Thursday, October 20, 2005

Kline "afraid of voters" according Secretary of State candidate

MN Secretary of State candidate Mark Ritchie points out that Rep. John Kline is trying to limit voter registration by sneaking a horrible ammendment into an affordable housing bill.

Unfortunately, the U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote next week on a draconian attack on our right to register and vote. This bill, H.R. 1461, includes a section called the Affordable Housing Fund, a measure that gives grants to nonprofit and public organizations for the purpose of building or preserving affordable housing. This sounds like a very good provision, and most housing-related community groups support it.

However, a group that includes Minnesota Reps. John Kline and Gil Gutknecht, sneaked in an amendment that would prohibit organizations that do voter registration from receiving grants from the Affordable Housing Fund. It would even bar organizations that had done voter registration up to a year in the past and groups that affiliate with other organizations that do voter registration from participating in the Affordable Housing Fund program.

For example, if a Minnesota nonprofit organization applied for funds, the request could be rejected if the organization had worked with the League of Women Voters in the past year.

What are supporters of this bill afraid of? The voters? Maybe some of these elected leaders are worried about their next election and want to keep the voters away.

This outrageous restriction is another sneak attack on our Constitution. It is the opposite of what we should be doing. We should go out of our way to thank and help the groups that are helping bring in new voters, especially new Americans, our neighbors with lower family incomes, and others who may benefit from affordable housing. It is sad that some of our leaders would attempt to punish nonpartisan organizations that do voter registration instead of applauding them for this important work.

It's just another example of John Kline doing the Bush administration's dirty work and trying to wrap it up in the pretty package of "affordable housing".

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