Greater Des Moines Partnership: #DropKingNow

Iowans tell Greater Des Moines Partnership: Congressman King is not a normal politician, do not normalize him

Despite renewed outrage over King’s white supremacist worldview in the wake of the Tree of Life shooting, Greater Des Moines Partnership stands by King’s side

Livestream and photos:
Twitter: cciaction #DropKingNow
Open letter to Partnership here

Des Moines, IA — This morning, seventy-five Iowans delivered a letter to Jay Byers, CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership demanding he to cancel their event with Congressman Steve King.

Days before the Nov. 6 election, this was far from a political protest. A clear moral call drew families from Des Moines and Iowa’s fourth congressional district which King represents. The speak out called attention to the fact that the Tree of Life shooter and Congressman Steve King share the same worldview. (See mirrored comments here.)

“Steve King is not a normal politician. Do not normalize him,” was the message from Jan Wann of Mason City, located in King’s Congressional district.

Our letter to the Greater Des Moines Partnership begins:

“This is not a political point of contention. This is a moral issue.

It has been only five days since 11 people were murdered in a synagogue in Pittsburgh. The victims of the Tree of Life shooting were killed by a gunman motivated by anti-semitism and white supremacist hatred of immigrants.

We are Iowans whose hearts ache for the grieving communities in Pittsburgh partially because the hate of the shooter is familiar to us – it is the same white supremacist hate embraced by Congressman Steve King, of Iowa’s 4th District.”

Read the open letter to the Greater Des Moines Partnership here.

Despite receiving more than 300 emails and calls from area residents calling on them to cancel the candidate event, Partnership CEO Jay Byers made the decision to keep it as scheduled.

“It’s wrong for the Greater Des Moines Partnership to continue with business-as-usual in this moment. This is not a moment to be neutral. This is a moral issue and a wake up call,” said Hugh Espey, Iowa CCI Action Fund Director.

“Steve King bears some responsibility as the most prominent public figure, propagator and normalizer of white supremacy in this moment. The type of rhetoric he spews incited violence that killed 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh just days ago. It is dangerous to amplify the spokespeople for anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant hate in this moment.”

Details about the Partnership event can be found here.

The protest demonstration comes as King’s support in Iowa and nationally crumbles:

  • A new poll put King’s challenger within 1 percent of him.
  • Corporate backers including Intel, Purina, and Land O’ Lakes said they no longer financially support him.
  • Prominent Republicans such as Steve Stivers (NRCC chair), Carlos Curbelo (congressman from Florida) and Nick Ryan (president of the American Future Fund) have also denounced King.

The pressure will now pivot to Iowa Governor Reynolds and the Iowa Republican Party to #DropKingNow for his white supremacist views.


Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund is a 501c4 non-profit organization dedicated to building social, economic, and environmental justice through community organizing, education, and advocacy. Find us on Twitter at @cciaction.


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