Basu: A noted Republican makes the anti-King case

Hey everyone!  Sorry for the recent lack of posting.  Both Dana and I just had finals week at school.  It was fantastic.  But now, we’re back and ready for action!

Today we look at a column written by Rekha Basu from the Des Moines Register.  This time, not focusing on the presidential election but rather on Iowa Rep. Steve King and his opponent, Christie Vilsack.  Basu takes the side of Christie Vilsack, really only giving us one reason:  even King’s own party is speaking out against him.

You don’t need to take it from me. Take it from someone in his own party, in his own district, who is supporting his opponent.” – Rekha Basu

Basu takes us through his opinions on topics like fertility rates, contraception, global warming, and more.  First, we start with some quotes from Attorney Art Neu from Carroll, Iowa.  I was unable to find verification for the quotes leading me to believe that perhaps it was an interview done by Basu herself, if it was, Basu should probably let the  news consumers know.  This helps not only the consumers, but herself as well.  If you’re like Dana and I, you want to know if almost every fact is true, so how do we know that?  We find reputable sources, but if we can’t it’s difficult to decipher fact from fiction.

Next on the list is fertility.  Supposedly, King had claimed at a meeting of the Greater Des Moines Partnership that the fertility rates in Iowa needed to be boosted somehow to create more workers.  When Art Neu asked him how to do so he replied by saying that in Singapore you were able to cover your car windows with newspaper to hide what was going on inside.  Now is it just me or does this seem a little farfetched?  I was unable to find verification on this subject matter.

Contraception.  A huge debate in America.  Basu says that King told students at Ames High School that a 1965 Supreme Court ruling that prevents states from making the use of contraception illegal was “written on weak grounds.”  He believes that the right to privacy is not protected in the constitution.  The Huffington Post concludes that this is true.  They even provided a video of King at Ames High School.

(To watch the video you can go here.)

Basu also writes that King “declared global warming doesn’t exist.”  This, unlike some of the quotes, can be easily verified.  I was able to find a video from www.mediamattersaction.org on Youtube with King’s views on global warming.  Media Matters Action is an organization dedicated to fact checking political issues.

(Watch the video here.)

Finally, we come across King’s opinion on illegal immigrants from Mexico.  In July, 2006, King presented a model of a wall on the southern border of the United States on the House floor.  Basu suggests that King compares illegal immigrants to livestock (“We do that with livestock all the time.”).  I searched for the quote and luckily, www.thinkprogress.com was able to give me the transcript.  Here is the portion that is under questioning:

I also say we need to do a few other things on top of that wall, and one of them being to put a little bit of wire on top here to provide a disincentive for people to climb over the top or put a ladder there. We could also electrify this wire with the kind of current that would not kill somebody, but it would simply be a discouragement for them to be fooling around with it. We do that with livestock all the time.

Basu successfully showed her opinion on Rep. Steve King, and even arguably, she showed the opposite sides as well.  Unfortunately, with the inability to prove the Neu quotes and the one King quote, it’s hard to decide if the column is a optimal.  I’d say as far as proving her point, success!  As far as fact checking, it could definitely improve.

Tell us what you think!  Did you find verification?  Let us know and if you want to read the original column, visit the site here.

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