Friday, December 14, 2007

John Kline Publicly Refuses To Represent Minnesota!

John Kline has always represented the interest of Bush, but in showing an unprecedented level of gall, Congressman Kline told Minnesotans this week that he will no longer bring federal tax dollars back home in the way of earmarks. In essences, John Kline announced he will no longer represent Minnesota. Kline's 'quasi imposed' self retirement from serving Minnesota doesn't go far enough. In the interest of Minnesota, and since Kline no longer will represent our interests, Kline should step down from office.

John Kline's voting record shows he's been a dependable lapdog to President Bush, voting the party line 98 percent of the time. No surprises there. Given a choice, Kline votes Bush over Minnesota. And John Kline has been rewarded for his complicity with a massive campaign war chest built on the cornerstone of$139,557 in contributions from 17 of 21 most-corrupt members of Congress as named by the non-partisan group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).
But Kline's recent announcement that he will no longer represent or vote to bring our federal tax dollars back to Minnesotans is outrageous behavior for a Congressman elected to represent Minnesota! While John Kline support one bill after another for massive Iraq spending with no accountability or oversight, he now refuses to vote for any bills that would return federal tax dollars back to Minnesota and fund much needed local projects! John Kline's actions, statements and vote record shows his failure to represent Minnesota.

John Kline voted millions for Alaska's notorious 'Bridge to Nowhere' but won't vote to fund replacing Minnesota's I35 Bridge! Yes...John Kline who votes unlimited funding to built bridges in Iraq, won't vote to build bridges at home locally! Congressman John Kline has abandoned Minnesota, ceased to perform his duties, and is now a detriment to Minnesota.

Our representative should decide how and where to spend our federal tax dollars. The they should see to it that Minnesotans get a return on those federal tax dollars. Since Kline has announced he doesn't want to do his job, let's elect someone who will represent us and do the job! Fortunately there is someone else willing to represent us. As candidate Steve Sarvi says:
"To get our country back on track, we need to come together and act. We need to elect Members of Congress who serve us – not their party leaders, not the President, not lobbyists. We need to elect Members who put our shared values into action; who always rely on their moral compass, engage in a dialogue with the people, and have faith in the power of what we can do together. We need to elect Members who believe in the politics of hope, not of fear and division"

Personally, I like what Sarvi says. I'm tired of having Congressman Kline continue to represent everybody but Minnesotans.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Just What Does John Kline Think His Job Is?

Recently John Kline annouced on the front pages of the Star Tribune that he doesn't want to see to it that Minnesotans benefit from the federal budget that Congress sets. Prior to that he didn't want to meet with the voters he represents in his own district!

What kind of ADULT elected to represent Minnesota responds to the federal budget by saying he won't play? His behavior is second grade at best but then we come to expect nothing from Mr. do nothing Kline.

Congressman Kline Speaking Out Of Both Ends

Yesterday the ‘liberal’ Star Tribune had an article on their front page entitled ‘’Kline says no dice to pork-barrel spending’. Here’s their link on-line. With this bold and inaccurate headline on their front page, it appears obvious to most that reporter Kevin Diaz just writes what the Kline camp feeds him and the Star blindly posts it.

Unlike the one printed, an accurate and believable headlines would have been:

“Kline says no to serving constituents”
“Kline plays partisan politics instead of representing the voters”

Just like a man finding ‘religion’ before he’s due to be sentenced by a judge, not only is John Kline’s recent no vote on bills due to ‘pork’ highly suspect, it pathetically partisan in nature. Congressman Kline didn’t seem to have trouble signing for funding the Iraq war bill with all it’s pork or for that matter the ‘bridge to nowhere’ or tax breaks for the big oil companies!

However, when funding is available to help Minnesotans rebuild bridges, maintain roads, provide child health care or improve transportation, suddenly Congressman Kline finds religion…er..’pork’…

Give us a break John! Even an under-funded Minnesota school girl knows you’re being totally disingenuous. I call bull on your "I came in, somewhat naively I admit, thinking I was going to compete for my district, like everyone else does," he said. "I've got some very worthwhile projects. Then the realization kept coming back year after year that this is preposterous." You must think we just got off the train from Texas to swallow your recent 'seen the light' like crap?

What is preposterous is that anyone would buy into your faulty logic let alone flauntingly print it on the front page with it's inaccurate headline! Oh and Kevin, next time you ‘write’ a story on Kline, don’t bother to sign your name…we all know who should get the bi-line.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Kline Failes to 'Hold The Line'

Why is Congressman Kline ‘holding the line’ only when it comes to helping Minnesotans rebuild a bridge but not for the 67 other port laden appropriation bills that he voted for? Can anyone tell me, anyone at all why this would be in any way shape or form construed as 'holding the line' verses...hmm...the petty partisan bullcrap that we're all sick of?

It appears that Kline has the backbone to stand up to Minnesotans but not the oil corporations, special interests, and lobbyists. And yes... there is runaway government spending but Congressman John Kline was a team leader of that runaway spending... with spending increases totally billions for each year John Kline has been in congress! Pot meet the kettle!

‘Hold the line’, yeah do that Kline… but not for the first time with the I35 Bridge. This Democratic congress bill had half as much pork as the Republican bill from the year before and included funding for the I35 bridge! Come on Congressman Kline, this isn’t about holding the line on spending. This is about your being engaged with petty partisan bickering that threatens to undermine rebuilding our bridge. It’s about using a tragic event for political grandstanding and not to bring everyone together. And lastly, it’s about your inability to get things done or show leadership for Minnesotans in times of need.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Listen Up Kline!

On Huffington Post Coleen Rowley gives Republican Congressman John Kline (R-MN2) a talking to regarding supporting war over bridges in Minnesota. It's an issue of priorities and values and leadership and helping Minnesotans.

It's not okay to build bridges in Iraq while Minnesota's bridges are falling down. It's not okay to provide more to private war contractors while not insuring Minnesota's childrens needs are being met at home. It's not right, it's not working, it's time to stop and set priorities. Listen up Kline !

What gives when Kline and company voted for a Republican crony's "Bridge to Nowhere" in Alaska just two years ago but refuse to vote now for a bridge to somewhere in Minnesota? Democratic freshman Congressman Tim Walz, although he seemed fairly exasperated, did a credible job of questioning this strange set of Republican priorities, especially their support for funding of bridges in Iraq while not supporting funding for bridges in their home state.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Kline votes with Bush over Minnesotans

Congressman Kline shows his super-sized loyalty to President Bush when he continues to vote for funding Iraq bridges with all it's cost overruns, lack of oversight, and chronic issues- but then votes against funding Minnesotan’s I35 fallen bridge.

Funny how Kline calls funding money for Minnesota's transportation and road infrastructure pork but didn’t label the famed Alaskan boondoggle ‘bridge to nowhere’ as pork…

Even Republican John McCain said that Congress could share in the blame for the Minnesota bridge collapse because lawmakers diverted billions of dollars in transportation money from road work to pet projects."I think perhaps you can make the argument that part of the responsibility lies with the Congress of the United States," the Arizona senator said.

I couldn't agree more Mr. McCain, the responsibility for the fallen bridge does lie with those in congress that would fund 'bridges to nowhere', or build bridges in Iraq while not funding to rebuild the Minnesota I35 bridge.

Friday, November 16, 2007

No Comment Kline!

A recent Post-Bulletin article gets right to the heart of the issue with the Second Congressional District's dissatisfaction with Congressman John Kline.

To-date John Kline’s challenger in CD2 is a 'Walz-like' democrat (ex-republican) named Steve Sarvi. The article can sum up in two of its sentences why Steve Sarvi is running and what’s wrong with Congressman Kline…

Sarvi: "I get this strong sense that people don't feel like they are being adequately represented in Congress,"

Kline: Kline declined to respond to Sarvi's comments, spokesman Troy Young said.

Am I the only one who finds it funny that in answering questions about ‘not answering’, Kline can’t even say directly ‘no comment’? Kline is showing he’s so removed from daily interactions with his community and fellow Minnesotans that he uses his staff to tell media and constituents alike…NO COMMENT.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Kline Votes Against Funding for Rebuilding I35 Bridge!

Congressman John Kline’s voting against funding for Minnesota’s I35 Bridge shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given his previous votes. Sure Republican Reps. John Kline and Michele Bachmann of Minnesota say they stand against the bill based on the overall funding of transportation and housing projects nationwide. And both Kline and Bachmann said they have signed their names to a separate bill that would provide the $195 million in bridge money. But who are they kidding? Last August, right after the bridge collapsed not only did Congressman John Kline vote to adjourn session right before the bill for funding the bridge rebuild was considered, but he then voted against a resolution to suspend the rules so the emergency aid could be considered.

So the question is, why does John Kline hate Minnesotans so much that he actually goes out of his way to impeded progress and stop the restoring of the I35 bridge?

Kline's voting record shows he doesn’t vote against tax breaks for the wealthy 2 percent and he doesn’t vote against tax subsidy for immensely profitable oil companies. Kline hasn’t vote against funding the costly war with it's add on pork…but Kline does vote against tax breaks for the middle class, health care for children and now funding for Minnesota’s I35 Bridge.

This is just one more example of how Kline votes with Bush and not for Minnesotans. While in August Kline voted against letting the emergency aid bill for Minnesota come to the House floor, I still find it shocking that he votes against a final funding bill. Kline should be pulling together with the rest of Minnesota in restoring bridges and providing for transportation and housing instead of playing more partisan politics. He's an embarrassment to Minnesota.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

John Kline Hardly Working...But At Taxpayer's Expense

Are Tele-Town Hall Meetings a good thing or a bad thing? As there is no oversight to such calls, no opportunity to actually know if callers were randomly picked or ‘hand picked’ based on their information/voting records/ privately kept files, and no way to vet who is actually on the call unless you are the moderator, Tele-Town Meetings are rift with fraud potential.

For someone like Congressman John Kline, Tele-Town Meetings are an easy way to totally control input and ‘fine tune’ (can you say manipulate?) the results without anyone being the wiser. In the past John Kline has shuns open forums having held only one in the last several years. Even then, it took several weeks of prodding and a petition of over 400 local constituents to get Kline to agree to a face-to-face public forum! I

nstead now John Kline prefers to rely on a tele-marketing system instead of the time honored face-to-face way of interacting with voters. This isn't too surprising given that Kline is the King of using systems to his advantage. Before Tele-town robo meetings, John Kline used $200,000 in ‘franking privileges’ in just his first term alone! In other words tax payers get to pay for the glossy fliers he sends out. I’m aware of two such mailings in the last two months.

It’s also unclear if Kline will be able to use his tax-funded tele-town robo meetings within 90 days of the election. But one thing is very clear, if it circumvents actual face-to-face interaction where Kline can’t totally control the results, expect Kline to be AOL. As Coleen Rowley and Peter Smith ask on their posting at Huffington Post on this issue:

"Until such time as the rules, regulations and ethics of Tele Town Hall Meetings are made clear we would all do well to ask ourselves whether we want to vote for someone who is reducing our already-compromised political discourse to a telephone marketing tactic better suited to selling time share condos or vinyl home siding."

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Kline Plays Trick or Treat With Children's Healthcare

Paul Drotos, Veteran for Peace in Red Wing, got this great letter to the editor (11.01.2007) published in the Red Wing Republican Eagle:

To the Editor:

I would like to personally thank John Kline for his courageous stand against sick children (RE 10/31/07). His consistent budgetary strategy of pouring every available dollar into the Iraq War has proven him to be a hollow voice for the poor and needy in this country.

Am I the only one who reads the “Kline Party Line” without understanding that the Iraq war is a hole in America’s soul where all of the money goes?

And just for the record, Representative Kline: If an illegal alien has a sick child in need of medical attention: It is a sick child. Have we really sunk so low that we can be proud of excluding any sick children from getting better?

Representative Kline’s letter stated, “Congress needs to stop playing political games with children.” He forgot to mention that it’s OK to play those games with certain illegal alien children.

I gave a lot of candy to little kids for Halloween just because they were little kids. If I was in Washington giving out health care I would have to do the same. It’s not trick or treat, John Kline, it’s justice for all.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Score: Steve Sarvi 14- John Kline-1

Hey, here's a great new idea for our Congressman -- go out and talk to the people on a regular basis. Instead of surprising us with a phone call for a tightly controlled "tele-town hall meeting", set up an appointment (lots of them) to meet us face-to-face where so we can discuss the issues.

What? Your Representative does this all the time? You must not live in Rep. John Kline's district. It took a petition from nearly 700 constituents to force him to hold his only face-to-face town hall meeting with constituents this year. His website promised more meetings like this. That was this Spring. The frost is on the pumpkin and we're still waiting for the next one.

We like that Steve Sarvi isn't waiting to be elected to start listening to constituents. He's launching a district wide listening tour with 14 stops in 7 days. We're glad Sarvi is making the time to do this while still holding down a full-time job.

We can only hope Rep. Kline will take some time out from his full time job --meeting with lobbyists for the large drug companies and the defense contractors -- to actually meet with the people he's supposed to represent!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Kline's Misplaced Ideology and Half-Truths

By now most know that Congressman John Kline votes with the president and against the interests of Minnesotans...especially those weakest among us...our children. According to Dr. Allen Horn, president of CentraCare Clinic in St. Cloud:

"Reps. Michele Bachmann and John Kline voted with the president. The justification for the veto is based on misplaced ideology and half-truths.

The bill is not a step toward "government-run" or "socialized" medicine. In fact, it is strengthening a very successful public-private partnership with 77 percent of the children getting their coverage through private health plans funded by SCHIP.

Another unfounded claim is that the bill vastly expands program eligibility to provide coverage for children who live in middle-income families and who already have coverage through their parents' private health insurance. The fact is that more than 80 percent of the children who could be added to SCHIP are already eligible for the program because they are below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

Supporters of the veto have also falsely stated that the bill will expand coverage for adults and will provide coverage for illegal immigrants. In fact, the bill quickly phases out coverage for for childless adults, and there would be no funding for "illegal" immigrants."

Read more

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Kline's trick is no treat for kids

Rep. John Kline may try to explain away his vote against the State Children Health Care Plan (SCHP), but the truth is he's decided that children of families that are poor or have no other way to pay health care bills deserve an old rock in the trick or treat bag. This isn't compassionate conservatism. This is just mean Republican party line rhetoric.

One year from now we predict voters will be ready to play a trick on John Kline in return for this dastardly deed!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

It's Your Choice

What really matters to Minnesotans:
Education, healthcare, transportation, community and economic development.

What really matters to Congressman John Kline:
Continuing the war and war profits, corporate tax breaks, big gas company subsidies, Bush's failed agenda.

You know you can agree or disagree with individual positions and issues but it's the lacking values that make John Kline wrong for Minnesota.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Don't Believe Everything Kline Tells You

How ironic is it that Representative John Kline sends out a glossy flyer telling his constituents he stands 100% for education....the day after he voted NO on a bill to help colleges on student loans (HR669)...No wonder the National Education Association (NEA) gave Kline the low score of 17% ..lowest among Minnesota's Representatives...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Kline Welcomes Bush

We are the company we keep. So it's no surprise that Congressman John Kline had time to meet personally with George Bush yestarday when he came to Minnesota for fundraising. But ironically, Kline still hasn't met in an open public forum with CD2 voters since early last spring. Kline's avoidance of the general public shouldn't come as a big surprise... given his mentor's behavior:

The Star Tribune’s coverage astutely pointed out that Bush “squeezed in a (15 minute) briefing” on the 35W bridge collapse while “lingering for nearly two hours” at the Eden Prairie fundraiser. That alone illustrates their priorities: raise money for re-elections instead of helping Minnesotans.

If you didn’t see KARE 11’s coverage of Bush’s visit here yesterday to try to raise a million or so bucks for Norm Coleman, click: Norm Coleman walks fine line with Bush fundraiser. Notice that Bush mentions during the video how the MN congressional delegates did a really good job at the end of the session to pass legislation for funding a new bridge. But don't forget that two of those members (Michele Bachmann and John Kline) voted to adjourn before the funding bill. Not only did Congressman John Kline vote to adjourn right before the bill was considered, but he then voted against a resolution to suspend the rules so the emergency aid could be considered.

Coleman and Kline just don’t get it. Minnesotans want representatives who’ll stand up to the special interests and stand up for working families – not puppets that will stand with George W. Bush at private ritzy fundraisers and then vote with Bush over 90% of the time. (Kline has voted with Bu$h over 95% of the time.) Again, we are the company we keep...just ask any Minnesota mother.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Kline still MIA

Check all that apply:
___ refuses to meet with his continuents in a public forum
___ a Bu$h puppet voting over 98% with the administration
___ voted against expanding Federal funding of stem cell research
___ voted to cut Federal student aid by the biggest such cuts in history
___ does not have Minnesotan values

___ Wrong for Minnesota!


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Message to Kline: Come Out, Come Out, Where Ever You Are!

Hello? Mr. Kline? Is asking for a simple public dialog too much? Isn’t it part of your responsibility as an elected official to engage your constituents? Come on, talk with us! At least have your staff answer simple questions… like what's your schedule of activities are during recess or even simpler yet...just meeting and greeting your constituents. You do have some public activities scheduled...don't you? You can't be spending the whole time working on your aim and fishing.
“Dialogues help citizens take an active role in policy decision making, and the health and strength of democracy depends on the active participation of responsible citizens who take the initiative to engage in dialogue and deliberate about the public policy choices and to work towards setting the public agenda.”– National Issues Forum,

If you're not sure if it's okay...everyone else is holding public forums...from freshmen Tim Walz and freshman Keith Ellison to self proclaimed centralist Ramstad to established old guard Oberstar and progressive congresswomen Betty McCollum to Collin Peterson….all of them are having open and public meetings…

Come on Kline...what do you have to lose?
“Democracy begins in human conversation. A democratic conversation does not require elaborate rules of procedure or utopian notions of perfect consensus. What it does require is a spirit of mutual respect—people conversing critically with one another in an atmosphere of honesty and shared regard.”– William Greider, Who Will Tell the People

Monday, August 13, 2007

Kline (like Bachman) Is AWOL

I was thinking of using MIA (Missing in Action) to describe Congressman John Kline, but truth be told, AWOL is a better fit.

Missing in Action gives the appearance that Kline was 'in action' which can't be with only one real town hall meeting this year and his poor congressional voting record. Like Michele Bachmann, John Kline has gone AWOL.

As both republicans vote virtually alike, perhaps they're following a Bu$h directive to not hold open meetings. During session John Kline's record (like Bachmann's) can only be described as rubber stamping Bu$h's agenda. It would stand to reason that they wouldn't want to explain this to their local constituents.

Kline voted NO on:
Stem Cell Research Act of 2007 ; Energy Bill; Appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education; Student Loan Lender Subsidy Cuts and Student Grants; Energy Bill; department of Homeland Security Appropriations; Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations; Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act

While Kline voted YES on any bill with the word 'defense' in it's title...which underscores that his whole congressional record has come to stand on continuation of the failing Iraqi war at the expense of everything else...

The other explanation is perhaps John Kline is tired after actually having to work five days a week unlike the previous House. But either way, don't voters in CD2 deserve better.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Meanwhile CD2 DeKlines....

I've read that Congressmen Keith Ellison and Jim Ramstad are holding open forums on Iraq with their constituents. Must be nice to be able to communicate and listen to your elected official. Still waiting to hear what Kline is going to do....

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Can John Kline Risk Holding Another Town Hall Meeting?

The House adjourned for its August recess early Sunday, bringing to an end a week of bitter partisanship for Congressman John Kline, controversial vote decisions and legislative victories for Democrats on sweeping reforms on energy and national security measures

Since the House will be out of session until September, will John Kline be holding another public town-hall meeting as promised? If you recall, it took intense public lobbying by local constituents to force Kline into his first real town hall meeting earlier this year. Now inquiring mind want to know, when will John Kline have another?

Two meetings a year (while breaking his own record!) is extremely poor when compared to the rest of Minnesota's Congressional representatives who have already heald numerous face-to-face townn hall meetings this year alone! Wouldn't you think as a public official, he would see this a part of his obligation to the voters in CD2? Wonder what John Kline is so afraid of that he won't hold public town meetings?

Kline likes to play games and label his tele-calls as town meetings(03/09/07
Kline holds his first town hall of 2007), but they are not. First, they lack the genuine face-to-face encounters offered by public townhall meetings. Secondly, most participants find the format too controlling and are unable to know for sure if others are who they say they represent or just 'friendly partisan plants' to control the dialog and questioning. And lastly, they don't offer the same informal setting to network and meet other voters with similiar views and goals.

Once more - Dump John Kline readers want to know: Will Congressman John Kline be holding an open public town hall meeting while the House is in recess for August?

Monday, August 06, 2007

It gets worse...Kline Voted Against Allowing Consideration Of Bridge Aid

At the urging of Republicans I've dug a little deeper into the vote to send Minnesota federal aid in the wake of the I-35W bridge collapse. And what I've found isn't pretty.

Not only did Congressman John Kline vote to adjourn right before the bill was considered, but he then voted against a resolution to suspend the rules so the emergency aid could be considered.

Let me repeat that. Kline voted against letting the emergency aid bill for Minnesota come to the House floor.

The author of the rules suspension resolution, Rep Hastings of Florida, made it very clear about what was at stake:
"I do wish to put my colleagues on notice that, following the conclusion of debate on this rule, I intend to offer an amendment to the rule. My amendment will permit the House to consider emergency legislation today appropriating $250 million to begin the reconstruction of the I-35 bridge, which collapsed this week in Minnesota. We have properly given our condolences and continue those to those who have lost loved ones and those who are awaiting word regarding those who are still missing and those who have been injured. All of us grieve with all of them.

"Without this amendment and this rule, this legislation will not be permitted to proceed; and these emergency funds would be delayed. Realize a vote against this rule and my amendment to the rule will be a vote against providing this emergency assistance to the people of Minnesota, specifically Minneapolis, Minnesota."

Editors note: you can find the citation for this quote in the comments.

Pretty clear, right? If we don't suspend the rules to consider this bill, then emergency aid to Minnesota is going to be delayed. So why would Kline and his fellow Minnesota Republican Representative Michele Bachmann vote against it? The answer is simple, but disturbing. The resolution to suspend the rules included discussing two items Kline is opposed to.

(1) The bill (H.R. 3087) to require the President, in coordination with the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other senior military leaders, to develop and transmit to Congress a comprehensive strategy for the redeployment of United States Armed Forces in Iraq.

(2) A bill to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to establish a procedure for authorizing certain electronic surveillance.

This tells you volumes about Rep. Kline's priorities. Supporting what President Bush and the Republican Party wants is more important than the emergency help that Minnesota needs.

Now some of our Republican readers may argue that Kline was not voting against the Minnesota bridge aid, and they'd be correct since he and every other Representative voted for the aid. And you'll also note that's NOT what I've said here. Motions, even "procedural" ones as Kline likes to characterize them,involve a choice between priorities. Kline showed conclusively that he ranks loyalty to the Republican Party and President Bush higher than the ranks his loyalty to the needs of Minnesota. If you check the record, you'll find he's made similar choices when it comes to the needs of veterans.

What makes this even stand out more is Kline knew the votes were there to suspend the rules and bring the other two items up for debate. He could have avoided any possibility of upsetting his constituents over the bridge aid by just voting with the majority (like Minnesota Republican Rep. Jim Ramstad did). But then he would have gone on record voting against something the Bush administration wanted. Apparently Kline fears the consequences of defying the Bush administration more than he does the consequences of defying his constituents.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Kline again puts party before Minnesota priorities

Congress passes emergency aid for Minnesota in the wake of the 35W bridge collapse. Support from the Minnesota congressional delegation should be a no-brainer, right?

Well, not really. Congressman John Kline joined his fellow Minnesota Republican Michele Bachmann in voting to adjourn before the emergency aid could be considered. Republican Representative Jim Ramstad and Democratic Representatives Tim Walz, Betty McCollum, Keith Ellison, Collin Peterson and Jim Oberstar voted against adjournment that failed 180-237.

You're bound to hear Republican bloggers complaining that the above statement isn't fair because the vote was a procedural vote on an entirely unrelated matter.

However, Rep Kline was willing to risk the wrath of his constituents by doing what the Republican Party Whip wanted instead of putting Minnesota's needs ahead of politics. That's how important the right-wing ideology is to Kline. This is not an isolated example. As we've reported before, Kline has chosen the Republican Party line over better veteran's benefits, something that should also be a no-brainer.

Isn't it time we got someone who uses his brain instead of relying on the Republican Party to make his decisions for him?

Friday, August 03, 2007

Build Bridges In Iraq While Minnesota's Fall Down

While our citizens soldiers are off fighting Bu$h's and John Kline's war in Iraq, the terror has been building here at home. As billions are being spent in Iraq including building bridges , our infrastructures at home are crumbling around us. The recent tragedy of the 35W bridge is just the latest example. Before that, we've seen our inability to take care of our own with Katrina.

While Bu$h and Kline squander resources and American lives in Iraq, think about how much both of those are needed to shore-up our defenses here at home. Minnesotans can't even drive on our own highways and bridges for fear they'll collapse because John Kline traded the cost of resources and maintenances for the Iraq a not very funny way doesn't that mean the terrorist have won?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

John Kline Honors His Replacement!

As Rep. John Kline had the privilege of greeting and honoring the returning members of the 1st BCT last Friday at Fort McCoy, how ironic he may have also been welcoming his replacement! Steve Sarvi is creating quite the buzz among CD2 Democrats and while he hasn't officially announced, my sources tell me this is all but a done deal.

Having had the chance to meet with his father, Al Sarvi, and find out his son's background and experience, I can only say 'wow'. Kline will have a fight on his hand in the coming months with this Walz-like, hopefully soon-to-be candidate.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Bachman and Kline: Peas in a Pod

I been noticing disturbing trend with U.S. Representatives Michele Bachman and John Kline. This year both have voted the same on every single issue (minus one!). Statistically what is the chances of that? Are they really just partisan lapdogs twins separated at birth?

Most recently, they both voted against Making College Education More Affordable for Minnesotan.

Second and Sixth District Republicans Vote against Making College
Education More Affordable for Minnesotans
St. Paul, MN (July 12, 2007)

U.S. Representatives Michele Bachmann and John Kline once again sided against Minnesota students and their families Wednesday when they voted against the College Cost Reduction Act (H.R. 2669), which would ease the cost of a college education for middle-class and working families.

This is not the first time Representatives Bachmann and Kline have stood against Minnesotans’ attempting to improve their lives through higher education: InJanuary, both also voted against the College Student Relief Act (H.R. 5), which gradually reduces interest rates on student loans. Both bills overwhelmingly passed the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.Minnesota college graduates’ average debt load already ranks among the highest in the country. The College Cost Reduction Act would save the average Minnesotacollege student over $4,000 in interest repayment, and would increase the size of Pell Grants for as many as 86,000 more students.

Monday, July 16, 2007

More Bias Media

The Strib take the 'low road' ...again
Ollie at Bluestem Prairie wants to know “if the Strib political editor D.J. Tice have a special standard for the Sixth or what?” I would offer up that the ‘special standard’ seems to apply to reporter Kevin Diaz and the misplaced trust the Strib continues to give him. Diaz slates his stories in just such a way to create a bias that support the Republican incumbents. This went on all last election cycle in the Second Congressional District. It’s time for the Strib to decide if they want to play partisan hacker or real press.

The Strib commends Kline for building war machine research:
It’s disturbing to know that Minnesota's second congressional Representatives John Kline is willing to spend hundred of thousands of dollars on this type of research but not on stem cell research, or education, or healthcare, or transportation, or childcare, ...

The strib article ends saying: "I just pray that she gets there and comes back, because my little grandchildren need her. That's the bottom line. They need her," he said. "And the idea of her not being able to be there with them ... it's a hurting feeling."

We all hope she’s safe, but if leaders like Kline would put a stop to this senseless war, she would be home safe now, there would be no need for this type of expenditure, and her grandchildren could actually have decent education and healthcare instead of deeper cuts for more war! BTW- the grandkids each have a debt of $29,300+ to pay off for this war...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Call Congressman John Kline

Your help is today:
Yesterday, David Wellstone gave passionate testimony at a hearing for the Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act, a bipartisan bill that would end the discrimination against people with mental illness and addiction and ensure that mental health care costs are covered equally by insurance companies, just like other medical costs.

Your Congressman John Kline was at the hearing and is a key member of the committee that will decide if we will finally achieve Senator Paul Wellstone's passionately held priority for fairness for people with mental illness. David said he had a good exchange with him, and believes that now he needs to hear that his constituents support mental health parity so we can overpower the big insurance lobby.

Can you make a quick phone call to Congressman Kline and tell him that you support the Wellstone bill?

The message is simple: " I am calling to urge you to support the Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act (HR 1424). This is a bipartisan bill that is co-sponsored by a majority of House members. It is common sense legislation that ends discrimination against people suffering from mental illness and addiction. The Wellstone bill is fair, just, and long overdue. Please support this strong bill and urge your colleagues to finally pass it out of the House this year."

Congressman Kline can be reached at 202-225-2271 and/or at his Burnsville office at 952-808-1213. Please call now!

Let us know if you made the call by emailing

Thanks,Wellstone Action

Monday, June 18, 2007

A Day On The Hill With Partisan Kline

Republican Congressman John Kline from Minnesota had a busy day on Friday, June 16, 2007….a busy partisan day that included supporting amendments from the following five Republicans and voting against the lone democratic amendment...

  • Rogers of Kentucky
No congressman has single-handedly put America at greater risk than Rogers. As chairman of the House Subcommittee on Homeland Security, he has placed the interests of his own district ahead of defending the nation from Al Qaeda, prompting even the archconservative National Review to call him a "congressional disgrace."
  • Musgrave of Colorado

Musgrave has made regulating the bedroom behavior of her fellow Americans the focus of her entire career. An evangelical Christian who married her Bible-camp sweetheart, Musgrave does not believe in the separation of church and state. Her three years running KKK endorsement says it all.

  • Garrett of New Jersey

Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ-5) claims to be a mainstream Republican. But on the record, he is one of the most radical of the right-wing zealots in the U.S. House of Representatives. Scott Garrett is the Christian Coalition’s poster-boy in New Jersey. Garrett has voted against the entire New Jersey Congressional delegation - Republicans and Democrats - an astounding 43 times! His positions are so extreme that he doesn't publish his votes on his own website

  • Moran of Kansas

From GOP auction house: Rep. Moran voted against cracking down on the oil and gas industries price gouging. Rep. Moran voted for the GOP energy bill that gave billions to oil, gas and nuclear industries. Big oil and gas industries have given Rep. Moran $167,495. Any surprise?

  • Price of Georgia

Used Veterans as a cover story to duck out of a debate

  • Hayes of North Carolina

While in office there have been 30,000 jobs lost in his state.

Kline voted against Blumenauer of Oregon...a Democrat...

Next time Kline tells you he's bi-partisan centralist, ask him for the facts:

Monday, June 11, 2007

Kline Tells Us: Do As I Say, Not As I Do

While U.S. Rep. John Kline (R-MN) is busy trying to pass a law that limits what injured patients can collect to under $250,000, he has taken more $250,000 from Pharmaceuticals, Health Products and Insurance companies while in office!

Once more U.S. Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., is doing the bidding of big corporations. Much like the ‘Blue Skies Initiative’ , the 'Help, Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare Act', (HEALTH) is also a misnomer. Contrary to what Kline claims, the Act doesn't help, make healthcare lower-cost, more accessible, efficient or stop booming insurance profits or it’s price gouging of doctors.

Medical malpractice laws differ from state to state, they all fall into the category of tort law. A tort is “a wrongful act…that results in injury to another per­son, property, reputation, or the like, and for which the injured party is entitled to compensation. What Kline is proposing with the HEALTH Act is to eliminate your right of making the medical community accountable for it actions.

Several states have caps on medical awards (including Texas), States with jury award caps haven’t seen lower premiums and instead like most other states their rates have risen. There's simply no correlation between lawsuits and insurance rates. Rather, insurance rates are tied to the climate of the stock and bond market, where insurance companies invest much of their money.

Medical mistakes not medical lawsuits are the key problem. Limiting awards does not make healthcare ‘more efficient, accessible, low-cost, or timely’ as Kline would have you believe. The problem with medical malpractice is that it occurs far too often. It is the eighth leading cause of death in America, killing more people than AIDS, breast cancer, or automobile crashes. Instead of address this issue, Kline would have you punish the victims by capping awards.

Medical malpractice insurance accounts for less than 2 percent of health care spending. And this percentage has been flat since the late 1990’s and may be falling since medical malpractice costs are increasing at half the rate of overall health care costs, 52 percent versus 113 percent since 1987. Based on the small share of the total healthcare budget, even if all medical malpractice cases were eliminated, the cost “savings” would only be about one-half of one percent of every dollar spent on health care

Most malpractice is caused by a small number of doctors who are never sanctioned. Nothing is being done to crack down on the 5 percent of doctors (1 out of 20) responsible for 54 percent of malpractice payouts. Very few doctors are disciplined with only 13 percent of doctors with five or more medical malpractice payouts having been disciplined. Add to this that only 1 of 8 patients who suffered injury due to medical negligence ever file claims indicates a system where the payout isn’t the problem.

The average indemnity paid for the least severe category of injury was $49,947. That increased to $454,454 for grave injuries that include quadriplegia, severe brain damage, lifelong care or fatal prognosis In other words Jury awards are reasonable and proportional to the severity of the injury.

Why doesn't Kline voluntarily limited the amount of money he's accepted from this industry instead of trying to put limits on payouts for injuries suffered by neglect?

Friday, June 08, 2007

John Kline Parroting Bush

Posturing and obfuscation are tools of the trade for most Republicans and Congressman John Kline is no exception. No one is surprised when Kline parrots the lies talking points of the Bush administration like: 'We need to fight them over there', 'Saddam Hussein has WMD', blah, blah blah ..

Kline continues to ignore the facts 'on the ground' and continues to pursue the Bush lies bad intelligence myths. John Kline is nothing more than a 'talking head parrot' for Bush. Instead of solid leadership based in reality with supporting facts, John Kline has opted for bullying machismo based on Bush's personal destructive agenda (an of course...faulty intelligence!). al Qaeda has become even a greater force in Iraq with Kline's support of Bush's war...especially since toppling Hussein.

Is it any wonder that so many of the remaining people who call themselves Republicans are the looney right-wing fringe 'Terri Schiavo' Republicans like John Kline?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Kline And Steenland Flying High On NWA

Who would not support the idea of the owners of a corporation being able to publicly express their position on executive pay and severance packages? Hmm, let’s see, ‘only those who have an interest in keeping executive pay and severance packages hushed up’ like Rep. John Kline?

Kline failed to support or vote for H.R. 1257. This bill would simply permit shareholders in a public corporation -- aka the owners -- to cast an advisory, non-binding vote approving or disapproving of executive pay packages, golden parachutes, and gigantic pay packages corporate executives often give themselves as a condition of being fired for poor performance.

Why is Representative Kline interested in hushing up executive pay and severance packages? Perhaps Kline wants to protect his good friend NWA CEO Steenland who was award $26 million in stock options, a total of almost $27 with equity. The recent fury over Steenland's outrageous pay after running NWA for six years without showing a profit and into and through a bankruptcy, 40% employee pay cuts, increased out-sourcing and reduced benefits!

I’ve posted on this before in depth including that fact the Kline wouldn’t even sign a petition regarding out-sourcing of NWA jobs but he votes to protect and keep private CEO pay packages! Time and again Kline sides with the corporation over Minnesotans. This is the same Bush credo we hear everyday: everyone needs to sacrifice but it never applies to the top 2%ers.

Both Kline and CEO Steenland are flying high on NWA.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

DeKlining Leadership

Record deficit,
no fully funded early childhood education, childcare,
lacking affordable healthcare and necessary transportation legislation.
Americans are killing and being killed in Iraq,
no rebuilting New Orleans while trying to rebuilt Baghdad
and oh yeah, still MIA is bin Laden...

...Meanwhile, Kline is busy...not solving these problems but imposing religious mandates through the government...

H.R. 2510 is a bill that reacts in outrage to the news that on the new $1 coins, the phrase In God We Trust is on the edge of the coin. Oh, the horror! It’s “hidden,” screams WorldNetDaily. So Rep. John Kline and colleagues of his have started pushing legislation not just to mandate that 'In God We Trust' appears on every U.S. coin, but to additionally mandate that the phrase must appear on the face of every coin!

Not only does Kline need a refresher class on separation of church and state, he's wasting resources and time on coin phraseology, while missing the chance to address and resolve the series of very serious problems facing our nation today! This is NOT leadership.

What's next? Will Kline squander more time trying to put Reagan next to God on the $50 bill? Wonder if like Reagan, he's consult an astrologer? Et tu Brutus Kline?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Kline's Work Record

John Kline has sponsored 15 bills since Jan 7, 2003, of which 10 haven't made it out of committee and 4 were successfully enacted. So in effect Kline has 4 bills to show for since being in office.

As has been pointed out before:

The fact is that in his last term in Congress (2005-6), Kline has collected a compensation over $300,000 and has authored one bill, HR2132, that was signed into law and provides some benefits to military personnel regarding student financial assistance. One bill in two years, for a member of the Majority Party that serves on the House Committee for Armed Services, and the Subcommittee for Military Personnel. Quite impressive work for an elected official that's made four trips to Iraq, and met with hundreds of Minnesota National Guard members and active military. One bill in two years.

Kline must have a dozen people on his congressional staff. Is it their duty to hide, stretch, or distort the truth instead of serving the needs of the constituents of the Second District?

Kline can't fool all the people - all the time...or can he?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Does Kline Support Vigilantes?

Minnesota's Second Congressional Rep. John Kline's NO vote for the Homeland Security Authorization Act brings into question his motives in co-sponsoring a bill that would protect anyone who turns in someone else for suspicous activities. Kline, a Republican, says the passage of his cosponsered bill is an urgent matter.

"The core of our Homeland Security system is reliance on everyday citizens to report suspicious activity," Kline related to the Star’s Katherine Kersten.

But if Homeland security is so important wouldn't have John Kline voted for authorizing $39.8 billion in Department of Homeland Security spending for the 2008 fiscal year? (The House did the Homeland Security Act just last week!).

Could it be that Kline prefers to enforce homeland security through supporting vigilantes citizens as they turn in, report all suspicious black, dark, Arab-looking, non-whites, Jews, Muslims, non-Christians…seems like a law that was made more for Hitler’s Germany America when it had a wild west. If Kline really wants to support Homeland Security then he should voted to support funding the Homeland Security Act, not to allow ‘tin star’ cowboys to determine good and who’s bad. And if someone does act like a vigilante, shouldn't there be consequences to them and legal recourse for the victims?

Again we see Congressman Kline voting to not fund a program with check and balances, while supporting one currently completely devoid of common sense. If Kline wanted to protect a particular class, why not protect whistleblowers like Coleen Rowley (FBI)? Instead he voted against that legislation. Again, why?

Monday, May 14, 2007

John Kline's New Spin In Marketing The War

The number of Iraqi refugees resettled in the United States in April is ONE. The total since the fiscal year started Oct. 1 is 69. At this rate, the State Department will be lucky to match last year’s total of 202. Of those lucky few that have resettle in the United States is interpreter Fadi “Freddie” Fadhil, a young, healthy and educated Iraqi. He resettled and become a citizen thanks to the efforts of his sponsor Lt. Col. Michael Baumann and those that also support the war effort like Congressman John Kline (R- MN).

Since he's been here, Fadi has been paraded around our community venues to sell this war- see here and here. A cynical person might ask how someone who is young and healthy with no ties to relatives in the U.S. is allow to resettle and become a U.S. citizen when so many are denied? The answer is: Fadhil is a tool being used to sell the war.

1 in 8 Iraqis have left their homes, over 2 million Iraqi's are now displaced with most living in acute poverty in counties like Jordan or Syria. As many as 50,000 Iraqis are fleeing their homes each month in a bid to escape the violence that's tearing the country apart. But less than one percent would be welcome in the United States under its current quota system (if they fill the full quota!) You have a better chance of winning at Minnesota state lotto several times over than being allowed in the U.S as an Iraqi.

Which brings us back to a certain young healthy Iraqi who finds himself as a mouthpiece and cheerleader for the failed Iraqi war. If this war was to bring freedom, then why isn't he still in Iraq fighting along side our soldiers for his country? I've heard the argument that it would be dangerous for him, but certainly no less dangerous than for our soldiers? Why is he so special...ah now I see, because he's part of the NeoCon PR....just another spin and lie to come out of this war courtesy of John Kline and his kind.

Friday, May 11, 2007

DeKline To Protect All of the People

U.S. Rep. John Kline, R-MN. is one of the cosponsors of the Protecting Americans Fighting Terrorism Act of 2007. Kline says it's to protect those that speak out but then how do you square that with his vote against the landmark Whistleblower legislation (HR 985)?

Perhaps Kline thinks suspicious activity is only valid when we know the color of their skin or race or religion or maybe this factored into his decision?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

John Kline Votes Against Head Start

Love children? Want the best for them? Of course you do, who wouldn't? So now ask yourself why Congressman John Kline would vote against Improving Head Start Act when the program has been so successful?

Head Start has been the source of more than 30 years of research. Two of the best known studies are the Perry Preschool Study (Barnett, 1995) and the Consortium of Longitudinal Studies (Lazar, Darlington, Murray, Royce & Snipper, 1982). The Perry study found that “. . . one dollar invested in high-quality early childhood education programs by policymakers results in a return of seven dollars in preventative costs associated with incarceration, truancy, school dropout, and teen pregnancy (Stegelin, 2004).

John Kline boost that he's for 'increase federal funding for special needs and low income students', but votes against a program that ensure our children's well being with a financial payback of more than triple it's initial cost in later years. As a member of the Education and Labor Committee Kline's vote is particularly disgraceful. Fortunately the Act passed by a wide margin of 365 to 48 vote.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Vietnam Redux?

John Kline often quoted statement 'we're making progress in Iraq' contrast with reports coming out of Iraq. More American troops were killed in combat in Iraq over the past four months than in any comparable stretch.

With the surge and Bush sending thousands more U.S. troops to Baghdad and western Anbar province, the prospect looms of even higher U.S. casualties. When Kline asserts that 'the victory on the war of terror depends on a victory in Iraq', does that include using false information to justify and 'sell' war to the American public and congress?

"United Nation officials accused Iraq on Wednesday of withholding civilian death figures to try and deflect attention from the escalating violence and worsening humanitarian crisis despite the U.S. -led Baghdad security crackdown." (AP)

The American placed Badhdad spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh says there is 'confusion' over the number of casualties. Would his statement be double-speak for 'we did like the numbers so we gave lower figures'? Ali said the system for tabulating casualty figures "is not easy" because "...the number of casualties increased". He specifically cited the numbers from the April 12 suicide attack on the Iraqi parliament. There were eights deaths first reported by U.S. military but then lowered to one by the next day.

Figures seem to be lowered once the U.S. gets them but at least 2,078 people died in Iraq last month, 15 percent more than in February despite a massive security crackdown and surge of troops in Baghdad, the epicentre of violence. Civilian deaths topped the toll with 1,869 Iraqis killed, while another 2,719 civilians were wounded.

But playing with figures isn't the real problem . The problem is that Bush, Congressman Kline and all other cheerleaders for this losing war continue to delude themselves into believing that the problems in Iraq can be solved simply by managing the news through mis-information much like was done Vietnam. The events on the ground in Iraq reflect centuries of deep seated sectarian and ethnic strife. Surge or no surge, our U.S. troops cannot create effective security forces or even provide such security for themselves! Because of this, the Sunnis, Shias, and Kurds in Iraq are seeking protection from their own militias.

Bottom line: any functioning government requires, at a minimum, that the people be protected. If it cannot fulfill that task then the government has little chance of being accepted as legitimate. Until that problem is solved Iraq will remain in the throes of a low-grade, but escalating, civil war with U.S. troops in the middle.

Reminds me of the gypsy saying, "Never try to stop a knife fight between brothers; you'll end up dying from knife wounds". America is in the middle of a knife fight we have no business in and can't win. I'm just wondering why Congressman Kline refuses to see the reality of this. Does Kline still want a win in Vietnam so badly that he's reliving events through Iraq hoping for a different ending?

Either way, terrorism is inflicting wounds that are slowly bleeding us to death by financially strapping us to the Iraq war while bankrupting us at home. Again, it's the all too familiar story of Vietnam. Which reminds me of another quote: "Those that don't learn from history, are doomed to repeat it".

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

DeKlining To Open Up, Kline Could Use Some Tips From Klobuchar and Ellison

Congressman John Kline would have us believe that his tightly controlled tele-meetings are open forums but we know they aren't. He can regulate the callers, who speaks, even go so far as determining topics and pre-screening of participants. So the question is, when will Kline do as all other elected officials and meet face-to-face openly and regularly with the people who elected him to office?

Workday Minnesota had something to say about face-to-face open meetings contrasting both Klobuchar's and Ellision's multitude of open forums and face-to-face meetings unlike our own representative Mr. 'Duck and Hide' Kline. Maybe the two DFL freshman officials could give our own Congressman Kline some tips on open dialog?!

Klobuchar's meeting with labor representatives followed two breakfast meetings March 16 and April 13 between Ellison and Minneapolis area unions.

"They actually sought us out," Ledger said. "They want our input."

These meetings stand in contrast to a recent town hall forum hosted by Second District U.S. Congressman John Kline, when labor union members who attended couldn't get their questions answered.

"The difference is the degree to which that was staged versus the open dialogue we had with Amy and Keith," Ledger said, adding "we don't screen the questions."

Friday, April 20, 2007

John 'No Comment' Kline

Kline once again is showing is leadership by his strong and often heard “No Comment”.

John Kline with several terms in office has apparently no opinion about a call for an independent ethics commission to judge wrongdoing by lawmakers. He also has no opinion about the commission replacing the House Ethics Committee....even though John Kline was appointed to the Ethics Committee in January. Kline would even lose oversight duty if the new commission is established. But still, Kline has no opinion other than: “No Comment”. Yes siree...don't want to be on record with an opinion or a comment that might look like he's a leader instead of a Bush puppet.

Compare Kline’s non-leadership role with newly elected Congressman Tim Walz regarding this issue. Mr. Walz is very vocal in saying that an independent ethic commission should replace the House Ethics Committee. As Tim says “I’m uncomfortable with members policing their own members”. People are distrustful of their elected officials and government and Tim Walz is proposing an independent oversight committee to make the process more transparent.

All I can say is it must be great to actually have a Congressperson that gives his opinions and solutions on issues facing Americans, that actually meets with constituents (Walz has in less than 6 months already broken Kline’s 5 year record for face-to-face town meetings), and is truly motivated instead of wrapping himself in the flag and relying on his old military record. Having been in office only a couple of months, Walz's leadership and openness is refreshing compared to Kline's lack of comments and opinions other than to rubberstamp the failed Bush administration and his blind support of the war.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

DeKlining A Draft?

"If you're talking to me in eight or 10 months, and we're not starting to see actual withdrawals, I'll be shocked."- Congressman John Kline , Nov 2005

Since the start of the Iraq war John Kline has told us repeatedly how great things are going in war...through the killing and bombing of American soldiers and civilians, through the torture and humiliation of Iraqi citizens, and through the fraud and stealing by war profiteers like Haliburton. So John Kline telling one more lie like 'We don't need a draft' shouldn't come as a surprise to most of us.

John Kline is on record saying "We do not need a draft", but apparently Pentagon personnel are singing another tune to the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The Senate Armed Services Committee heard testimony Tuesday that increasing the size of the Army and Marine Corps may not resolve severe and growing personnel problems. There was even talk of returning to the draft to fill the ranks. More from the Marinecorps Times.
Beside mentioning how the 'all volunteer force' was never designed for a protracted ground war, it was pointed out that the United States has no reserves if something happens somewhere else (Korea? or even here at home!).

“For the first time since Vietnam, we are caught with no strategic reserve. We simply do not have a strategic fallback position for the crisis that will come inevitably,”
Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey, an international relations professor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., described what he sees as the “disastrous state” of ground forces, a broken commitment to troops because of broken equipment, missed training and his sense that the 95,000 increase in Army and Marine Corps personnel planned over the next five years isn’t fast enough to provide relief.

So while Kline continues the current Bush administration mantra of 'no draft', ask yourself: Can you believe anything they've said over the last four years? Has any of it been remotely proven true like Bush's 'Mission Accomplished on May 1, 2003'?

Friday, April 13, 2007

BUSH’S WAR CZAR- Is Kline Next?

With the Washington Post’s reporting that three other top former generals have already turned it down, the question must be asked as to how far President Bush will have to go down the ranks. And would he open it up to nominations?

We know you’re desperate, Mr. Bush, to appoint a “War Czar” with stature AND credibility but it’s time to get real. These other generals don’t want “the ulcer.” How about considering a lowly retired lieutenant colonel who got himself a little stature back in the early 1990’s getting his picture taken carrying the “nuclear football” for Ronald Reagan?

We in Minnesota’s 2nd District can all assure you that what John Kline lacks in rank, he makes up for in Gung Ho. Not only did he draft the recent letter to Nancy Pelosi fighting to continue the Iraq War on behalf of his group of other GOP Vietnam veterans in the House—a letter most probably devoid of those nasty facts on the ground in Iraq but full of venom for Jane Fonda and other congressmen veterans who developed more sober assessments of their Vietnam experience.

Not only is retired Lt. Col. Kline one of your most consistent top supporters in the House, legislation wise, somewhere around 95%. Not only did he clap for your “Mission Accomplished” performance but he’s been telling us of your “progress in Iraq” for over four years now. Even if other generals have “fundamental issues” about you not “knowing where the hell (you’re) going,” there’s no doubt that John Kline would follow both you and 5 time draft-deferred VP Cheney right into hell. What other true believer is still defending, with a straight face, your lying us into this unjustified war? Who never had one critical word about Donald Rumsfeld right up to the bitter end? Who else winks about your “surge” knowing it’s intended to be a long term escalation? And who else voted for and condones your construction of permanent military bases in Iraq?

No, Decider President Sir, unless you want to consider pardoning Duke Cunningham from his military contractor corruption conviction, you probably can’t find a more gung ho guy for that “War Czar” position right now. Ulcers and all. If you haven’t heard much about our Minnesota 2nd District Republican Congressman John Kline, just check with your right-hand man Karl. “Lifeblood of the Republican Party” Rove can certainly vouch for how quick study John Kline has been in following his cutthroat Rovian tactics. And, if you think about it, that propensity can’t hurt someone you want to become your new “War Czar” either.

Of course we’ll have to be honest here about our ulterior motives in making this recommendation. Your promotion of Kline from mere warhawk congressman to “War Czar” would also make many of us 2nd District Minnesotans happy too, happy to be rid of his heavy-handed tactics.

But on second thought, maybe this isn’t a good way to pawn him off. We can’t, in good conscience, wish John Kline on the rest of the country. It would probably be better if Bush’s “War Czar” position just stays vacant a while longer.

---DJK Staff Writer

Monday, April 09, 2007

Repya Slams Patriots At Kline Event

Joe Repya is everyone's bull dog...always in a barking frenzy, all of the time. It would be nice to see the GOP at least try and offer up someone thoughtful for a leadership position but I guess we'll have to settle for another polarizing rethug spewing hate and distortions....

Jim Johnson had an observation and posed a question about Joe Repya's comment during John Kline's first face-to-face town hall meeting. (Yes I know that Kline's staff is spinning him as having over 20 meetings but tightly manipulated GOP tele-meetings that are completely staged and controlled by his camp aren't town hall meetings! At least with the face to face town meeting, his staff can't completely micro-manage everyone....and that's why to date Kline's had...only one real town hall meeting!)

Repya Slams Patriots

Leave it to Joe Repya, Eagan resident and pro-war hawk, to politicize personal tragedy and impugn the patriotism of over half of the crowd at Congressman John Kline's 1st open topic, face-to-face town meeting.

During this meeting, a gold star mother stood and told the story of the loss of her son in Iraq. She also asked that the war continue so that the "mission" is completed. Many conservatives in the crowd jumped to their feet with raucous applause while the others politely applauded and respected her tragic loss.

Mr. Repya then stood and said that those who did not jump to their feet were not patriotic and did not support the troops.

For war hawks like Mr. Repya to politicize this mothers' loss of her son in support of the tragic war in Iraq shows just how low the war hawks will sink in their misguided support of the Iraq war. Is this what we can expect from Minnesota's Republican party if Mr. Repya is elected its chair?

Mr. Repya hear this. We all support the troops, everyone of us, all Americans. Those who believe it is now time to end this disastrous war are no less patriotic than you. The clear majority of Americans and Minnesotans now believe that, after four years, it is time for our sons and daughters, heroes all, to come home from this tragic misadventure before more American blood is spilled.

-Jim Johnson

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Kline's Lack of Support for Veterans?

One of the more vocal questions posed to John Kline (R MN) during the recent open forum held in Lakeville this week was from someone who questioned Kline's lack of legislative support to veterans. Naturally Kline took exception to this as he's a big macho military man...but the facts speak for themselves: The sheer number of bills related to national security or helping America's Veterans that were voted down by the Republicans while they had control of both house and senate with no substitute measures of their own is simply startling. Kline voted along side the GOP in defeating most of these measures without offering any alternative legislation to address the needs of our troops, veterans and their families.

Here's a complete list from Bob Geiger of what Kline and the GOP has done to our Armed Services and our Veterans. Keep in mind we're talking the 109th Congress shooting down of 207 out of 283 pieces of Democratic-sponsored legislation. The number of bills that related to national security and America's Veterans among the voted down legislation is staggering:
  • Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI) proposed S.Amdt. 3007 to "increase Veterans medical services funding by $1.5 billion in FY 2007 to be paid for by closing corporate tax loopholes." It was voted down 46-54 with every Republican including John Kline voting NO... Lincoln Chaffee (R RI)was the sole Republican voting for it.
  • S.Amdt. 3141, was proposed by Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) to provide for Veterans benefits that steadily increased over time to account for both inflation and the large number of troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Stabenow's bill was rejected 46-54 -- probably because she stipulated that it be "paid for by restoring the pre-2001 top rate for income over $1 million, closing corporate tax loopholes and delaying tax cuts for the wealthy.". Naturally Kline voted to keep loopholes for the wealthy and deny benefits for the troops.
  • John Kerry (D-MA) who has consistently been a Veterans advocate, proposed S.Amdt. 3143, to keep medical-care fees and co-pays from going up on military retirees, only to see it shot down by the Republican majority.
  • Two measures by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) -- S. Amdt. 4999 and S.Amdt. 3054 -- were proposed to provide additional funding to increase inspections at America's shipping ports and to improve the security of cargo containers destined for the United States. Both were killed on party line votes that saw only Jim Talent (R-MO) cross the aisle to vote with Democrats on one of the bills.
  • Chuck Schumer (D-NY) introduced S.Amdt. 4587, to boost transit security funding in major cities by $300 million and saw it rejected by the Republican majority.
  • America's firefighters had a friend in Chris Dodd (D-CT) who proposed S.Amdt. 4641 in July " fund urgent priorities for our Nation's firefighters, law enforcement personnel, emergency medical personnel," but saw it go down on the Senate floor because he proposed paying for it "by reducing the tax breaks for individuals with annual incomes in excess of $1,000,000" -- obviously the kiss of death in Kline's GOP-controlled Congress.
  • Byron Dorgan (D-ND) proposed S.Amdt. 4292, to thoroughly weed out fraud and war profiteering among big Republican donors like Halliburton and had it defeated 44-52, with only one Republican -- Lincoln Chafee again -- siding with Democrats, troops and American taxpayers. Again, Kline calls himself a fiscal conservative but voted like a war profiteer on this one!

And it goes on and on from there… Kline can say he's a military man and therefore supports the military but his voting record tells another story...of Kline as an opponent of benefits, goods, training and health for our Veterans. John Kline has all but abandoned his responsibilities to help Veterans and has failed in to performing any oversight on the private war profiteers during his time in office. Instead John Kline has chosen to stand along side of Bush with zero loyalty to Americans, Veterans and their families.

Kline's supporters are quick to question the patriotism of others, but maybe they need to review Representative Kline's voting record. Take away the chest thumping for Kline's military record and expose his voting record on National Security, Veteran affairs, and troop benefits, leaves only a hollow shell of an old wash and wear uniform with a handful of medals...

These are the reasons Kline has received a 0% rating from Disabled American Veterans (DAV) in 2004 and 2005 and continues to have his lack of support for our troops, our veterans, and their families called into question.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Is Kline Confused or Just Flip Flopping?

Confused or Flip Flopping Again?

One of the first questions asked of Rep. John Kline at the 'open forum' last night in Lakeville was about ‘no child left behind’. What I hear Kline answer (keep in mind I'm paraphrasing...) is something similar to:

…hmmmmm, well you know I’m not sure about the no child left behind legislation. I mean it’s only been a unfunded Federal mandate since I’ve been in office so I haven’t really made a decision. Sure I'm studying it but it only affects all the children in my district so really it's something I haven't worked out yet.

And oh, just because I met with school superintendents from the area with Mark Kennedy and John Boehner (aka 'architect of the federal Leave No Child Behind law') in August 2004 to help promote the law and answer your silly questions before our threesome went out and played a round of golf, well that was then, and no…well I just don’t know what to say…I'll have to study this further...give me another three terms and I'll get back to you...

Like Bush I’m a decider and I’m still deciding….besides I wasn’t in office when the bill first passed…I can’t be responsible. So to answer your question, let me be positively clear: I just don't know...

Or did I hear wrong? Anybody? I was sitting in the back so I probably left out a few of the 'errrrs' and 'hmmmms'. I did noticed that Kline didn't bring up his taking at least $35,000 from both John Boehner and his Freedom Pac. I'm sure Kline doesn't see that as a conflict of interest and would never let money play a role in what he'll decide on renewing this unfunded federal mandate...errr...hmmm, when he does get's around to deciding.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Rep. Kline doesn't trust you

You aren't trustworthy enough to ask Rep. John Kline a question. According to Kline's Chief of Staff you might be a "liberal ideologue", which I take is one step down from an "enemy combatant" because you have lost one of your most basic rights as an American Citizen -- the right to ask your Representative a question.

If you thought Rep. Kline holding his first open large-scale public face-to-face meeting with his constituents in years was too good to be true, you were correct. Kline has decided that he will screen all the questions and decide what questions he has to answer on Tuesday April 3 at Lakeville South High School (7-9pm)

Constituents who petitioned for the meeting to discuss the escalation in Iraq had asked for a neutral moderator such as the League of Women Voters. That isn't going to happen. Kline says the League of Women Voters can't be trusted either. I guess it's the words "Voters" and "Women" in their title that Kline distrusts.

So Kline will be "the decider" when it comes to what questions he has to answer. Does all of these attempts to control an open discussion sound a bit familiar?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Finally, Kline Agrees To Town Hall Meeting

After six long weeks Congressman Kline finally agrees to a public Town Hall meeting!

This will be Kline's first face-to-face town meeting in several years (at least four!). I guess it would be tacky to point out that Kline's Republican colleague Rep. Jim Ramstad is hold four during the same period of time and it didn't take him six weeks of pleads, prodding and meetings from/with his constituents...Most elected officials actually do want to meet with and hear from their constituents...most... but apparently not John Kline...

Rep. Kline to discuss Iraq escalationTown hall meeting set up after six weeks of negotiations

Contact: Greg or Sue Skog 651-454-3850

Congressman John Kline's office confirmed March 15th that theRepresentative will hold an open town hall meeting with constituentsto discuss, among other issues, the escalation of Iraq hostilities.

The move comes after nearly 700 of Rep. Kline's constituents signed a petition requesting the meeting and after six once-a-week meetings with Kline's staff.

"There are many families in Minnesota's Second Congressional Districtwho have sons, daughters, moms and dads serving in Iraq," said Greg Skog, the spokesman for the group who has been meeting at Rep. Kline's office. "For the sake of those families, I'm pleased that Representative Kline has finally agreed to an open public discussionon the Iraq hostilities."

The Town Hall meeting in the Second Congressional District is at Lakeville South High School 7:00PM - 9:00PM on Tuesday April 3.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Message To Kline: Just Do It!

Alright already... Mr. it too much for you to take some time to meet with your constituents or does that take too much time away from the special interest lobbyist that fund your campaign? I swear I can think of one other elected official that would devote as much time and staff resources to just deciding if they will hold public meetings in their own district...wonder why?

You were elected to public office...or have you forgotten? More likely, you don't care..

Arrogance (Ar"ro*gance), n.[F., fr. L. arrogantia] The act or habit of arrogating, or making undue claims in an overbearing manner; that species of pride which consists in exorbitant claims of rank, dignity, estimation, or power, or which exalts the worth or importance of the person to an undue degree; proud contempt of others; lordliness; haughtiness; self-assumption; presumption.

Synonyms -- Haughtiness; hauteur; assumption; lordliness; presumption; pride; disdain; insolence; conceit; conceitedness.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Overwhelmed In Every Area

In the last two weeks the Army secretary has been fired, a two-star general relieved of command, and two special commissions appointed over inadequate services to our veterans in the last several years under Congressman John Kline and the GOP controlled legislative and administration's lack of leadership and oversight.There are numerous examples that while Kline is voting for tax breaks to wealthy Americans, he's voting against veterans services. Over a hundred times while in office Kline has voted to cut veteran benefits, slash veterans services and deny veteran funding.

Kline's record in the last four years has sharply 'deklined' the services provided to America's veterans to it's current substandard level. Even his recently endorsement of the “Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act” (HR 327) which dictates how the Department of Veteran’s Affairs should treat soldiers suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is just window dressing. It provides no additional funding to address PTSD nor does it address some of the causes of PTSD. Causes that Kline's leadership has institutionalized such as forcing repeated Iraq tours; prohibiting soldiers from leaving service when their enlistment ends; insufficient body armor; inadequate equipment and being forced to kill or be killed in an unnecessary war.

Kline is now asking for an investigation into the gross neglect of wounded U.S. veterans only following the recent tragic death of a local soldier who took his life after being placed on a VA waiting list. But showing his usual arrogance, Kline is not willing to accept responsibility for the major roll he's played in how veterans services have been slashed and bashed in the last several years to the point they are now inadequate or the complete lack of oversight for any of these programs.

Sounding a lot like a replay of what happened with Katrina, Linda J. Bilmes, a professor of public finance at Harvard, recently completed a study of the long-term costs of providing medical care and benefits to veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Department of Veterans Affairs, she said, “is overwhelmed in every area.”

Supporting our troops is more than sending them off to war, it's also paying for programs needed by thousands of returning soldiers with traumatic mental and physical injuries. Tell John Kline it's time for him to support all our troops, even those unfortunate ones that can't advocate for themselves due to injuries. They were good enough to go fight for their country, now wounded veterans deserve to have the best treatment American can offer.