played professionally. He also played for the independent league team, the Sioux City Explorers.

“I played in Europe, and in between seasons I started building a career as a paralegal. That brought me up to Minneapolis and out to Seattle, so this time last year I was living in Seattle,” Scholten said.

After the 2016 election, Scholten grew disheartened and knew he wanted to come home and make a difference. He called his parents in Sioux City and said he was coming back. They told him, “We’re moving.” So, Scholten bought his childhood home from his parents and returned to Iowa to begin his campaign, he said.

Prior to giving the speech in Carroll and conducting an interview with The Daily Times Herald, Scholten walked up and down a meeting room at Pizza Ranch greeting audience members in gray New Balance sneakers and a flannel shirt. He nodded as he listened to concerns from about 20 voters on issues such as agriculture and the potential impact Trump’s proposed Mexican border wall may have on corn exports to a large U.S. grain customer. Many also talked with Scholten about health care, the GOP tax plan and the recent sexual-misconduct allegations — and admissions and apologies from some — that have roiled American politics.

When it comes to the recent version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed through the U.S. Senate, Scholten said it is horrible not only for America, but for middle-class Iowans.

“If your household makes $75,000 in Iowa, you’re taxed at 8.89 percent,” Scholten said. “In some of the higher-income places like New York and California, you have to make $1 million to get taxed at that high of a rate. So what this tax cut does is takes away the deduction of the state income tax, so you get double-taxed — you get taxed on the state and you get taxed on the federal. That’s going to hurt a lot of middle-class Iowans.”

Scholten used his baseball career as an analogy to explain why he is running for Congress.

He compared his teammates, whom he was not able to pick, to Democrats and Republicans. In baseball, the common goal was to win, Scholten said. That’s what Scholten wants Congress to get back to, he said.

“It didn’t matter if my shortstop was from the Dominican Republic, Texas or Delaware,” Scholten said.

Scholten’s No. 1 priority, if elected to represent 39 counties in Congress, is health care.

Scholten, a Catholic, is pro-choice on abortion and believes in convenient access to contraception.

“Therein lies the struggle being a Catholic — I have my personal views. There are some voters out there, we’re never going to agree on that. I have to accept that. Where I’m coming from is, I personally have a view on it, but then my political view is what I mentioned,” Scholten said.

He wants to see more sex education and access to contraception like Colorado’s free or low-cost access to birth control which, according to the Denver Post, reduced the teen abortion rate in Colorado by 64 percent in the past eight years.

When asked what he believes King, a veteran Republican with an electoral stranglehold on the district, has done to support rural Iowa, Scholten answered, “Who’s Steve King?” with a laugh.

“You look at ethanol — ethanol has done wonders for the 4th District,” Scholten said. “You look at him going down to Mexico and stirring the pot on the wall. Twenty-percent of our corn goes down to Mexico. They’re looking at other places. They’re looking at Argentina. That’s going to hurt our farmers.”

Scholten said King blindly signs whatever lobbyists push in front of him.

“If I was an eight-time incumbent, you would be darn sure I’m at the lead of the farm bill. He is not a leader in Congress. That’s really frustrating,” Scholten said.

Bigger picture where American politics in general are concerned, every day, new allegations pop up of elected officials and candidates being accused of sexual assault and harassment. When it comes to the recent allegations pressed on those political candidates and leaders, Scholten agrees investigations are necessary.

“It’s not a partisan issue,” Scholten said. “If you did these things, there should be consequences. And that’s what we are seeing on both sides of the aisle, I feel.”

He was not able to elaborate on any of the many accusations of President Trump harassing and assaulting women. But he said that both Trump and former President Bill Clinton should be investigated for their alleged actions.

“I am not charging (Trump) with anything because I don’t know any specifics or anything. I get my news from the paper like anyone else, so I’m not charging him with anything. There should be an investigation,” Scholten said.

Scholten voted for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Now he’s focused his full energies on 2018 and Democrats’ efforts to wrestle Congress from the Republicans and challenge a Trump agenda Scholten said is devastating for Iowa.

“Everything I have in my life I’m putting on this,” Scholten said. “Because I am so frustrated. This is everything I want to do, is beat Steve King so bad because again, he does not represent us.”

by ANNIE MEHL, Staff Writer
 

full article: http://www.1380kcim.com/news/2017/district-four-democratic-congressional-candidate-j-d-scholten-says-his-campaign-is-centered-on-inclusiveness/

Fighting Climate Change in Steve King Country?

Climate Change – How the 4th District of Iowa Can Be Leaders by Carbon Farming

Growing up in the 80s, I was taught to dream big. I love it when the U.S. is innovative and a respected leader. That’s why last week during the international climate talks in Bonn, Germany, I was disappointed when the official American delegates were relatively non-existent and non-influential. This is a stark contrast to climate summits when President Obama was in office and exemplifies America’s division on climate talks. Governor Jerry Brown of California commented on the division when he said, “There’s a debate in the United States between the denialists who pooh-pooh any thought about climate change and the catastrophic dangers it portends, and those who agree with the scientific academies of every country in the world that we’re facing an existential threat and we have to do something about it.”

Earlier this month, 13 federal agencies unveiled an exhaustive scientific report saying:

…humans are the dominant cause of the global temperature rise that has created the warmest period in the history of civilization.

Over the past 115 years global average temperatures have increased 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, leading to record-breaking weather events and temperature extremes. The global, long-term warming trend is “unambiguous,” and there is “no convincing alternative explanation” that anything other than humans — the cars we drive, the power plants we operate, the forests we destroy — are to blame.

The time to address this issue is NOW. The time to create policy is NOW. For those who do not believe in climate change, the question of “Why you don’t believe?” is irrelevant. The question now is “What part of climate change don’t you understand?”

My own representative in the U.S. House (and my opponent), Steve King, has said of global warming, “It’s not proven, it’s not science. It’s more of a religion than a science.” This kind of ignorant denial is harmful not only to the people of this district, but for future generations of people all over the planet. It is imperative that we take immediate action to combat climate change.

The burning of fossil fuels is creating more carbon dioxide than the atmosphere can handle. This is scary stuff. I wish this was an issue we could deal with in 20 years, but it’s not. This issue took on an increased importance for me when I read that the Defense Department classified climate change as America’s top threat. Then, this summer I saw the wildfires of Western U.S.; I saw the hurricane destructions of Houston, Key West, and Puerto Rico.

How has Iowa’s climate been negatively affected by these changes? Here’s how:

  1. More frequent and more intense rains
  2. More intense and more frequent droughts between the rainfalls
  3. More humidity (increase in molds and fungi)

In the last century, we’ve lost half of our topsoil. Our roads and bridges were built to withstand the 100-year flood but that 100-year flood is now turning into the 25-year flood. This is a food security issue and an infrastructure issue. My campaign is a fight to ensure that our farmlands are economically and environmentally thriving because that’s what I want when I pass our family’s farm down to the next generation after me.

What can we do? One of the reasons I love Iowa so much is that we are proud people and we like to be leaders. When I was growing up in the  Sioux City school system, we were “First in the Nation in Education.” Now, we lead in eggs, pork, corn, biodiesel, ethanol and wind energy. My 4th Congressional District is the most rural district in arguably the best agriculture state in the nation. If there’s too much carbon dioxide in the air, the obvious answer is to take some out. That’s why my vision is to have IA04 become a leader in CARBON FARMING.

There are a number of things we need to do to combat climate change. Carbon farming is one that hasn’t been talked about enough, and Iowa is uniquely positioned to lead the way. This takes excess carbon out of the air and puts it into our soil. In each acre of land, there’s about an elephant-sized amount of organisms that use this carbon. This benefits and strengthens the soil by creating organic matter. Carbon farming is a win-win.

Here’s an example of how it benefits. I talked to a couple that carbon farm. Last summer, one of their fields was pounded by an 7 inch rain. (We used to see a 7-10 inch rain about once every 3 years, while this past summer we saw 3 of those.)Because of these farmers’ participation in carbon farming, their soil was strong enough to withstand this rain. Their neighbors’ farm lost a third of its yield and what used to be an ideal flat field has several major dips on it because that storm caused major erosion.

How do we implement this?

It starts with a strong but flexible conservation title within the farm billThe goal is for the Federal and State governments to work together. When I was a kid, I remember my grandpa taking me out to the part of his land that was part of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Back then the idea of the program was to put whole fields into the program. Now we know if you put a field that was part of CRP for 10 years back into rotation, you can lose the 10 years of organic matter in as fast as 9 months.

That’s why I believe in target conservation. Every farm is different. Every acre of every farm is different. We have the technology now to identify the areas that would benefit the soil, benefit the climate, and maximize the yield by implementing target conservation. Increasing the use of prairie strips is one notable example of an instrumental way to help deal with Iowa’s current water crisis.

There’s no going around it. The burning of fossil fuels is changing our environment. It’s affecting Iowa and changing the way we need to look at farming. Food security is dependent on soil security. We aren’t inheriting the land from our parents, we’re borrowing it from our children.

Standing Tall for All by Standing Tall for Climate,

J.D. Scholten

A big “THANK YOU” to Liz Garst, Darwin Pierce, David Thoreson, and the other academic experts that helped contribute to the research and understanding of this important issue.

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/11/21/1717654/-Fighting-Climate-Change-in-Steve-King-Country

ENOUGH! Standing Tall Against Sexual Harassment

Perhaps the tipping point was when we elected a President who was famously taped saying it’s okay to “grab them by the pussy.”

Perhaps the tipping point was when victims of sexual harassment showed tremendous courage and stood up, using the power of social media to let others know they weren’t alone by sharing their own stories with #MeToo.

Over the last several weeks. we’ve seen an overwhelming and alarming number of high-profile men who have been accused of sexual harassment.

I am deeply troubled by all of the celebrities and people of power whose victims are coming out more and more each day. In situations like these, we traditionally look to leaders to lead. More than that, we rely on them to be leaders in correcting the problems in our society. Yet, even in the Halls of Congress, there have been complaints of sexual harassment.

Last week, House Speaker Paul Ryan heard from many members with real concerns about the House’s policies on sexual harassment, some even coming forward with their own personal stories of #MeToo. To Speaker Ryan’s credit, in response he (and others from both parties) proposed mandatory preventative sexual harassment training for members of congress. Who could possibly be against that?

Steve King, that’s who. His response to a tweet urging preventative sexual harassment training for members of Congress:

Steve King@SteveKingIA

A simple call for continued mutual respect and common courtesy is all this situation calls for.

And just in case that isn’t enough, this week Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore was accused of sexually abusing a 14 year old child. And Steve King? He completely disregards the possible victim in the situation by citing a Breitbart article framing this as being all about a candidate’s allegiance to the President.

Steve King@SteveKingIA

Judge Roy Moore told to withdraw by Senators who won’t or can’t help move Trump agenda. https://pgj.cc/N4aqS8 

Now, I am fully aware that these are just allegations and that Moore has not been convicted of anything. However, these accusations are about sexually abusing a child—a 14 year-old child! And yet, Steve King takes this opportunity to make this an issue about Republicans and their internal struggles when the real issue should be finding out if these allegations are true and if this person has the moral character necessary to hold office.

It doesn’t matter who you are, what job you hold, or what political party you belong to. This is not a partisan issue. Sexual harassment and abuse of power is morally wrong!

I was fortunate enough to be raised by a mother who has been an advocate for women’s rights and equality since the ‘60’s. I was raised to treat women, to treat all people, with respect. I am absolutely sick of our politicians and people in power degrading women and people they hold power over. I am absolutely repulsed by King, my own Representative (and my opponent), putting party politics and his personal agenda above morality and decency.

In times of crisis, I have followed what my inspiration, my Grandma Fern, would always tell me, “Just trust your faith.” Just this past Sunday I attended mass with my dad and the Priest’s sermon was about the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The beauty of this rule is that you don’t have to be Catholic or religious to follow it. It’s basic civility.

People like Steve King, who are so out-of-touch that they refuse to even recognize the seriousness of this problem only serve to enable the abusers. Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised when the person who was one of the first to defend Todd Akin’s “illegitimate rape” comments comes out against sexual harassment training or defends an accused child abuser before the facts are in. But that doesn’t mean we have to stand for it either.

It’s time we all stand together and take the power away from those who continue to abuse it. I’m here to join the millions of Americans who are disgusted by this behavior and are standing up to say ENOUGH!

Standing Tall for All,

J.D. Scholten

 

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/11/10/1714626/-ENOUGH-Standing-Tall-Against-Sexual-Harassment

I’m with Tulsi—you don’t get to choose your team!

ou don’t get to choose your team. That’s an important lesson I learned while playing professional baseball in a career that brought me to seven different countries and included hundreds of different teammates. In the last week, two things have reminded me of this lesson.

One of those things was an article published by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard whom I recently had the great pleasure of meeting. I highly recommend reading it for yourself (you can find a link HERE). Much of what she talks about really hits home for my district which is currently represented by Republican Steve King, perhaps the most divisive member in all of Congress. Rep. Gabbard points out that in today’s troubling political climate:

It is more important than ever to… love and treat all others with respect, to be inclusive rather than exclusive. The divisiveness that threatens the fabric of our nation — whether due to race, religion, political ideology, gender, sexual orientation, or other — must end.   ~Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

I stand with Tulsi in calling for an end to politics of division and in promoting a nation of inclusiveness.

I was also reminded of the importance of unity over division when I attended an important event last week, and I wanted to explain why I chose to be a part of it.

I attended Dr. Stephen Kirby’s event at the Sioux Center Library to protest the discrimination of the Muslim faith. As a Christian, I follow the Golden Rule of “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” And when Ronald Reagan described his “Shining city upon a hill” in his Farewell Address, with “the doors open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here,” he’s speaking of  an inclusive, coexisting society.

I have read excerpts of Dr. Kirby’s work. I know that he is a former member of the LAPD who has his PhD in International Affairs with an emphasis in Soviet Foreign Policy. I question his authority about writing on Islam because he’s not a scholar in theology and his doctorate is from a different field. His books are merely divisive opinion pieces.

I firmly disagree with his message. For example, if you use some of the same logic that he uses about Muslims, then somehow I would be linked to the Irish Republican Army (IRA) because of my Catholicism.

I acknowledge that he has the freedom of speech. I also have the freedom of speech. And Muslims have the freedom of religion.

I was there because I believe in an inclusive, coexisting society. I was there to stand up for the 3.3 million Muslims in America which include two members of Congress, 900 police officers in New York City, and the 5,900 active members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

I was there because one of the most amazing people that I have met in my life and am honored to call a great friend is Muslim. After graduating from Penn State University she joined the Peace Corp and served in Morocco. She later earned her Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University and is currently working on her PhD while being a mother to an adorable little boy. The overwhelming majority of American Muslims are productive and valuable members of this country just like she is.

When I played professional baseball, I didn’t get to choose my teammates. It didn’t matter if my third baseman was from New Jersey, the Dominican Republic, Texas or wherever. In baseball, it wasn’t important that we were often a team of different religions, different ethnicities, or different political beliefs. We worked together for a unified common goal. That’s my mentality as a candidate for Iowa’s 4th Congressional District. And that’s why I stand with Tulsi Gabbard in calling for America to come together and to leave the rhetoric that divides us behind.

Standing Tall for All,

J.D. Scholten

P.S. Say you stand with me in supporting unity over division by supporting our movement to unseat Steve King!