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Doug Patton: Congress need more Steve Kings

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First, a disclaimer: I love Steve King. Steve King is a good friend of mine and has been for a decade, ever since I was privileged to work for him during his first term in Congress. That said, I would defend him whether he was a friend or not.

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My hometown newspaper, the Omaha World-Herald, has recently gone from Cowtown Daily to Warren Buffett Times since Omaha’s radically liberal local tycoon bought it in 2011. I have written that Buffett is "George Soros with a smile" because he is amiable and popular while supporting the same left-wing causes backed by the prickly, creepy Soros.

But I digress.

In a July 25, 2013, editorial titled "Congressman Crosses the Line," the World-Herald criticized King for his recent remarks concerning so-called immigration reform. While the editors admit that King voiced sympathy for those young people who work hard and graduate as valedictorians after being brought into the country illegally as children, they just couldn’t abide the congressman’s expanded remarks, which told the full truth about what the proposed amnesty legislation would do.

"For everyone who’s a valedictorian," King said in an interview with Newsmax, "there’s another hundred out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert. Those people would be legalized with the same act."

The World-Herald called King’s remarks "ugly stereotyping," and quoted House Speaker John Boehner as saying, "There can be honest disagreements about policy without using hateful language. Everyone needs to remember that."

Boehner’s wimpy comments prompted me to remember why I left the Republican Party to become an Independent Conservative, and the paper’s editorial caused me to ask myself whether the editors even bother to read the news going on in their own community.

Perhaps they missed the one about 19-year-old Sergio Perez, an illegal alien, who recently raped and fatally beat 93-year-old Louise Sollowin in her own home — in Omaha. It is a fairly safe bet that Perez was not one of those touted valedictorians.

Writing about the so-called "Dream Act," which would grant amnesty to somewhere between 11 and 20 million illegal aliens—including, perhaps a handful of valedictorians — an op-ed on Richard Viguerie’s Conservative HQ defended King’s sentiments.

"You may not like the way King put it, you may disagree with the details of his analysis," the publication stated, "but the fact remains that blanket amnesty for these so-called "Dreamers" will grant amnesty to many more gang members than it will valedictorians — it is just reality that percentages say one kid in a class can be the valedictorian and dozens can and will get in trouble."

The World-Herald editors opined on King’s remarks that "to be productive, debate needs to be sober, thoughtful, fact based and respectful."

Steve King has won each of his six races for Congress in near landslides — even when gerrymandering last year threw him into a largely new congressional district and matched him against Christie Vilsack, wife of former Iowa Governor and current Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Those victories happened because Steve King doesn’t pull punches or tell voters things he doesn’t believe.

Far from being embarrassed or outraged by the comments of Congressman Steve King, all Americans should be proud and supportive of his efforts. We need more like him in Congress, not fewer.

Doug Patton can be reached by email at dpatton@cagle.com

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