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.

7 comments
  1. Don’t get suckered by the Sioux County Conservatives again!!!! You should believe very very little of what they say. This is barely worth noting—Nicole considered herself Republican for most of her life. Then ten years ago she registered as a Democrat. She also lived out of the country for several years—I believe you can still consider yourself a Republican whether you live in this country or not. In addition “card-carrying” actually includes the definition of simply identifying with a political party. Do not give these bullies a pulpit—

    1. You just confirmed what they said. She has been a Democrat for the last 10 years which makes you what? A Democrat. I don’t identify as a Republican anymore and I switched to “No Party” a year ago. It’s disingenuous.

      1. In the commercial she clearly says a card carrying republican was part of who she was. Not who she is. I don’t think she ever claimed to currently be a republican.

  2. Wait a minute: I never said she was a Republican. I said she was “raised to believe that Christianity and Republican values lined up.” And I never got any message from you. I got one from a Renee of Sioux Center and I called her back and left a message. I’d be happy to discuss this but your accusations are off base. Please do your due diligence!

  3. Rheka you have a strong propensity for a lack of objectivity in your reporting. It actually makes most of us sick if we’re being honest. You are unashamedly always on the side of the political left. It gets old.

  4. Thank you Brad!! As I said—this is such a non-story. She said it was part of who she WAS! The SCC have a personal dislike of this woman and her husband and are splitting hairs as close as they think they can to cast dispersions on her character. You cannot trust the SCC to be authentic, they will twist anything and everything to fit their agenda. I think you try to run a thoughtful site—do not buy what they sell. I think you would be troubled by SCC actions if the parties were reversed.

  5. Yes, Michael, I’m an opinion columnist. We are not supposed to be objective, but we do research the facts to form our opinions. If my views actually make you sick, I wonder why you keep reading them.

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