King builds fence in Arizona

Congressman Steve King rang into the Radio Iowa newsroom this afternoon to chat about his recent trip to Arizona. It was King’s second trip to Arizona in May, part of his push to be a player in the immigration reform debate. (He chatted with CNN’s Lou Dobbs one night last week, I think it was the night the Senate was voting on the bill.)

King spent part of Friday hanging with border patrol agents, then on Saturday he was with The Minuteman — the militia group that’s been patroling the border and which is now building a barbed wire fence along a 10-mile stretch of Arizona border. The founder of The Minutemen was in Iowa last August to attend a forum King had organized in Des Moines. (Congressman J.D. Hayworth — another immigration reform player — was there, too, and I saw Hayworth recently on television and noticed he’s lost a load of weight.)

Anyway, I was intrigued with King’s barbed wire fence building because it’s tough, dangerous work. I grew up on a farm and know what a wire stretcher is — and what happens when you go too far.

King told me he has built a good deal of barbed wire fence in his lifetime. King told a story about his father who had asked a young King why he wore leather gloves when building fence. "Your hands will heal" after a wire snaps, King says his father told him. "But you’ll ruin a pair of gloves." King said his father was a person who didn’t like to part with his money.

I forgot to ask if King will return to Arizona to help pour concrete if his wish comes true and the U.S. builds a concrete wall along the border. King, by the way, was in the earth-moving business before he entered politics.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.