Employees Can Hold Tech Firms Accountable For Funding White Supremacist Rep. Steve King
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Technology corporation Intel, pet food company Purina and dairy company Land O’Lakes have dropped support for Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), a congressman up for re-election with a history of promoting white nationalist views without any consequence from the GOP.
An Intel employee raised concerns about donations to King earlier this month, and it resulted in Intel withdrawing its support.
King is running for re-election in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District and he’s strapped for cash, Popular.Info reported. His last campaign finance report showed he had $176,311 compared to his Democratic opponent, J.D. Scholten. Scholten, has raised $1.6 million-plus and has been airing TV ads for weeks. King has not run a single commercial.
Intel has already donated $2,000 to King’s 2018 campaign, HuffPost reported. The company will no longer donate to his re-election campaign after it looked into his public statements and determined they conflict with Intel values, said Dawn Jones, Intel’s director of policy and external partnerships, in an internal email sent last week to employees.
We had engaged with Rep. King because of his support for IP theft protections, which is important to Intel’s business,” Jones told Intel employees, according to a Popular Info report. “However, an Intel employee raised concerns about the donations earlier this month. We looked into the congressman’s public statements and determined that they conflict with Intel values. As a result, we are no longer donating to his campaigns.”
King recently retweeted a British immigration activist and Nazi sympathizer Mark Collett, and routinely makes white supremacist comments. Now it looks like his reelection bid could be in trouble, Vox reported:
King’s explicit racism has a long history, but he has been given even more of a platform under President Donald Trump, who himself has repeatedly echoed far-right and neo-Nazi messages.
The Republican Party has turned a deaf ear for years as King called undocumented immigrants drug mules, befriended alt-right international leaders and said he was the defender of the white man’s culture, according to USA Today. He displayed a confederate flag on his desk in Washington, D.C. and endorsed a candidate for mayor of Toronto who has white supremacist views.
Purina Petcare, part of Switzerland-based food conglomerate Nestlé S.A., is the latest to pull its support for King, CBS News reported. The pet-food giant donated $500 to King’s campaign in September but said the lawmaker’s “recent statements” conflicted with its values following online calls to boycott Purina’s products.
Our PAC contributions are typically made to elected officials from both parties who represent the local communities where we have operations and associates. Representative King’s recent statements are in conflict with our values and we are no longer contributing to his campaign.
— Purina (@Purina) October 30, 2018
Privately owned dairy company Land O’Lakes also faced calls for a boycott for funding King. The company announced on Tuesday that it will stop financial contributions to King after the massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue focused more attention on King’s comments about race and white nationalism.
Jewish leaders and a separate group of 40-plus interfaith leaders are denouncing King’s campaign and calling on more donors to abandon him, according to Vox.
King’s Democratic opponent J.D. Scholten, a former baseball player and paralegal, is polling within a single digit of King, a new poll from Change Research shows. Another poll, FiveThirtyEight, still gives King about an 80 percent chance of winning reelection. King has held his seat for 15 years and won in 2016 with 61 percent of the votes.
King blamed the “fake news” and “Establishment Never Trumpers” in a statement Tuesday:
At least one Republican politician has denounced King: Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, the official campaign arm for House Republicans.
“What is interesting about the Fourth [Congressional] District is that Steve King doesn’t expect a challenge, and he doesn’t campaign very hard,” David Andersen, a political scientist at Iowa State University told Vox. “I have not seen Steve King’s message. He keeps a year round campaign staff that is his family. And I don’t know what they’re doing.”
Congressman Steve King’s recent comments, actions, and retweets are completely inappropriate. We must stand up against white supremacy and hate in all forms, and I strongly condemn this behavior.
— Steve Stivers (@RepSteveStivers) October 30, 2018
My dog will be changing dog foods this weekend. See ya Purina. Only having a conscience when called out isn’t something I can support. pic.twitter.com/T5JCpmw6aU
— Spartans Gonna Eat (@spar1091) October 31, 2018
Looks as though @Purina can only regurgitate one statement. We see how you don’t really care. For many decades, my pets, past & present, have been fed Purina. No more! You’re gonna need more than a lame statement for damage control.
— Ro ♠️♦️♣️♥️ (@Ennndora) October 31, 2018
Is Purina still a sponsor of Fox News? I’ll continue to boycott till they are not.
— Life, Liberty, Limericks (@lllimericks) October 31, 2018
Four cats, one dog, and a rooster at my house… Glad Purina's doing the right thing, finally.
— Micaela Paulina (@micapulina) October 30, 2018
— Wanda (@Oncewasapril) October 31, 2018