Friday, March 31, 2006

Veterans' Dekline Under Kline

Nobody deserves greater admiration than those who have sacrificed for our country by serving in the military, and Democrats' commitment to full funding for Veterans programs reflects that. But after Republicans lavished more than $25 billion in new corporate tax breaks on industry cronies in their "stimulus package," they found it necessary to cut $14 billion from Veterans' Health programs at a time where thousands of veterans with medical needs are coming out of Iraq each year.

John Kline lied when he said "I will always fight to make sure that our nation keeps our promises to our veterans."

John Kline along with 218 Republicans voted with Tom DeLay to Shortchange Veterans' Health By $14 BILLION. The vote was for the 2006 budget that cuts funding for veterans' health care by $14 billion over the next 5 years and requires $798 million in reduced veterans' benefits or increased fees. Representative Kline is on record as voting against our Veterans.

  • As the American Legion points out, "Reducing mandatory appropriations for veterans' disability compensation, pensions, and educational benefits at a time of war is inconsistent with the thanks of a grateful Nation. America's veterans and their families deserve better." [American Legion, Letter to Jim Nussle, 3/17/05]
  • Furthermore, the Independent Budget - a coalition including the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, AMVETS and Paralyzed Veterans of America - argues that, "cutting veterans' benefit programs is unconscionable, especially at a time when America's sons and daughters are being wounded and killed every day in Iraq." [The Independent Budget, Letter to Jim Nussle, 3/17/05]

John Kline touts on his website of funding for a Minnesota to receive $12.5 million from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs for improvements at veterans homes in Hastings and Silver Bay. 65% is coming from the federal government. In other words, while Kline devotes webspace for promoting his role in granting $8.1 Million to Veterans, he voted to cut Veterans Health Care by $14 BILLION! Some trade off there!

Spinning the truth at the expense of those who served out country is just plain wrong. If Kline really cared about our Veterans he would have voted for increases in Veteran Health Care to balance out the $25 BILLION in tax cuts to his rich corporate buddies. Call on Representative Kline to start telling the truth about his lack of support for Veterans.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

W stands for Worse

This from RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman...

"The President is seen universally as the face of the Republican Party. We are now brand W. Republicans."
The White House still holds the reigns at the RNC and they're not about to let John Kline run away from Dubya's 33%.

I'm not sure John Kline will appreciate that, but Coleen Rowley should.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Kline's Voting Record

Do you really want John Kline representing you based on what he votes for and against?

  • For
    Blank Checks for Iraq War
    Staying the Course in Iraq
    Upholds Secret Detentions
    Force Recruiters upon Campuses
    Supress Iraq War Inquiry
    Gives Excessive Military Appropriations that goes to special interests
    Keeping Guantanamo Prisons
    Nukes in Space
    Resolution praising the Iraq war

  • Against
    Requiring Reports on Secret Prisons
    Free Educational Travel to Cuba
    Free Family Travel to Cuba
    Limiting the Patriot Act to Protect Library and Book Sale Records
    Investigating US torture in Iraq and War on Terror
    Allowing competitive bidding on Iraq oil projects

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Is Kline Compromising Your Health?

Over at DFLers is an article regarding pharmaceutical companies not giving you or your doctor the results of clinical trials. Several DFL legislators are working to pass a law requiring drug companies to do just that.

It got me to thinking about John Kline. Just how much money has Kline accepted from the pharmaceutical industry? Wonder why we have to enact state legislation to protect us instead of federal? Could it be John Kline feels indebted to these special interest PACs as they bankroll his campaign and so he does their bidding at the federal level and not Minnesotans?

Kline took over $15,000.00+ in PAC money from medical/drug related groups last year alone. This year Kline is on track to take in even more money from drug companies, medical insurers and the pharmaceutical industry . Makes you wonder why? Would it have something to do with his vote record regarding health issues? Is it any surprise that APHA has rated Kline a ZERO (0%) on supporting health issues?

The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the oldest and largest organization of public health professionals in the world, representing more than 50,000 members from over 50 occupations of public health. APHA is concerned with a broad set of issues affecting personal and environmental health, including federal and state funding for health programs, pollution control, programs and policies related to chronic and infectious diseases, a smoke-free society, and professional education in public health.

Kline and the Groups That Support Him

Christian Coalition:
"We soon as possible to see a majority of the Republican Party in the hands of pro-family Christians by 1996." --Pat Robertson, Denver Post, 10/26/92

"There is no such thing as separation of church and state in the Constitution. It is a lie of the Left and we are not going to take it anymore." --Pat Robertson, November 1993 during an address to the American Center for Law and Justice

"I know this is painful for the ladies to hear, but if you get married, you have accepted the headship of a man, your husband. Christ is the head of the household and the husband is the head of the wife, and that's the way it is, period."--Pat Robertson, "The 700 Club," 1/8/92

Pat Robertson founder of the Christian Coalition has an agenda.

John Birch Society
The JBS is opposed to what it describes as collectivism, which in the Society's view includes wealth redistribution, economic interventionism, socialism, communism, and fascism. The JBS claims that collectivist conspiracies throughout the world have significantly shaped history, and it seeks to expose and eliminate their claimed control in government in the modern era. This degree of conspiracism has isolated the Society from many other conservative groups.

Summer 03
Kline supported the interests of the Conservative Index - The John Birch Society 38 percent
Kline supported the interests of the Christian Coalition 92 percent in 2003.

Spring 05
Kline supported the interests of the Conservative Index - The John Birch Society 13 percent in

Spring 04
Kline supported the interests of the Conservative Index - The John Birch Society 25 percent

Fall 2004
Kline supported the interests of the Conservative Index - The John Birch Society 50 percent

2004 Kline supported the interests of the Christian Coalition 92 percent

The DeKlining Work Week?

Most Minnesotans are working longer work weeks and taking home less money... but not all...

According to ABC while you and I have worked more than 50 days so far this year, the House (as in John Kline) has worked in Washington just 19 days or a total of 118 hours.

19 days compared to our 50 days...gotta love the

Thats roughly 38% of the time we put in working. By the end of the year Kline would have worked closer to (almost) 40% of the time compared to a 40 hour a week working American while factoring in vacation and holidays (which most working Americans don't get as benefits) but well, I wanted to be fair!

Kline is entitled to full life long health care and pension.

On the base salary of $165, 200 per year (lets leave the 'perks' out for now), Kline gets roughly $1,700 a day, or $213 an hour. For the record, federal minimum wage is $5.15 an hour. Naturally that's if John Kline is there when the House is in session...about one-quarter of the year. Last year I attended a House session on two different days, Kline wasn't there but..I wasn't there all day and things can often get in the golf courses, private lunches with lobbyists, personal appointments, tournaments, committee meetings, or 'fact finding' missions.

Slate has an eye-opening report on where our Reps. spend thier time.

John Kline probably does other things he considers work... for instance campaigning and fundraising. Based on the money Kline brings in from special interest PACs (40%), John's not at the local county fair or coffee shop as much as he's with big donors at country clubs and attending $1,000 plate dinners . That usually results in trading tips..or favors...aboard lobbyist corporate jets, or on golf courses, much like Kline's close friend and reform House Majority Leader John Boehner did at least 45 times in the past four years, according to a report released last week by the Center for Public Integrity.

Yeah, that's the same John Boehner who last month "ran an insurgent campaign calling for change in the face of a widening corruption scandal" to become the new House Majority Leader. The same John Boehner that Kline supports!

Maybe we can ask John Kline to show up for more work somthing along the line of - half the amount of time that nurses, teachers, cops and firefighters make it to the workplace. Most of us do it for far less than half the amont of money, about 1% of the perks and generally with poor or no health insurance coverage to boot.

Let's get John within hailing distance at least of the average Minnesotan worker, then maybe he'll start to represent our interests.

Hat tip to SusanG over at KOS

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Bush And Kline: Toast in 2006!

Why Bother With The Middle Man?

Just a reminder from John Kline's Record:

In 2003, Kline voted with his Republican colleagues 99% of the time, and
with the Bush agenda 98% (Pioneer Press, October 18, 2004). In 2004, those
numbers dropped a bit, to 99 and 94, respectively...

Kline also voted with indicted former House majority leader Tom DeLay more than 97% of the time.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Kline Doesn't 'Walk' The 'Talk'

Kline 'Talk':

"My greatest duty in Congress has been and continues to be supporting our veterans of today and our veterans of tomorrow -- America's active duty forces,"

Kline 'Walk': on Veterans Issues

  • 2004 On the votes that the The Retired Enlisted Association considered to be the most important in 2004, Representative Kline voted their preferred position 33 percent of the time.

  • 2003 On the votes that the Disabled American Veterans - House considered to be the most important in 2003, Representative Kline voted their preferred position 50 percent of the time.

Kline's Record On Veterans

John Kline announces his candidancy with a statement on supporting veterans!?%WTF!
What's amazing is his ability to make the below statement without being struck dead by lightening for lying. Kline needs to have his record called into question:

"My greatest duty in Congress has been and continues to be supporting our veterans of today and our veterans of tomorrow -- America's active duty forces"

Kline’s record on veterans and their issues:

Kline Voted Against $53 Million Boost for Veterans Health Care & Benefits. The amendment failed, 213-214. (Leadership Document, "Medical Quality Democratic Amendment Final.")
[HR 2528 , Vote #224, 5/26/2005; Failed 213-214; R 19-210; D 193-4; I 1-0]

Kline Opposed Expanding TRICARE to Thousands of National Guard & Reserve Volunteers. The motion failed, 211-218. (Leadership Document, "DOD Authorization Previous Question on
Rule") [HR 1815 , Vote #221, 5/25/2005; Failed 211-218; R 9-218; D
201-0; I 1-0]

Kline Voted For Budget That Cut Veterans Programs. [HR 95 , Vote #149, 4/28/2005; Passed 214-211; R 214-15; D 0-195; I 0-1]

Kline Voted Against Debt Assistance for Returning Guard &
The motion to protect Guard and Reserve volunteers failed, 200-229. (Los Angeles Times, 4/15/05; Statement by Rep. Schakowsky, 109th Congressional Record, pg. H2074, 4/14/05)
[S 256 , Vote #107, 4/14/2005; Failed 200-229; R 1-228; D 198-1; I

Kline Opposed Increased Spending On Veterans And Homeland Security. The amendment was rejected, 180-242. [HRS 95, Vote #82, 3/17/2005; Failed 180-242; R 3-218; D 176-24; I 1-0]

Kline Opposed $100 Million Increase for Military Personnel. The proposed increase failed, 200-229. [HR 1268 , Vote #76, 3/16/2005; Failed 200-229; R 2-226; D 197-3; I 1-0]

Kline Voted Against Additional Job Assistance to Veterans Returning from Overseas. The motion failed, 197-228. (Statements by Rep. Kildee, 109th Congressional Record, pg. H915, 3/2/05; Statement by Rep. Schakowsky, 109th Congressional Record, pg. H2074, 4/14/05) [HR 27 , Vote #47, 3/2/2005; Failed 197-228;
R 0-228; D 196-0; I 1-0]

Kline Voted Against Helping Reservists AND Veterans With Their Debts.The exemption proposal was rejected 170-198. (Star News, 1/31/04; GAO." Bankruptcy filings among active duty service
members," 2//27/04) [S 1920 , Vote #9, 1/28/2004; Failed 170-198; R
1-197; D 168-1; I 1-0]

Kline Voted Against Full Retirement & Disability Benefits For All Veterans. Macon Telegraph, 11/8/03; Associated Press, 11/7/03) [HR 1588, Vote #616, 11/7/2003; Failed 188-217; R 4-215; D 183-2; I 1-0]

Kline Voted To Cut Veterans & Health Programs By Billions To Make Room For Tax Cut Favoring The Wealthy. The budget passed, 215-212. (CQ Weekly, 7/26/03; Associated Press, 3/24/03; Argus Leader, 3/26/03) [HCR 95 , Vote #82, 3/21/2003; Passed 215-212; R 214-12; D 1-199; I 0-1]

Kline Voted against providing the highest levels of funding for veterans' medical care and President Bush's full request for Homeland Security funding. [HJR 2 , Vote #17, 1/29/2003; Failed 200-209; R 2-209; D 197-0; I 1-0]

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Kline Can No Longer Abide By Public Town Meetings

John Kline (R-MN), plans to have his first tele-town hall (set for this week). For those not knowing how this robo calling system works, it's just like a town meeting but without meeting or without being open to the public, or without encouraging of or acceptance of different opinions, or even without having to listen but it does collect personal information. Sounds like what we've come to expect from the GOP! Obviously the fall out from those disgusted with John Kline now limits his ability to hold open meeting.

Kline called the program "a tremendous opportunity to get in touch with potentially thousands of constituents." He noted that traditional town halls "have become partisan battlegrounds," and because the phone calls can be made any time, it limits organized opposition and disruption. Indeed, if a constituent becomes disruptive during his or her question, the congressman on the other end can simply click them off.

Hat tip: Minnesota Republican Watch has a great write up on this:
"Like a controversial CD recently produced by the Republican Party of Minnesota, the Tele-Town Hall collects personal information from participants" ..."Will constituents who receive these political calls be told that their personal responses to these questions will be recorded and linked to their telephone number and other personal information? The people of the Second District deserve to know just how Kline plans to use the personal information he collects from voters targetted by this system."

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Does John Kline (MN-R) Have A GreenThumb?

Apparently not! Beside not voting for families, and children, he also votes against a livable enviroment.

Hat Tip to City Pages' Mike Mosedale
How Green Was My Congressman?
If you live in Minnesota's second Congressional district, represented by first term Republican John Kline, the answer is, "the opposite of green." At least if you believe the environmental advocacy group, the League of Conservation Voters, which last week released its environmental scorecard for every member of the 109th Congress.

The scorecard calculated politicians' environmental credentials based on their votes on 18 issues, ranging from oil drilling in the actic to environmental funding cuts to liability protections for the manufacturers of the gasoline additive MTBE. By the League's reckoning, Kline cast the "anti-environment" vote in all eighteen instances, earning him a score of zero on a zero to 100 scale.
How did the rest of the north star state's delegation fare? By and large, the divisions fell fairly predictably along party lines. Fourth District Representative Betty McCollum, a Democrat, was the only one to score a perfect 100 percent. She was followed by Fifth District Representative Martin Sabo at 89 percent.

Among Republicans, the League gave the highest score (61 percent) to the Third District's Jim Ramstad. That bested one Democrat, Seventh District Rep. Collin Peterson. (A similar scoring methodolgy applied to Senate votes led to scores of 90 percent for Mark Dayton and 35 percent for Norm Coleman).

Steve Sutton, John Kline's chief-of-staff, did not return phone calls requesting comment on his bosses's dubious achievement.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

John Kline (R-MN) By The Numbers

FY2007 Budget by the Numbers

$2.77 trillion - Total Budget
$1.7 trillion - Cost of tax give-ways (2007-2016)
$354 billion - Increase in the federal deficit in 2007
$105 billion - Cut from Medicare (2007-2016)
$42.3 billion - Cut from Medicaid (2007-2016)
$2.1 billion - Cut from Education
$13 Million - Cut from medical/prosthetic research at the Veterans Administration

$0 - ELIMINATED: Perkins loan forgiveness for students
pursuing careers in police, teaching, military
$0 - ELIMINATED: Law Enforcement Terrorism Protection
$0 - ELIMINATED: COPS Law Enforcement Technology grants
$0 - ELIMINATED: Safe and Drug Free Schools

$0 - Budget to feed, clothe and protect U.S. troops in Iraq
(Kline must think the War is free!)

As war spending grows, deficits skyrocket and human needs are ignored. The United States accounts for nearly half the world's military spending.

We spend seven times that of China, 22 times that of Russia, and 50 times that of North Korea and Iran combined. With the funds wasted in Iraq to date we could have ended hunger and poverty in America.

Minnesota taxpayers in 2006 will pay $2 billion for the Iraq war.

Meanwhile, federal cuts will cost Minnesota $2.5 million in WIC funds,
$13.4 million in Community Development Block Grants,
$4.1 million in spending for the clean water state revolving fund,
217 Head Start slots,
$6.8 million in funds for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program,
$18.6 million from vocational education and all federal funds for community policing.

The good news is that Minnesotans can use the upcoming elections to reverse these trends by voting John Kline back to Texas.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Is John Kline (MN R) Among The 'Elite' Few?

St. Paul’s Representative John ‘Pee-Wee Herman’ Lesch (DFL) came back from his week long trip in Baghdad. Mr. Lesch talks about how policy decisions in Iraq are not being made by the American people but by an elite few in the military (sound like anyone we know?. Colonel John Kline (MN R) who has made several trips to Iraq to 'market' the war and continues to tout Bu$hCo failed war policies.

What John Lesch learned:
After talking to U.S. troops, Iraqi leaders, contractors from Minnesota and U.S. Embassy personnel, Lesch said he has grave doubts about a continued U.S. presence in Iraq.

"Far more policy decisions being made in Iraq are not being made by the American people, but an elite few in the military, in Washington and, even worse, those on the corporate boards of Halliburton and other contractors.

"Many contractors and troops I talked are really questioning why they're putting their life on the line. Their hands are in their hair."
To read Lesch's blog from Iraq go to www.john

Colonel John Kline: Lost Without War

A Le Moyne College/Zogby International survey shows what our troops really think about the Iraq War...and guess what? John Kline (MN R) is way off to the right of the right in his unquestioning total support to this neocon Bu$hCo war. Below shows how blinded Kline is to the reality on the ground in Iraq:

An overwhelming majority of 72% of American troops serving in Iraq think the U.S. should exit the country within the next year.

Just one in five troops want to heed Bush call to stay “as long as they are needed”
• While 58% say mission is clear, 42% say U.S. role is hazy
• Plurality believes Iraqi insurgents are mostly homegrown
• Almost 90% think war is retaliation for Saddam’s role in 9/11,
• Most don’t blame Iraqi public for insurgent attacks
• Majority of troops oppose use of harsh prisoner interrogation

Nearly one in four say the troops should leave immediately.

We know Kline can't lead, but will he continue to follow a failing Bu$hCo and his war? Even when American soldiers continue to die? Even when it serves no purpose? Even when it won't get him re-elected?

If he's this out of step with soldiers, how out of step is he with civilians? with Minnesotans? with America?