For every Jon Ossoff — a Democrat challenging a Republican for a House seat in a very red district and getting plenty of positive press — there’s someone like Iowa’s Kim Weaver.
She’s challenging the seat of incumbent Rep. Steve King in 2018, following a huge loss against him in 2016, hoping that she can ride the wave of anti-Donald Trump sentiment. But it’s not like her own record is without serious problems.
More than a decade ago, the Des Moines Register is now reporting, Weaver ran an online psychic network where she duped clients left and right by pretending she had supernatural abilities.
The site advertised services including psychic, past life, tarot card and karmic record readings as well as astrological consultations, all of which could be done over the phone at $3.99 per minute or $50 for 20 minutes, $90 for 40 minutes or $125 for 60 minutes. She also offered to answer questions via email — one for $15 or three for $25.
When a caller named Lori asked about her daughter, Weaver said she saw “lots of positive things” — until Lori broke in to say that her daughter had just turned 18 and was involved with a man 14 years her senior.
“I’m throwing out all these different love cards, but then a separation,” Weaver then said. “It’s almost like it looks like everything is happy, wonderful and then all the sudden there’s a breakup.”
“Good!” Lori replied.
That’s not even a good cold reading…
An archived copy of Weaver’s website says that the psychics at “The Spirit Weaver” were “chosen because of their proven track record of consistently providing accurate psychic readings.” The fact that there’s a disclaimer at the bottom of the page saying it was all “for entertainment purposes only” may have given her a legal out, but her ethics are obviously questionable.
What’s even more telling is how Weaver is just dismissing all of it now. Of course it was all in good fun. Of course she never had any real powers. Of course she would never do such a thing again. But none of that’s an apology.
On Monday, Weaver said she did not believe she had clairvoyant abilities.
“No, no, no,” she answered when asked whether she had psychic powers. “If I did I would’ve known exactly what to do last time to win (the congressional race) — what doors to knock on and what else to do.”
Weaver said Monday that the primary service she provided to callers was a sympathetic ear.
“For me, it was more about just letting them talk to somebody who was able to listen,” she said.
Bullshit. It wasn’t just about listening. It was about telling them what to do by pretending she could see the future. Just because people might have felt better as a result doesn’t mean she wasn’t lying to them for money.
To be sure, Steve King is a racist bigot known for saying inflammatory things like “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” His policy positions have hurt far more people than fortune tellers — and, unlike Weaver, he doesn’t dismiss any of the awful things he’s said and done in the past. He doesn’t deserve to be in office, and if I lived in Iowa and had no other realistic options, Weaver would begrudgingly have my vote. (I’m not foolish enough to throw it away just because I don’t love the candidate.) I just wouldn’t feel good about it.
No candidate has a perfect past, and it’s not necessarily fair to criticize politicians for things they did before ever becoming public figures, but how hard is it for Democrats to field a candidate who didn’t make a living by ripping off the type of people she would be fighting for as a member of Congress?
(Thanks to Nancy for the link)