Republican distortion watch: Steve King edition

When a bunch of national blogs write about Representative Steve King (IA-05), you know it's not for anything that will make Iowans proud. This week was no exception, as King led a group of more than 50 House Republicans demanding that Kevin Jennings resign as the White House official focusing on "safe schools."

As you might expect, the basis for King's campaign against Jennings is a canard, but he didn't stop even after his office was informed that the allegations were false.

Steve Benen, Greg Sargent and Jed Lewison have more on King's latest embarrassing crusade.

Council Bluffs resident Mike Denklau announced on October 15 that he is running against King in 2010. His official campaign website is here. Although this district leans strongly Republican, it's important not to leave people like King unchallenged.

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Republican hypocrisy watch: Steve King edition (IA-05)

Yesterday I posted here that Representative Tom Latham (IA-04) has been taking credit for earmarks in the 2009 omnibus spending bill that he voted against.

An alert Bleeding Heartland reader informed me that Representative Steve King (IA-05) has been playing the same game. King's office issued an upbeat statement about $570,000 included in the economic stimulus bill that will go toward widening U.S. Highway 20 in a rural area of northwest Iowa. Of course, the statement did not mention that King voted against the stimulus, and nor did the brief news item in the Sioux City Journal.

I had a feeling that King would take credit for stimulus spending. During last year's campaign he repeatedly misled voters about his role in securing money to widen Highway 20 (see here and here).

Time for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to add Steve King's name to the Republican Hypocrisy Hall of Fame. More than 30 House Republicans have already been inducted.

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Where will Obama's coat-tails be longest?

Barack Obama seems very likely to be elected president tomorrow, but he won't have coat-tails in all fifty states or all 435 Congressional districts. Some of our candidates will need a significant number of John McCain's voters to split their tickets in order to have any chance of winning.

In many parts of the country, however, down-ticket candidates will have the wind at their backs tomorrow. Obama not only leads the polls in their states, but also has a better ground game. I'm convinced that in these conditions, Democrats will win some shocking upsets.

Obama has had a double-digit lead in the Iowa polling average for a while now, but his lead seems to be growing as the election approaches. On Thursday Survey USA released an Iowa poll showing Obama ahead 55-40, with an even more commanding lead among respondents who said they'd already voted. On Sunday the Des Moines Register released Selzer and Associates' final Iowa poll of the season, which is even more gruesome for the GOP. Obama leads McCain 54-37 overall. Obama leads 3-1 among the 10 percent of respondents who said they'll be voting for the first time this year, and by 9 points among those who say they haven't voted since before 2000.

Also, the Des Moines Register found Obama supporters more optimistic going into the election:

Over three-quarters of [Obama's] supporters in Iowa say they are inspired and upbeat, with 15 percent describing themselves as angry and pessimistic.

McCain's supporters appear to be more troubled about the future, with 36 percent describing themselves as angry and pessimistic and 46 percent declaring themselves upbeat about the election.

Senator Tom Harkin leads his little-known and under-funded Republican challenger by 26 points in the same poll, giving those McCain supporters more reason to feel pessimistic.

The Des Moines Register's political columnist David Yepsen sees a landslide in the making:

For the first time in modern Iowa history, Democrats are poised to win control of both legislative chambers in two successive General Assemblies while at the same time holding the governorship.

Winning back-to-back Legislatures reflects a realignment of Iowa politics that could have far-reaching implications. For example, the state senators elected on Tuesday will be in office in 2011, when legislative and congressional district lines are redrawn for the next decade.

Yepsen gives Democrats the edge in many of the competitive Iowa House races, including several where the American Future Fund has been running tv ads. He didn't mention Iowa's two Congressional seats held by Republicans in his latest newspaper column, but in a separate blog post he noted that

Obama's lead in the poll is almost three times what his average lead is nationally.

So much for Iowa being a "battleground" or "tossup" state this time. [...]

Such poor numbers threaten to have a demoralizing effect among Republicans and an energizing one among Democrats. If Democrats smell victory and head to the polls while Republicans are in a funk and stay at home (as happened in the 1974 Watergate election), then Obama's landslide could bury other GOP candidates down the ballot.

What happened in 1974? Tom Harkin and Berkley Bedell, who had run unsuccessfully for Congress two years earlier, defeated Republican incumbents in western Iowa's conservative fifth and sixth Congressional districts.

Howie Klein at Down With Tyranny shares my view that Becky Greenwald (Democratic candidate in IA-04) and Rob Hubler (Democratic candidate in IA-05) could pull off upsets tomorrow. Both candidates are being outspent by Republican incumbents Tom Latham and Steve King, but they have been holding lots of campaign events around their districts and are running their own tv commercials. You can view Greenwald's final ad here and read the script here. Hubler's three tv ads are here (scroll down past the text of the Des Moines Register's endorsement editorial).

The GOTV machine in Iowa is engaged on behalf of Democrats at all levels. On Sunday I received a robocall from the Iowa Democratic Party, authorized by the Obama campaign for change, that mentioned voting for the "Democratic ticket" (not just Obama) twice. At the end it asked me to hold before giving me the name and address of my polling place. The same day, a volunteer left a door-hanger at our house, reminding us of the date of the election, the hours polls will be open, the phone number for Obama's toll-free early-voting hotline, our precinct number, the name and address of our polling location, and all the names on "your Democratic ticket" (in our case Obama, Harkin, Congressman Leonard Boswell, Democratic candidate Jerry Sullivan in Iowa House district 59, plus three Democrats seeking county offices).

MyDD readers, what are you seeing on the ground in your state? Where do you expect Obama to bring the most Democrats into office along with him?

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More strange scheduling from the McCain-Palin campaign

The latest Iowa poll (from SUSA) shows Barack Obama leading John McCain 55 percent to 40 percent. Obama leads 48-46 among men and 61-34 among women. Most significantly, Obama is beating McCain by 40 points among the 32 percent of respondents who told Survey USA they've already voted.

Yet Sarah Palin is coming back to Iowa on Monday to headline a rally in Dubuque.

What's really weird is that Dubuque, along the Mississippi River across from Wisconsin and Illinois, is in the uncompetitive first Congressional district (Bruce Braley, D). It's far from the central and north-central population centers in the fourth district, where Becky Greenwald is challenging Tom Latham, and farther from the fifth district, where Rob Hubler is taking on Steve "10 worst" King.

Your guess is as good as mine.

While I have your attention, please kick in a few bucks to Becky Greenwald and Rob Hubler so they can run more tv ads during the final stretch. You can view Greenwald's final ad here and read the script here. Hubler's tv ad is here (scroll down past the text of the Des Moines Register's endorsement editorial). The Ames Progressive blog recently featured these races too.

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Steve King calls Obama "socialist," pushes fake ACORN fraud story

Last weekend my fellow Iowa blogger 2laneIA published a comprehensive diary on Congressman Steve King's "greatest hits." Click the link to read about King's suggestion that we electrify the border fence with Mexico like we do "with livestock," his prediction that terrorists will be "dancing in the streets" if Obama becomes president, and his pride in working to scale back funding for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (which he calls Socialist Clinton-style Hillarycare for Illegals and their Parents). I mentioned a few more low points for King in this post.

Yesterday the man Ann Coulter calls "one of my favorites" helped warm up the crowd at a Sarah Palin rally in Sioux City. According to Iowa Independent, King suggested that electing Obama could be a step toward totalitarian rule:

"When you take a lurch to the left you end up in a totalitarian dictatorship," King said.  "There is no freedom to the left. It's always to our side of the aisle."

Sioux City Journal political correspondent Bret Hayworth wrote on his liveblog,

10:12 a.m.: King gives the first of what will be two speaking opportunities, this one the longer, for nine minutes. He lays out several versions of the words "liberal" and "socialist" in describing Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. He mentions the ACORN group and earns a big "Booooo." King said a Google search of "Acorn Fraud" gets you 2 million hits of possible stories.

King said it's not a stretch to link Obama to the ACORN group, since he worked for them in voting matters. "Obama is ACORN... When I see Obama, I see ACORN branded on his forehead," King said.

King has embarrassed Iowans with his bigotry and extremism for too long.

If he is re-elected, he won't just be an irritant for Iowans. King severely disrupted the House Judiciary Committee's efforts to question Douglas Feith in July, and I'm sure there will be more where that came from in the new Congress.

Iowa's fifth is an R+8 district, but Rob Hubler has a real shot in this race, for reasons I discussed here.

Send a message to Steve King by donating to Hubler for Congress.

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