By Forrest Saunders, Multimedia Journalist - email
Still frame from the controversial King ad.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -
Several TV stations in Iowa won't run it. It's the campaign ad that criticizes Iowa Congressman Steve King's view on an amendment dealing with animal fighting. The ad creators call it the "truth." King calls it "false."
This 30 second ad has fueled the already heated battle for Iowa's 4th District. Created by the Humane Society Legislative Fund, it goes after Steve King, chastising the Republican's opposition to legislation that would ban people from taking children to animal fights.
Critics say it makes King look like a supporter of dog fighting. King calls the ad wrong.
"It's patently false, and it really is evil to make such an allegation that's 180 degrees opposite of what my public statement is, and my personal convictions are," said King.
As proof, the King campaign cites a House committee meeting in July. There, the Congressman discussed the amendment, saying he's opposed because he believes the matter should be left up to the states, not the federal government.
"I too oppose any kind of animal fighting. I do think it's micromanagement on the part of the congress and it should be beyond our purview and allow the states to do the regulation," said King at the July 11th meeting.
King's campaign has asked TV stations across Iowa to drop the ad. So far, they say eight have, including KTIV.
Station managers are saying the ad is misleading, but the folks behind it claim there's another reason.
"I really do believe this is Steve King getting to these stations, and putting political pressure on them, just not to run the ad. He doesn't want to deal with the content of the ad," said Dane Waters, the political director of the Humane Society Legislative Fund.
Waters stands behind the ad. He says his group isn't claiming King supports animal cruelty, just that he's weak on animal welfare issues.
"It's not just on the issue of dog fighting. It's on the issue of dealing with exotic primates, being imported and exported in this country. If you look across his congressional record, he's been extremely weak on animal welfare issues. That's what we take issue with," said Waters.
The ad may be off many airwaves, but Waters says it can be found online.
In a statement released Tuesday, King's campaign tried to link his opponent, Democrat Christie Vilsack, to the group who created the ad.
They said; "The Vilsack campaign has accepted a $1,000 donation from The Humane Society Legislative Fund."
Vilsack's campaign fired back saying; "We did not accept, or cash, the Humane Society's contribution to our campaign. It was sent back months ago." They went on to say; "We believe any false or misleading ad should be removed from the airwaves, including the two baseless attack ads currently running against Christie Vilsack."
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