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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

Was Steve King for ACORN before he was against it?

By Lynda Waddington | 12.22.09 | 7:00 am

U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Kiron, has become one of the nation’s most outspoken opponents of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). He and other congressional Republicans organized a forum labeling the grassroots organization a “criminal enterprise,” and King even appeared on a national cable network to discuss the acorn-shaped cookie he discovered at a White House holiday party.

U.S. Rep. Steve King stood on the floor of the U.S. House and claimed Pres. Barack Obama was ACORN's leader, but he also passed appropriation bills that funded the organization he's now attacking.

U.S. Rep. Steve King stood on the floor of the House and claimed President Barack Obama was ACORN's leader, but he also passed appropriation bills that funded the organization he's now attacking.

On Monday, he told the American Spectator, a conservative political magazine, that the problems associated  with ACORN are “thousands of times bigger than Watergate because Watergate was only a little break-in by a couple of guys.” He added that “by the time we pull ACORN out by its roots America’s going to understand just how big this is.”

Media Matters, an organization that plays watchdog for conservative talking points in news reporting, latched on to King’s statement and distributed a group of votes by the Iowa congressman that, at least in part, supported ACORN:

  • FY 2005 Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, HR 4818, included a $140,000 teen delinquency prevention earmark for ACORN along with appropriations for foreign operations, export financing and other related programs.
  • FY 2006 Department of Transportation, Treasury, and Housing and Urban Development appropriations, HR 3058, included $61 million for the Self-Help and Assisted Homeownership Opportunity Program, which provides ACORN with funding.
  • The same bill, HR 3058, also included nearly $2 billion for the HOME investment partnerships program. Of that amount, $42 million was earmarked for housing counseling, which ACORN employs and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development trains and certifies.

Despite the tongue-in-cheek headline above, these votes do not make King a supporter of ACORN or their programs. Mostly, they simply add up to a Congressman who approved a very large slate of appropriations. It is, however, notable that King and other members of Congress now scrutinizing ACORN have made it a point to strip the organization of as many streams of federal funding as possible.

King’s recently piqued interest in ACORN’s funding, however, does follow a pattern outlined by Dr. Christopher R. Martin, a professor at the University of Northern Iowa and co-author of a study on the media’s coverage of ACORN. Martin and Dr. Peter Dreier, a professor at Occidental College in Los Angeles, found that prior to 2008 few Americans had any real knowledge about the organization, despite the fact that it was the largest community organizing group in the nation.

Within the study the two men present their case that the news stories about ACORN, which were predominantly focused on possible wrongdoing by the organization, were crafted and tested within the right-wing echo chamber before being pushed into the mainstream media during October 2008, just weeks ahead of the November presidential election. It was, in their estimation, a classic “October surprise” that would have garnered more reaction had it not been for the economic downturn — something the strategists, according to the two researchers, tried to link to ACORN via the foreclosure crisis.

“ACORN has become this huge kind of proxy for going after [President Barack] Obama,” Martin told The Iowa Independent in September.

Just days before, King stood on the floor of House with a Soviet-styled depiction of Obama behind him. With a metal pointer, King made the point that he believed Obama was ACORN’s “lead, chief organizer.”

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  • RegularJoe

    …if he only had a brain.

  • RegularJoe

    …if he only had a brain.

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