Thursday, November 1, 2012

Just a few more days until the phone stops ringing and the commercials stop repeating.  Even for a political junkie like me, election season is exhausting, and I can’t wait for it to be over with.  But I take my vote seriously and study the candidates of both parties carefully before casting my vote on Election Day.  The letter “R” next to their name doesn’t guarantee my support (although, admittedly, it helps).  

Even in the 4th District Congressional race, I’ve studied the candidates and issues and conclude, without reservation, that Steve King best represents our values and deserves our vote on Nov. 6.

In this new 4th Congressional District agriculture provides employment for 23 percent of the workforce and accounts for nearly 30 percent of the total economy.  Ninety-four-percent of the surface land is farmer owned and managed.  Needless to say, agriculture is important here.  So when it came time for the Iowa Farm Bureau and Iowa Corn Growers to choose between Congressman Steve King and his opponent, Christie Vilsack, they chose Steve King.  In fact, 60 ag-related organizations have endorsed Congressman King while no ag-related organization has endorsed Vilsack, the wife of the current U.S. secretary of agriculture.  Not one.   

The opposite of agriculture is the radical anti-meat activist group HSUS — The Humane Society of the United States — which has spent some $400,000 distorting King’s record here and attempted to donate to the Vilsack campaign.  HSUS spends 1 percent of their budget on animal welfare and the rest on themselves and anti-livestock lobbying.

In the recent Carroll debate, Christie spoke of HSUS as if they were your local animal shelter.  They are not.  It’s difficult to believe she could be that ignorant of what this group represents and how damaging they can be to this district’s future.  King has gone toe-to-toe with these radicals and will continue to do so on our behalf.

Instead of agriculture, Vilsack has received the endorsements of (and donations from) abortion capitalist Planned Parenthood and the pro-abortion activist group Emily’s List.  Christie was recently director of a Planned Parenthood campaign and has donated to Planned Parenthood herself.  

Planned Parenthood performs over 900 daily abortions in the United States (and two adoption referrals).  Nearly half of their $1 billion annual income is provided by taxpayers.  In the recent debate in Carroll, Vilsack claimed that she thought abortions should be “rare,” but she is founder of the “Iowa Initiative,” a group that advocates for abortion.  Does 1.2 million abortions per year sound “rare” to anyone?

Running for office four years ago, Barack Obama promised to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term.  Instead, he’s added nearly $5 trillion to our now $16.2 trillion national debt; over $141,000 per taxpayer.  Vilsack supports Obama’s proposal to tax the “rich” to fix our budget woes.  Such taxation will generate $85 billion in additional annual revenues (enough to run the country for only 8.5 days).  Currently, the United States spends $11 for every $7 it brings in and hasn’t passed a budget in four years.

Congressman King favors a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  Christie Vilsack twice called the Balanced Budget Amendment a “gimmick,” and, laughably, blamed King for the current deficit.  Such a “gimmick” would force some responsibility into the federal government’s irresponsible spending habits.  

Speaking of irresponsible, Vilsack was asked repeatedly in the Carroll debate how long people should be entitled to unemployment benefits.  She finally responded, “I don’t think that we need to have a definite time on it.”  Sorry, Christie.  Yes, we do.  

Unemployment in this district is extremely low by national standards; 2 percent in the west and 5 percent in the east.  King favors the traditional 26-week safety net over the current 99-week hammock.  This district does not need perpetual unemployment benefits.   

Christie never responded to gun-rights surveys and won’t tell us where she stands on our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.  What she has told us is that she is running to “move forward with the president’s agenda.”  So what’s the president’s agenda?  In 2010, the Obama administration reversed U.S. opposition and endorsed a U.N. global small arms treaty which may circumvent our Second Amendment rights.  King is an ardent supporter of gun rights and has received the endorsement of the NRA and other gun rights activists.

It’s not surprising that the vast majority of Christie’s funding comes from outside the 4th District.  She comes from outside the 4th District, too, moving here for the sole purpose of running for Congress to “move forward with the president’s agenda,” and the agenda of those who are funding her.  In addition to Planned Parenthood, her donors include Nancy Pelosi, Jon Corzine, George Soros, David Axelrod, NARAL Pro-Choice America and the Service Employees International Union (and about any other union you can name).

Congressman King, who has always lived in this district, gets the majority of his funding from us.  He works for us.

Vilsack herself told voters, “I don’t have solutions. … If you want someone who knows answers, I’m probably not the person you want.”  Finally, something Vilsack and I agree on.

Agriculture, life, responsible spending, protecting our constitutional rights and working for the people of this district. That’s where Congressman King stands. That’s where I stand, too.

(Craig Williams of Manning is chairman of the Carroll County Republican Party.)