The local paper is publishing its endorsements for office holders for the upcoming Nov. 4 election. So far, it has supported a split ticket. Supporting both Democrats and Republicans for local and state offices, both incumbents and newcomers.
But will that continue? Will the local paper see its way to continue supporting what many see as a tired old refrain. Many reading this will guess that the local paper will endorse Ernst as a newcomer, and King as the incumbent. But the question is why? Below is the endorsement the Journal wrote for King in 2012. All the bits of advice it suggested was largely ignored by the incumbent. It will be interesting to see if there are any new arguments, or the same ol’, same ol’. The bold emphasis is this writer’s query if anything has changed.
Oct. 21, 2012 8:00 am Journal editorial board
“In Steve King, we see two people.
One is a family man possessed of deep roots in our congressional district, intelligence, analytical skills, a firm grasp of issues important to his constituents, honesty and integrity. He’s positioned well within the U.S. House due to party affiliation and experience. Our district is well-served by this Steve King.
The other is a controversial figure whose no-compromise approach to conservative dogma, stated goal to move America to the right politically and penchant for inflammatory language sometimes frustrate constituents (including us) and hinder his effectiveness in Congress. At times, he appears more interested in making a national name for himself than attending to what should be his first priority – life back home. This Steve King is more of a liability than an asset for the district.
In reaching a decision on an endorsement in the 4th District House race, we balanced those two perspectives of King and weighed them against his challenger, former Iowa first lady Christie Vilsack.
In the end, we came to this conclusion: What we like about King outweighs what we don’t. As for Vilsack, she didn’t make a convincing case for why she would be a more effective voice for the wishes and needs of this district than King or why her vision for the future is a better fit for this district than King’s.
As a result, the Journal today endorses King for a sixth term – with reservations.
We give King credit for reflecting the positions and values of most 4th District constituents, particularly those on this side of the district, for advocacy of key district initiatives such as the four-laning of Highway 20 and Missouri River flood mitigation, and for his understanding and championing of key economic sectors such as agriculture and the renewable fuels industry.
In our view, experienced Republican King would be in a stronger position in the next two years to serve district interests and advance district priorities in what likely will remain a GOP-controlled House than would political newcomer and Democrat Vilsack.
As for reservations, we urge King to spend less time pushing the far-right conservative agenda on the national stage and more time pushing for economic vitality and responding to constituents back home. Also, we urge King to embrace a greater spirit of bipartisanship within the House in pursuit of common-ground solutions to the complicated challenges we face as a nation. Compromise isn’t a profane word. It’s how we get stuff done in America. Intransigence simply leads to more intransigence.
This race will be close. King was forced to work harder in this contest than in any of his previous re-election bids. Vilsack raised the bar for opposition to King and gave a strong voice to the congressman’s weaknesses. If he wins re-election, King would be wise to embrace lessons from this campaign and make appropriate changes in his approach to public service.
Bottom line: Even if he returns to Washington for another term, King should leave this race understanding his isn’t a safe-for-life House seat.”