Steve King Uses Meeting with Ames Finance Director for Positive Spin on Committee Removals

The congressman used the Tuesday meeting with Duane Pitcher, who was in Washington for a conference, as an example of how his ability to discuss "important concerns" with Iowans has been "strengthened"

City of Ames Finance Director Duane Pitcher, right, at a recent meeting in Washington DC with Steve King. Photo: Congressman Steve King/Facebook

Saturday at a town hall in Primghar, Steve King attempted to put a positive spin on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s decision earlier this month to strip him of his three House committee assignments after King was quoted in the New York Times defending terms including “white supremacist,” saying it would give him more of a chance to work with the president. On Tuesday afternoon, he followed up on the argument on his congressional Facebook page, describing meetings in his Washington DC office that day, including one with Duane Pitcher, finance director for the city of Ames, that he said were held “during time that would previously have been unavailable due to today’s scheduled committee activity.”

In a photograph included with the post, Pitcher is pictured smiling as he speaks with the congressman, an Iowa State University pennant draped over a lampshade on a table behind them.

“Today, I was able to meet personally with individuals representing the Iowa Bankers Association, the Iowa Postmasters, the Iowa Association of School Boards, Duane Pitcher, Director of Finance for the City of Ames, and representatives of the National Federation of the Blind of Iowa during time that would previously have been unavailable due to today’s scheduled committee activity,” King said.

“My ability to personally meet with, hear directly from, and quickly intervene on behalf of Iowans who have made the trip to Washington D.C. to discuss their important concerns has been strengthened by recent events.”

Pitcher did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent to him about an hour after King’s post was published on Facebook asking what he thought of the congressman’s rationalization. However, city spokesperson Susan Gwiasda was able to reach him to ask for more details about the conference he attended as well as his meeting with King.

Representing the city, Pitcher traveled to Washington for a standing and executive committee meeting of the Government Finance Officers Association, an organization that represents public finance officials in the United States and Canada.

“As part of the conference, attendees meet with elected officials,” Gwiasda explained. “Duane’s focus was to discuss public infrastructure funding, with emphasis on preserving tax exemption for bonds issued for public infrastructure and affordable housing.”

Gavin Aronsen
Gavin Aronsen is an editor and reporter for and founding member of the Iowa Informer. He previously worked as a city reporter for the Ames Tribune, research assistant to investigative journalist Wayne Barrett at the Village Voice, and in various roles at Mother Jones, where his work contributed to a National Magazine Award nomination for the magazine's digital media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Email: garonsen [at] iowainformer [dot] com.