Thursday, January 26, 2006

Kline Supports 'More Of The Same' Corrupted GOP Leadership

A couple of weeks ago Congressman John Kline (MN R) decided to call for Tom DeLay to be replaced he used the unusual harsh statement, "The situation is that Tom's legal situation doesn't seem to be reaching clarity". Ouch! Delay must be reeling with that rebuke.

Naturally having been a close friend and ally to Delay, taking money from Delay's PACs, and consistently voting with Delay, such a strong stance must have cost Kline. But hey, the elections are coming up and Kline will need some 'spin' to minimize his long relationship with the current GOP culture of corruption. So you ask, what other strong moral stands can we expect out of Kline?

Well expect more of the same! While patting himself on the back for the appearance of putting distance between himself and Delay, Kline in fact is promoting more of the same in the way corrupt leadership. While calling for Delay to step down, Kline would like to see Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, chairman of the Education and the Workforce Committee, become majority leader. "I just think that he brings experience and proven ability to address problems," Kline said.

Only John Boehner doesn't have the proven ability to address the ethics and corruption problems having been reprimanded himself in the past for passing out campaign checks while on the House floor. In 1995, Boehner raised eyebrows by distributing campaign checks from tobacco lobbyists on the House floor! Since 2000, his political action committee, the Freedom Project, has raised $32,500 from four of Abramoff's tribal clients-- more than DeLay did.

John Boehner would rule from basically the same power base as Delay. He's a K Street operator who applies a heavy hand on lobbyists for contributions. Boehner is probably no less conservative than Delay and certainly not a reformer. The difference between Boehner and Delay is which House members each one has been raising money for. Boehner would see more of the same corruption as with Delay only with new face. Boehner is widely credited with the passage of "No Child Left Behind Act." He is also one of only a handful of House Republicans to vote with George W. Bush's position literally 100% of the time last year.

It's almost ironic to use reform and Boehner in the same Sam Rosenfeld noted, "reform" is the last thing on Boehner's mind.
As Republican Conference chair from 1995 to 1998, Boehner himself initiated the formalized, semi-official marriage of lobbyists and GOP lawmakers now commonly associated with DeLay: in the words of David Maraniss and Michael Weisskopf in their history of the Gingrich years, Boehner served as the leadership's "liaison to business," conceiving of and hosting the Thursday Group, a "weekly strategy session with business and trade association leaders." In 2004 Jeff Birnbaum described Boehner's Thursday Group as "the granddaddy of all [the] mutual-back-scratching sessions" between lawmakers and lobbyists that now occur on a daily, regularly scheduled basis.
So tell us again Mr. Kline, why do you support your good friend Boehner?

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