Peter Wagner
Peter Wagner

January 24, 2019

I am a friend and fan of Steve King. I freely and publicly admit it.

King is the only politician — in Washington, D.C., or Des Moines — to step up to the plate every time I have contacted GOP-elected officials for assistance for my family or for my business.

On June 3, 2016, when all other politicos in my party ignored requests to speak at the dedication of the family’s new $5.5 million White Wolf Web newspaper printing plant, Steve immediately responded he would be there.

King was the day’s highlight, delivering a well-crafted address that spoke of the important role a free press plays in assuring our individual freedoms. And he did so despite a major logistics problem that had him rushing to Sheldon from Sioux City where he was preparing for a live televised debate later that evening.

Yes, I agree with those who say King sometimes speaks without thinking. I’ve even introduced him at Republican gatherings myself as “The mouth from the West.” But as one woman said at my Wednesday morning Bible study, “I always agree with what he says even when I don’t appreciate the way he says it.”

I won’t say the most recent story doesn’t have some elements of truth, but I have little trust in America’s major media’s reporting, including The New York Times, which printed the exclusive interview. According to King, The Times totally misquoted him.

“We discussed the changing use of language in political labels,” King said. “We discussed the worn-out label ‘racist’ and my observation that other slanderous labels have been increasingly assigned to conservatives by the left, who inject into our current political dialogue such terms as Nazi, fascist, white supremacist — western civilization. How did western civilization become a derogatory term?” asks King.

According to King, he was quoted out of context.

I can’t help but reflect on the fact that the attack on King began just a few days after the Democratic majority took control of Congress. The charges against N’West Iowa’s strongly opinionated, highly conservative spokesperson were well planned and meant to take attention from the closed government fiasco. The shifting of attention is something the right and left side of the aisle needed to see happen. They needed to take attention away from their own bad behavior. King, even to those in his own party, became the sacrificial lamb.

I, for one, am tired of all the infighting, party-empowerment politics being demonstrated by the members of Congress. I would like those elected to represent and serve us to do just that and not always be putting themselves and their party interests first. The House and Senate should focus on solving our national and international problems instead of bickering. I am sure they still are regularly receiving a government paycheck.

On Friday, Jan. 11, I flew to Cincinnati on business. My flight was out of Sioux Falls, SD, at 6:05 in the morning.

I’m TSA pre-approved and usually have a shorter line through airport security. Not last Friday. The TSA-preapproved line was closed because many TSA employees “failed to show up for work.”

I can’t imagine asking my employees to work week after week for a paycheck they’ll get sometime. Both of our nation’s political parties are turning their back on this issue waiting for the other to break.

But what it is really breaking are the backs of faithful civil servants forced to work a second job — and only one with pay — to keep their heads above water.

Maybe that is something worth considering for reprimanding. Certainly, our tireless congressman, Steve King, who speaks the mind of so many in his district, is not.

Peter W. Wagner lives in Sibley. He is the founder/publisher of The N’West Iowa REVIEW and may be reached at