Steve King's nonsense of the week

Congressman Steve King is the guest on Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press” program this week. Unfortunately, it sounds like no one on the panel asked our ACORN-obsessed representative about last week’s Congressional Research Service report, which cleared ACORN of violating any federal regulations during the past five years, or about the federal court ruling that halted a Congressional ban on federal funding for ACORN.

But don’t worry, King served up plenty of nonsensical right-wing talking points yesterday. You can watch the program on Iowa Public TV this weekend, but a few highlights are after the jump.

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Federal judge halts ban on ACORN funding

Big news yesterday from The Hill’s blog:

A federal judge today issued an injunction preventing the implementation of a congressional ban on funding for ACORN.

Judge Nina Gershon concluded that the ban amounted to a “bill of attainder” that unfairly singled out ACORN.

“[The plaintiffs] have been singled out by Congress for punishment that directly and immediately affects their ability to continue to obtain federal funding, in the absence of any judicial, or even administrative, process of adjudicating guilt,” Gershon wrote in her decision.

Gershon said ACORN had demonstrated “irreperable harm” from the ban, while “the potential harm to the government, in granting the injunction, is less.

You can download a pdf file of the ruling at the Center for Constitutional Rights site.

Conservative heads are exploding. I await an outraged statement from ACORN-obsessed Representative Steve King (IA-05), even though ACORN has done nothing wrong.

Credit should go to the 75 House Democrats who had the courage to vote against this unconstitutional bill. Sadly, Iowa’s Democratic representatives Bruce Braley, Dave Loebsack and Leonard Boswell joined the stampede to cut off ACORN.

Speaking of which, Editor & Publisher recently published an outstanding piece by Christopher R. Martin and Peter Dreier on the media’s “false framing” of ACORN.

I was very sorry to read this week that Editor & Publisher is shutting down after more than 100 years in business.

UPDATE: I missed this story:

This week, an independent review of ACORN (pdf here), run by by former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger, found serious but correctable problems with the organization that were organizational, not criminal in nature, and that reflected an overall lack of coordinated national management and unified purpose–the exact opposite of the centralized, highly disciplined super-secret organization that conservatives have long fantasized about.

While the report pulls no punches in citing nine significant reports that need to be made, it says that “The following nine (9) recommendations, discussed in detail in Section VII, are neither an epitaph nor an absolution for ACORN, but are a roadmap to reform and renewal, if implemented in their entirety in concert with other measures to regain the public’s trust.”

Regarding the videos used to attack ACORN, the report finds that “The released videos offer no evidence of a pattern of illegal conduct by ACORN employees,” that “The ACORN employees captured on video were members or part-time staff. They were not organizers or supervisory level employees,” and that “There is no evidence that any action, illegal or otherwise, was taken by ACORN employees on behalf of the videographers.”

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Right to target SEIU in war against ACORN

The Congressional Democrats’ stampede to join Republican efforts to defund ACORN was stupid on many levels, as Paul Rosenberg explained in this post. Among other things, Rosenberg argued, Democrats empowered and validated the GOP’s strategy of demonization. They may have thought cutting off ACORN’s funding would cause Republicans to stop exploiting the issue, but of course, the opposite is true.

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King calls Obama "socialist," pushes fake ACORN fraud

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 Sarah Palin’s 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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