Republican Rep. Steve King beat his Democratic opponent in the 2016 election, but she's coming back for the Iowa congressional seat in 2018. Kim Weaver has worked for decades as an advocate for children, the elderly, and people with mental health issues — but she was also an internet psychic once upon a time.
The Des Moines Register discovered the congressional candidate ran psychic service websites and hosted an online radio show when an anonymous package filled with old recordings and archived web pages showed up at its office. According to The Register, Weaver offered customers "psychic, past life, tarot card, and karmic record readings as well as astrological consultations" for as much as $3.99 a minute over the phone, under the names "Kimberanne" and "the Spirit Weaver." Her now-verified Twitter account was also once @TheSpiritWeaver, but was changed to @KimWeaverIA right before she announced her first congressional run in 2015.
Weaver told The Register her flirting with the supernatural was just a hobby and leaned more toward "life coaching" than psychic services. "I didn’t really actually do anything," Weaver said. "It was all for entertainment purposes. Did I make a living from it? No, definitely not."
Although she's tried to distance herself from her previous profession, psychic abilities would actually be pretty useful in politics.
The 52-year-old lost to the Republican incumbent in Iowa's 4th district by more than 22 points in November, but recent public backlash to King could bode well for Weaver. In March, King tweeted about the anti-immigrant Dutch politician Geert Wilders, saying, "Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies." That tweet prompted KKK leader David Duke to tweet, "GOD BLESS STEVE KING!!!" Obviously, that didn't go over super well.
When trying to decide whether or not to challenge King again, Weaver told GQ she set a fundraising goal to help make the decision. "I said, if I can raise $100,000 by September 1, I’ll run,” Weaver told Marisa Kabas. Weaver raised $104,000 in a matter of days, telling Kabas, “I thought, I guess somebody’s telling me I should be running.”
I like to think her tarot cards also played a part in her decision making.
On a serious note, Weaver's platform focuses on education, and she wants to make college more affordable, combat student loan debt, and create high school training programs. Unlike King, she's also committed to expanding Planned Parenthood funding and protecting the environment by increasing renewable energy and decreasing carbon emissions.
Psychic or not, Weaver is a real threat to King's seat this time around, which might explain why an anonymous source felt the need to reveal her past job to the local newspaper.