Land O'Lakes ends contributions to Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King after questions about his 'racist comments,' support for 'white supremacist'

  • Agricultural products giant Land O'Lakes said Tuesday it would no longer support Rep. Steve King of Iowa with campaign donations.
  • Land O'Lakes had been asked on Twitter why it was making contributions to the Republican King despite his "history of racist comments" and endorsement of a "white supremacist" mayoral candidate, Faith Goldy.
  • King has a long history of being critical of immigrants and "diversity" and of supporting far-right politicians in other countries.
Representative Steve King, a Republican from Iowa.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Representative Steve King, a Republican from Iowa.

Land O'Lakes said Tuesday it would no longer support Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, with campaign donations, just a day after being asked about making contributions to King despite his "history of racist comments" and endorsement of a "white supremacist" mayoral candidate.

The agricultural giant, well known for its butter and other dairy products, suggested in a statement that the Republican King was neither a "positive force for good" nor someone who would uphold Land O'Lakes' "values."

Also Tuesday, King's colleague in Congress, Rep. Steve Stivers of Ohio, condemned King. Stivers is chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, a major group that works to elect Republicans to the House of Representatives.

King's offices in Washington and Iowa were not answering their phones Tuesday.

But later in the day, King tweeted a so-called "response," without saying exactly what he was responding to.

Shortly after King's tweet, pet food company Purina tweeted that it, too, would no longer donate to King's campaign.

The representative for Iowa's 4th District has a long history of being critical of immigrants and diversity — and of supporting far-right politicians in other countries.

He has kept a Confederate flag on his desk, and in an interview once predicted "that Hispanics and the blacks will be fighting each other before" their combined population exceeded that of whites in the United States.

Two weeks ago, King tweeted an endorsement of Faith Goldy, a far-right candidate for mayor of Toronto, Canada. Goldy has defended the white supremacist organizers of 2017's "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and has been interviewed on a neo-Nazi podcast. She has also recited a white supremacist slogan that talks about securing "the existence of our people and a future for white children."

On Monday, Judd Legum, who writes the political newsletter Popular Information, said he had asked Land O'Lakes to explain why its political action committee had given King $2,500 in contributions "despite his history of racist comments" and his endorsement of Goldy. But Legum said the company had not responded to his question.

Land O'Lakes, which is a member-owned co-operative, did not answer Legum's question on Tuesday, but it did say it would not be giving King any more campaign donations.

"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," the company said in its statement.

"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," the company said. "On that basis, we have determined that our PAC will no longer support Rep. Steve King moving forward."