The Democrat challenging Republican Steve King for Iowa’s 4th district has filed a complaint with the Congressional House of Ethics Committee for King’s lavish personal spending on the taxpayer’s dime.
The complaint stems from a Friday article in the Intercept, which reviewed congressional disbursement records and found that King had billed taxpayers $18,000 for meals at the private GOP restaurant and bar.
According to records, King started billing taxpayers as far back as 2004, just two years after entering office.
The letter from Scholten also requests an official inquiry into a 2013 trip King took to Russia, where he allegedly met Steven Seagal at the Ritz Carlton and also tried to arrange for a Chinese masseuse, at the cost of nearly $24,000 to the House of Representatives’ Small Business Committee. This, despite Rep. King’s outspoken advocacy over the years for government austerity.
“Iowans are tired of a career politician who is abusing the public trust with this type of wasteful and inappropriate lavish living on our taxpayer dime,” J.D. Scholten said in a statement.
“I wish I could have asked Rep. King why he is breaking faith with Iowans by putting his self-interest over the priorities of us, but as he does no public events and has refused to debate me, I have asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate.”
Scholten is currently running in hopes of usurping King. On Saturday the Sioux City Journal, which lies in the heart of King’s 4th district, endorsed a Democrat for the first time in recent history, calling Scholten “Bright, articulate, personable, possessed of deep roots in this district [and] informed about issues important to the 4th.”
King has represented the deep-red 4th for 16 years, however there are signs that voters from both parties are growing sick of King’s outright white nationalism — the latest of which involves endorsing Faith Goldy, a neo-Nazi fringe candidate for Toronto’s mayoral election. In Iowa, several former King supporters told ThinkProgress that their Congressman’s racist, offensive rhetoric had effectively made them switch sides.
In a statement to KCAU9, King’s campaign vehemently rejected Scholten’s claims.
“[With] today’s ridiculous and desperate campaign stunt, our inexperienced opponent continues to show voters he doesn’t have what it takes to play in the big leagues,” the campaign said.
“Voters throughout the district reject the constant stream of nasty and dishonest personal attacks our opponent’s San Francisco and New York donors demand and fund.”