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April 20th, 2009

400 Plus Attend King Fundraiser

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Written by: Craig Robinson

kingdofThis past Saturday, Congressman Steve King held his annual Defenders of Freedom Awards banquet in Sioux City. More than 400 donors, county chairs, and activists packed the room in support of their Congressman. Those in attendance were treated to speeches by King, South Dakota Senator John Thune, and Dr. Herb London, the President of the conservative Hudson Institute think tank.

Also attending the dinner were a number of political figures. State Representatives Christopher Rants, Eric Helland, Matt Windschitl, and Jason Schultz were in attendance. Fifth District State Central Committee members Bill Anderson, Reid Houser, and Monte Shaw, attended, as did Matt Strawn, the Chairman of the Republican Party.

The first speaker of the night was South Dakota Senator John Thune. Thune did a tremendous job of warming up the crowd. Thune told a story about how, when his family immigrated to the United States, the people on Ellis Island told his grandfather that his last name would be too difficult to understand or pronounce. So the Senator’s grandfather picked Thune, the name of the farm he worked on in Sweden. It went unsaid, but we now have illegal immigrants who refuse to even learn our language, let alone give up their given name to make assimilation easier.

Following Senator Thune was Dr. Herb London, the President of the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank located in Washington D.C. King had heard London speak and was so impressed, King invited him to speak to a conservative group in Congress and urged him to come to Iowa and speak as well. London spoke about how, in just a matter of months, President Obama has drastically changed our country, and not for the better.

Congressman King then took the stage and gave his thoughts on what both Sen. Thune and Dr. London spoke about. King then tried to put the Obama deficits in to perspective. King stated that Iowa produces 2.2 billion bushels of corn each year, which at $4.40 a bushel would be worth around $10 billion dollars. Meaning it would take 100 years of Iowa’s corn crop at $4.40 a bushel to equal $1 trillion. King then added that the Congressional Budget Office estimates that, between Obama’s stimulus and the budget the Democrats just passed, Obama will add $8 to $10 trillion to the national debt in the next 8 years. It will not just be our kids and grandkids who will be responsible for paying off Obama’s debt. It could literally be future generations hundreds of years from now.

While Congressman King is no longer a state legislator, he took a significant portion of his event to talk about the Iowa Supreme Court’s April 3rd ruling that opened the doors to same-sex marriage in Iowa. King spoke about the urgent need to pass an amendment in the final days of the current legislative session. He also addressed the fact that two people are preventing Iowans from weighing in on the matter: Speaker Muprhy and Senate Majority Leader Gronstal. King also railed against Governor Chet Culver for his 180 degree flip-flop on marriage.

In addition to a constitutional amendment, King continued to press legislators to strengthen Iowa’s marriage laws by passing a residency requirement. King cited a study by UCLA that estimates 58,000 gay marriages are expected to occur in Iowa. The study showed that only 3000 of those marriages would involve Iowans.

While King believes it is imperative to pass a constitutional amendment, he also thinks the legislature should do whatever it can to prohibit out-of-state homosexuals from coming to Iowa to get married in our state. King fears that, once those people who were married in Iowa return to their own states, they could potentially file lawsuits similar to Iowa’s Varnum case and eventually lead to other states legalizing same-sex marriage.

The event concluded with King handing out his “Defender of Freedom” awards. This year’s awards went to the following people.

Defender of Freedom 2009: Glenn McDole.

McDole Served in the Marine Corp and is a survivor of the Palawan Massacre in World War II.

5th District Citizen of the Year: Peggy Staley, Charter Oak

5th District County Central Committee Member: Tammy Bramley, Onawa

5th District Volunteers of the Year: Verdell and Marian Johnson, Cleghorn

Steve King’s Above and Beyond Award: Ray “Bubba” Sorenson, of Greenfield.
Sorenson is best known for painting Freedom Rock located just south of Greenfield.

Nancy Streck Faith and Freedom Award: Brent Hoffmann, Sioux City
Hoffman is a Sioux City councilman who effectively worked to pass a resolution urging the Iowa legislature to place a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman on the ballot. Hoffman is the son of former Republican Party of Iowa Chairman, Ray Hoffmann.

About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.

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