Editorial by Alex Schmidt
Representative Rod Blum abruptly cut short a taped TV interview last week after an investigative reporter posed a question on the topic of his campaign finances.
Blum’s series of town halls held last week across Iowa’s first congressional district, which Blum represents, required attendees to show ID, and would only admit into the town hall those who lived in District 01, presumedly to avoid paid protesters or other outside disruptions.
When asked by Dubuque’s KCRG-TV Chief Investigative Reporter Josh Scheinblum if he would explain his reasoning for this policy, Blum said, “I don’t represent all Iowans. I represent the first district of Iowa. That would be like saying, ‘Shouldn’t I be able to, even though I live in Dubuque, go vote in Iowa City?”
The reporter replied by asking Blum whether he would still be willing to accept a donation from a Republican in Iowa City, a question that prompted the congressman to scoff and announce, “I’m done…This is ridiculous. He’s going to sit here and just badger me,” and walked out of the interview after just two questions.
Schwinblum’s “badgering” was quick to anger Blum likely because it would have been an incredibly tough question for him to answer; considering the amount of money Blum has accepted from from beyond the borders of his district.
The largest donation to Blum’s 2016 campaign was $46,422 from the House Freedom Fund PAC, led by Rep. Mark Meadows of NC, who chairs the powerful House Freedom Caucus, of which Blum is a member.
Also in 2016, Blum’s campaign received $10,000 of the $10M in contributions given to conservatives across the country by Koch Industries, the second largest privately held company in the United States.
Blum says he doesn’t want outside influence at his town hall meetings, yet he expects his constituents to tolerate dark money raised from outside special interest groups funneling into his coffers so they can pull his strings?
Granted, Blum should be commended for even showing up; out of the 217 House Republicans who voted for ‘TrumpCare’, only Blum and 13 others have faced their constituents at town halls since the bill passed the House earlier this month.
However, standing up to a handful of agitated voters and walking out of tough interviews sounds a heck of a lot easier than standing up to Charles and David Koch and their $100 billion, especially after they’ve just cut you a fat check.
The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, and in no way reflect the position of the Enterprise Journal.
Data from this article comes from The Center for Responsive Politics, a non-profit, nonpartisan research group that tracks the effects of money and lobbying on elections and public policy.