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Des Moines, Iowa – In a forum promising “civility,” Congressman King angrily cut off a question from a constituent and had him removed from the room.

Today, in a much contended candidate forum hosted by the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Kaleb Van Fosson, an Iowa State student from Iowa Congressional District 4, attempted to ask Iowa Congressmen Steve King a question. He was quickly interrupted by the congressman.

Watch the video captured by the Iowa Starting Line here.

Full question Van Fosson asked:

There was a shooting on Saturday at a synagogue that left 11 people dead.

The person who did this hate crime was anti-immigration and said “they bring invaders in that kill our people, I can’t sit back and watch our people get slaughtered.”

You [Steve King] have been quoted as saying “we can’t restore our civilization with other people’s babies.”

And during your recent trip to Austria you did an interview with a known anti-Semitic white supremacist website.

You and the shooter both share anti-immigration views and the view that western civilization is under attack.

What distinguishes your views and your ideology from the views and ideology of the shooter?

King vehemently objected to being compared to the Tree of Life shooter, but statements by Congressman King mirror those of the Tree of Life shooter.

“Steve King has time to talk to fascists in Austria, but won’t answer a question of one of his own constituents?” Van Fosson commented after being ejected. Van Fosson and another student had tickets to the Partnership’s event that had low attendance other than reporters.

This is the second time Van Fosson has tried to ask Congressmen King this question. On Saturday, October 27, the day of the Tree of Life shooting, Van Fosson attended a Kiron, IA event the King campaign advertised on their Facebook page. After listening to King’s program politely for two hours, Van Fosson tried to introduce himself but was physically removed by King’s son and three other supporters. Video of that exchange can be found here.

Van Fosson is an active member of the independent people-power organizations Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund and Iowa Student Action.


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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Over five decades, People’s Action Institute and our affiliates have fought for reforms that recognize poor and working people’s dignity and make material and political improvements to millions of lives. Our victories include the Community Reinvestment Act, Superfund, the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act and the MAT Act.

We engage in issue campaigns, public education and training to advance a long-term agenda for racial, economic and gender justice. Our focus now is on deepening community organizing so we can build lasting power across the country. 

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