By Cameron Joseph - 08/09/12 01:34 PM EDT
"Times are tough; it's a struggle to get by. Congressman King? It's no struggle for him," says a local Iowan in the ad. "It says here King voted to raise his own pay but voted against the minimum wage and even tried to cut our wages. King took over $100,000 in fancy trips to Berlin and Australia and stuck us with the bill for a luxury SUV. Steve King's been in Washington way too long."
King shot back.
"Iowans despise hypocrisy. This isn't the pot calling the kettle black. This is the pot, the kettle, and the crock calling the porcelain dish black," King said in a statement, arguing that every time he's has been able to cast a clear vote on member salary he's has voted to freeze his own pay and twice voted to cut the budget of his own office and also voted to freeze the pay of all cabinet members.
"Christie and Tom Vilsack would become one of the most lavishly overcompensated government couples in history," he continued. "Sending Christie Vilsack to Congress would nearly double the tax dollars to the Vilsacks who would be knocking down over $373,000 a year, not including double dipping into four taxpayer-funded pensions."
The two are facing off in a Republican-leaning district that stretches from Des Moines's suburbs to the northwest corner of Iowa. While King is known for his controversial, hard-right statements, the groups and Vilsack have indicated they plan to focus in more on his voting record and pocketbook issues than his fiery political persona.
This post was updated at 12:30 p.m.