Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Kline is Dr. NO!

Rep. John Kline (R-MN02) has a record of voting NO against legislation that would help Minnesotans. Senate District 35 has done a poster with everything John Kline has voted against in the last year. His vote record makes it obvious that Kline is an obstructionist partisan naysayer that votes against the best interest of his district in an attempt to make the government (both local and federal) fail rather than see success with a Democratic majority in the house.  Kline has become a Pavlovian Republican who opposes anything the Democrats propose without regard to value, community need, or merit. The only exception is Kline's support of legislation for his top donor lobbyists like the war profiteers or weapons manufacturing.

Americans have the same basic goals of wanting the future to be better for their children. They are turned off by Kline's political obstruction, his far right ideology of dubious facts and continued partisan voting. John Kline, instead of servicing the public interest as he was elected to office to do, is the poster child of the big monies special interests and political right wing ideology. Instead of common-sense consensus, Kline offers more of his extremist record that has led him to NO votes for: job creation, extended benefits, stronger financial regulations, stronger ethic regulations, reduced dependency on foreign oil, a living wage, limits on executive pay, limits on oversees war expenditures.

Download the SD35 version of the poster (minus my Dr. NO artwork!) and post it up around your district. Let the people know just who John Kline (aka Dr. NO) represents (or doesn't) by his voting record of NO!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Rep. John Kline Voting Against Minnesota's Middle Class Families

Since 2003, Rep. John Kline (R-MN02) has consistently scored a failing grade 'F' for voting against bills that would enrich the middle class and allow more working Americans to join their ranks. The list of programs Kline has voted against that would help the working class in his district goes on and on....from not supporting financial reforms like credit card reform, to siding with big business interests over the working class including the economic stimulus package for jobs, energy and infrastructure.

The website 'themiddleclass.org' shows the long list of Rep. John Kline (R-MN-02) voting record  against the working middle class. Kline's voting records clearly shows he isn't  fighting or voting for Minnesota's middle-class families.

In the last year Kline voted less than 12% of the time for legislation that would help the middle class. He voted NO on legislation that was key to working Minnesotans like Wall Street Reform, Banking Reform, or the American Recovery Act. 

Showing his contempt for working class families, Kline voted against Jobs for Main Street, Affordable Health care, and Unemployment Compensation, all the while voting to give more tax breaks to the wealthiest among us, and well as big Corporations. Time and time again, when faced with the choice to between leveling the economic playing field, John Kline has voted against the interests of our working middle class families.
Some recent John Kline votes:
-Rep. John Kline voted against authorizing bankruptcy courts to modify the terms of mortgages made on homeowners’ primary residences. The amendment would permit bankruptcy courts to restructure the debt on home mortgages by reducing the principal owed, extending repayment periods, reducing interest rates, and prohibiting, reducing, or delaying future interest rate increases saving countless homes for the working poor and middle class. [H.AMDT. 534 TO H.R. 4173]
-Kline voted against Wall Street Accountability and Consumer Protection...sigh...naturally siding with big business and corporations. [HR 4173]
-Representative Kline voted to bailout our country’s financial sector, but later voted against a bill to strengthen oversight of these TARP funds and make more community banks eligible to receive assistance. [HR384]

Kline voted less than 12% for legislation that would help the middle class
When you go to the polls this fall, remember it's not what Kline says, it's what his voting record shows. Kline's record shows a totally failed record on voting for Minnesota's working middle class families.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Rep. John Kline's Self Promotion Cost Local Communities More Money

Since Rep. John Kline (MN-R-02) has been in office the dollar amounts being spent by local governments in his district searching for more federal dollars has grown. Kline's stance on earmarks has lead to other Representatives having to request necessary funding for projects in his district like transportion and roads. It has also led to an increase in spending by local mayors and county commissioners in an effort to bring federal dollars back home. As Kline's Democratic opponent and candidate for Congress Shelley Madore cites:
For every Federal tax dollar paid in our Congressional District, only 35 cents is spent here in our community.[verses 77 cents in other Minnesota districts] At the same time, John Kline voted for the bill that included the 'Bridge to Nowhere' in Alaska, among many other bills that included earmarks for other states."
One of the biggest spenders in search of federal dollars is Scott County which falls in Kline's district. According to the Pioneer Press, so far in 2010 Scott County has spent $60,000 looking for additional federal funding. Their total expenditures for Federal lobbying since 2006 has been $815,000!

The practice of local governments lobbying for dollars is not new. In 2009, local, state and territorial governments spent more than $83.5 million of taxpayer money lobbying federal lawmakers and public officials. It would stand to reason that the amounts would rise as the needs increase. But it is interesting to note that Scott County is at the top of the list with significant spending even over the metro areas of Minneapolis and St. Paul, and the counties of Hennepin, Anoka, and Stearns combined!

Scott County has a greater need than other districts to replace the federal funds that Rep. John Kline won't bring home. John Kline's anti earmark stance has eliminated any chance for federal funding of projects for local city and country governements for transportation, bridge and road repair and other critical projects.
"In a visit with the Scott County board, he defended his decision to no longer seek special funding for pet projects -- even those that benefit his district. Board members offered sympathy, but they also voiced frustration."
Earmark spending doesn't change the amount of money Congress spends...it just determines where that money will go and what it will be spent on. As Representative Tim Walz states
“Any funds not reserved for specific projects through the Congressional earmark process would instead be left for federal bureaucrats in Washington to distribute, in accordance with federal law, as they see fit.”
John Kline's practice to eschew earmarks doesn't mean less money is spent, it just means the money isn't spent in his district. While ignoring the immense needs of his local area, Kline has transferred our federal tax money to other states. His refusal to bring federal funding back to Minnesota has caused local city and county governments like Scott County to spend more in lobbying for critical federal dollars

With the economy still slow, unemployment numbers still up and the need for federal aid persistent, the stakes are high for municipalities seeking help -- particularly after Kline's self promoting stance of 'no earmarks' which make up less than 1% of the total budget! John Kline is hurting local communities, costing family safety, business adequate infrastructure and ultimately costing local taxpayers more dollars while cities and county's try to replace the missing earmarks needed to fund necessary projects.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

For Profit Schools Is Newest Windfall for Rep. Kline

As the ranking Republican on the Labor and Education Committee, Rep. John Kline (R-MN-02) has consistently advocated for legislation allowing 'For-Profit' colleges and trade schools to gain millions of federal subsidy dollars without bothersome federal regulations. There is an awful lot of money being pushed into the hands of people like Rep. John Kline right now by 'For Profit' schools which can only mean they want to influence legislation.
Over at MN Political Roundtable, MNCentral describes Kline as the Corinthian College mascot of a CASH COW because the windfall from 'For Profit' colleges like California's Corinthian College that funnels thousands of dollars to GOP PACs like Kline's Freedom and Security PAC.

But unlike his completely blind support of 'For-Profit' schools, John Kline has voted against funding to public schools and teachers while he continues to bemoan  or vote against federal dollars that go to public schools including money to the school lunch program...think of that...Kline begrudges giving a lunch to a hungry child! Kline wants the program to account for the increase dollars (a measly 10 million over 7 years!) by cuts in other social programs while increasing the cost of war til it's now 43% of our total budget.

But if you are a 'For Profit' schools, Rep. Kline doesn't want regulations to interfere with the spending of millions of federal dollars (our taxes) even though the General Account office is sounding the alarm on high interest rates on student loans, worthless degrees, marketing scams, and the looming student loan financial crisis...almost sounds like the mortgage industry with it's deceptive practices and gouging ballooning fees.

The problem is not the rising cost of schools, it's the rising cost of 'For Profit' schools and the burden they put on us with excessive costs underwritten by the federal government. The student loan default rate is three times higher at a 'For Profit' colleges, while the direct-loan program to students from these schools is three percentage points higher and they cost more to attend (11.9 percent more). 

Yet Rep. Kline still supports 'For Profit' schools as alternatives to public schools and advocates for no regulation. Meanwhile, Kline voted  'NO' this week on public school funding through the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act.  The  Act provides $16.1 billion to extend the Medicail assistance to states and 10 billion in funding for states to create or retain public teachers' jobs. (BTW-the bill passed).

Yes Kline has become a cash cow to special interests including 'For Profit' schools over public schools. Save your money now for your kid's college needs because with John Kline in office schooling costs will continue to balloon out of control while Kline continues to reap part of their profits and taxpayers like us pay the bill.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Oh Look! Another Gimmick From MN Rep. John Kline

In the typical 'oh look a bright shiny object' mentality, Rep. John Kline hopes to distract voters from his dismal record by offering up a new stunt . Most of us are aware of the lack of leadership coming from Rep. John Kline's office but his latest 'gimmick' is so disingenuous it's an embarrassment. Kline wants to empower you to make selections of programs to cut within our government, but not all programs are offered up for cutting and of course there will be no cuts! It's another klimmick (kline+gimmick) being offered to voters to keep them occupied while Kline spends us into deficit hell with his ever growing massive defence budget.

First, Kline wants us to cut only programs his far right ideology finds acceptable. While the biggest expenditure in our government right now is the out of control massive spending on war, it doesn't even appear on his list of 'to be cut'. The areas he wants you to cut (better know as 'bright shiny objects!) don't amount to more thank pennies compared to our war campaigns in Afghanistan and Iran.

Secondly, in the typical 'oh look a bright shiny object' mentality , Kline hopes to distract voters from his dismal voting record and lack of true leadership. Kline talks about massive failure of the government to cut wasteful spending but isn't he responsible for that problem? Rep. Kline has been in office now for four terms! Surely long enough to have made a difference. Only difference Kline has made is to increase our spending on a massive military budget overseas while cutting programs here at home.

Kline website touts:
Additional details about the four programs are included on the YouCut page on Kline’s website. While there, participants can also submit their own recommendations for cuts. Kline will continue to collect votes and suggestions until Sept. 9.
My recommendation is we cut Kline off the government dole by voting him out of office. At the very least we stop his klimmicks at voters expense!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Kline's Eight Year $pending $pree Out of Control

Congressman John Kline (R-MN2) repeatedly says the government is overspending especially since the Democrats have taken control of the White House.
"The debt crisis is the greatest national security threat we face," ranking Republican John Kline of Minnesota said. "The cost of this legislation cannot be ignored."
But it's just another partisan speaking point for John Kline to look good while spending voting BILLION$ of our money down the military drain. How do we know? Well for starters, he didn't get religion  his position on spending until he finished voting to run up a record debt under the GOP Bush years. Then his recent House votes also show his inability to separate pigs from pigs spending from spending...for example...

In the past week John voted for $58.8 BILLION of our tax dollars for one of his favorite government charities...war. Then earlier this week Kline voted for another $141.1 BILLION of our tax dollars for construction projects for another of his favorite government charities...more war.

In the same week, Kline voted against $126.3 billion funding for the Department of Transportation and Housing where the money would at least be used locally to fund infrastructure like roads, bridges and transit.

If deficit spending is associated with war, then Kline is all for it...He doesn't care about the cost or the fact that the money is used in no-bid military contracts, voting for unwanted war jets, or simply lost and unaccounted BILLIONS in war money.

There is no limit to the amount of money Kline is willing to allocate to war profiteers like Defence Electronics and Defense Aerospace, that have all donated to his campaign war chest...collectively almost $50,000.00!

Analysts differ on how much of the current US debt stems from government military spending; many groups estimate 50% to 60% but without military spending, there would be no national debt! Our military spending is the largest amount allocated from the US budget...a whopping 43% of our current US spending. All total, the US defence budget now makes up almost the whole world's military budget combined!

As a Congressman, Kline will vote unquestioningly to raise the federal debt on needless military spending while questioning the need for and voting against anything else like funding the Department of Transportation, school lunches for children, and wanting to dismantle Social Security so money can be spent on...more war.

No wonder bridges fall down in Minnesota! Maybe if we make school lunches weapons of mass destruction Kline will vote the puny $8 Billion over ten years for them like military spending...without complaining about the cost...