The Sioux County Conservatives accused J.D Scholten’s campaign and The Des Moines Register of deceiving voters in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District over the weekend. Their press release is below.
The J.D. Scholten campaign has aired commercials featuring different Iowans who mostly claim to be either current or former Republican voters. One of those “card-carrying Republicans” is Nicole Baart. Baart is quoted in the commercial as saying:
“Card-carrying Republican listening to Rush Limbaugh. It was a part of who I was.”
But according to the Iowa Secretary of State’s office, Baart has voted in one primary election in the last 10 years — the 2018 Democrat primary, even though Congressman Steve King had Republican challengers in both the 2016 and 2018 primaries.
Not only that, but Baart has been a registered Democrat since at least 2008. And, according to the Iowa Secretary of State’s office, she has no Republican activity in her history.
Yet the J.D. Scholten campaign and liberal fake news media has gone forward with the deceiving story. After all, in order to actually unseat Congressman King, a Democrat needs to find a way to win traditional Republican voters.
On Oct. 4, 2018, Des Moines Register writer Rekha Basu wrote a piece titled “Steve King’s base shows cracks over his rhetoric on immigrants, Kavanaugh investigation.”
Baart is mentioned right at the beginning of the article — though she clearly is not a member of “Steve King’s base.” And, three paragraphs in, Basu writes that Baart is voting for King’s Democratic opponent — as if that’s something new.
We are disappointed that Basu failed to do her due diligence and check her facts with the Iowa Secretary of State’s office. It’s a phone call that wouldn’t have taken more than five minutes, but would have ensured her story was accurate.
On Oct. 2, 2018, Luke Barnes wrote a story on Think Progress entitled “Iowa Republicans are getting tired of Steve King’s racist, offensive rhetoric.”
The fourth and fifth words of the story are Nicole Baart. Baart is again called someone who has been a “card-carrying member” of the Republican Party. Later in the story Baart says she previously voted for King, but this time around she plans to cast her vote against the sitting congressman, even if others in her religious community won’t do the same.
Baart has been a registered Democrat at least for King’s last four elections, so again, it is unlikely that this is news.
There is zero doubt that the ad paid for by J.D. Scholten’s campaign is a total deception if not an outright lie. It is disappointing that journalists have failed to do their jobs. This is why 72% of Americans believe “traditional major news sources report news they know to be fake, false or purposely misleading,” according to a poll from Axios and SurveyMonkey.
We call on the J.D. Scholten campaign to admit their mistake and stop trying to use Vote Common Good-type “evangelical” voters to encourage actual card-carrying Republicans to vote for a pro-abortion, anti-Second Amendment, anti-religious liberty, ObamaCare-supporting, Bernie Sanders-backed socialist Democrat like J.D. Scholten.
We have reached out to Rekha Basu, Bill Petroski as well as two members of leadership at the Des Moines Register, but have not received comment.
I have no doubt there are Republicans who do not like Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa). I don’t doubt this because I have friends who live in the district that don’t, none of those friends have said publicly they are supporting Scholten.
I can see Think Progress not fact-checking a story that makes a good narrative, but the Des Moines Register should know better.