The dairy company Land O’Lakes made an official announcement on Tuesday saying that the company would no longer be providing financial contributions to Iowa Representative Steve King after attention was brought to his comments regarding race and links to white nationalism in the wake of the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, according to reports from Bloomberg.
The murder of 11 members of the congregation in the mass shooting led to the arrest of a man who had allegedly made previous remarks of an anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant nature online. King has made himself one of the biggest faces on the push from the right to end birthright citizenship, an issue that President Donald Trump spoke about on Tuesday and put forward his plans to end it through an executive order, despite protections in the Constitution.
King had garnered national attention due to his remarks on immigrants and also had expressed his admiration for Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, supporting through Twitter the prime minister’s attacks on billionaire Democrat supporter George Soros. Soros was one of the dozen recipients to receive a mail bomb allegedly sent by a Trump supporter.
King has also tweeted out his support for Toronto mayoral candidate Faith Goldy. Goldy has strong ties to white supremacist groups and has given interviews to the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer. Goldy was in attendance at the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a counter-protester was run over by a vehicle and killed.
BREAKING: Land O'Lakes ends financial support for Steve King https://t.co/RlPetO3kyz— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) October 30, 2018
King is locked in a race against Democratic candidate J.D. Scholten, who is a former paralegal and professional baseball player from Sioux City. Recent polls have shown that neither of the two has created much distance, with King holding only a one-point lead with a week until the election. During Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, he won the district by 27 points. Based on filings by the Federal Election Commission, King had raised $739,553 and had $176,311 in cash on hand, while Scholten raised $1.7 million with $316,358 in cash on hand.
In the company’s statement regarding the disassociation, it read, “The Land O’Lakes Inc. PAC has traditionally contributed to lawmakers of both parties that represent the communities where our members and employees live and work and are also on committees that oversee policies that directly impact our farmer owners. We take our civic responsibility seriously, want our contributions to be a positive force for good and also seek to ensure that recipients of our contributions uphold our company’s values. On that basis, we have determined that our PAC will no longer support Rep. King moving forward.”