When House Republicans blocked post-Sandy disaster relief a year ago, arguably no member of Congress was as publicly apoplectic as Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.). The lawmaker described his own party’s position as “an absolute disgrace,” hinted at a possible party switch, and declared, “[A]nyone from New York or New Jersey who contributes one penny to congressional Republicans is out of their minds.”
And at the time, arguably no member of Congress was as publicly indifferent to Sandy victims as Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.). A year ago next week, the far-right Arkansan gave a speech in which he rejected the very idea of offering relief after the natural disaster. “I don’t think Arkansas needs to be bailing out the Northeast,” Cotton said.
It came as something of a surprise, then, when the New York Daily News discovered that Peter King, to use his words, apparently went out of his mind.
[King’s] campaign committee recently gave $1,000 to the Senate candidacy of Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a rising conservative star who was a vocal and unapologetic opponent of the legislation last year to help Sandy victims. […][I]n the middle of December, King’s political committee sent a $1,000 check to Cotton’s Senate campaign, according to recently disclosed campaign finance records examined by the Daily News.
Given the circumstances, one might expect King to be a little sheepish about this. After all, the New York Republican argued he would “not forget” those members of Congress who betrayed his own constituents.
So how does King justify his decision to ignore everything he said, supporting the one lawmaker who was perhaps most eager to ignore Sandy victims?
According to the Daily News’ report, King doesn’t seem embarrassed in the slightest.
In an interview Friday, King was unapologetic. The Long Island Republican even said his donation to Cotton was unsolicited. “I went to him and told him I would do it,” King said.King said he overlooked Cotton’s position on the Sandy legislation because he strongly endorses Cotton’s hawkish views on national security.
Got it. When King declared, “[A]nyone from New York or New Jersey who contributes one penny to congressional Republicans is out of their minds,” what he forgot to mention was the fine print – “unless they’re really conservative on national security, in which case contributions are fine.”