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?