Thursday, September 02, 2010

John Kline's Special Interest PAC Problem

As Shelley Madore challenges incumbent John Kline for the right to represent Minnesota’s Second District in Congress, it will become important to stay focus on ethics reform as a central issue. She’s got a good reason for doing so. Congressman Kline is so caught up in taking money from special interest PACS then voting their interests and against campaign finance reform, that he’s strayed far from the values of the people that have elected him to office.

Kline is owned by a series of PACS including health care lobbies, oil lobbies, banking lobbies and defense lobbies. In all of these areas John Kline's voting and campaign record show him taking big money PAC donors then voting their interests over the needs of the citizens in Minnesota’s Second District.

Raising over a million dollars of which 40% came from these special interest PACs, in the last two years, Kline has repeated voted in favor of their interests against the interest of the people who elected him


So far this year Kline has taken in almost half a million ($450,701) from special interest PACS including $31,000 from misc. retailers like Target ($5,000), Best Buy ($3,500), and Home Depot ($8,500).

Kline siding for retailers and against Americans:

  • Kline failed to vote for H.R. 2, a bill to increase the minimum wage, which is currently at its lowest point since the 1950s. The bill would only have returned the minimum wage to a level comparable to that of the 1980s, which is in turn much lower than the minimum wage level of the late 1960s. It is a shame that Representative Kline does not even have the respect for America's workers that they deserved 20 years ago.
  • Recently Kline voted against eliminating loopholes which encourage companies to move operations offshore to avoid paying taxes and other purposes. in H.R. 1568
  • Kline voted against H.R. 1257, a bill that would permit shareholders of public corporations to cast an advisory, non-binding vote to approve or disapprove executive pay packages, golden parachutes, and gigantic bonuses.

Besides retailers, John Kline has also taken in a whopping $47,200 from defense contractors like Lockheed Martin ($10,000), Boeing Co ($7,000) and Raytheon ($7,000). Kline has continued to support defense profiteers by his voting record.

Kline Votes for Defense Special Interests Every Time! 

  • H.R. 897 is a bill that was killed in committee when the GOP controlled congress. It would have required Congress to be provided with descriptions of all contract work in excess of 5 million dollars performed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Apparently Kline and his special interest defense donors are comfortable with hidden contracts and not having Congressional oversight.
  • John Kline supports major funding for all our wars. Kline has continued to vote for additional supplemental spending for the wars, including money used for no-bid military contracts, voting for unwanted war jets, or simply lost and unaccounted BILLIONS in war money.


Banking has contributed big to John Kline, giving $133,658 of which $86,000is from PACS in areas like insurances ($27,000) like USAA ($8,000) and Bankers like American Bankers Assn ($10,000) and US Bank Corp ($3,000).

  • Rep. John Kline voted against authorizing bankruptcy courts to modify the terms of mortgages made on homeowners’ primary residences (H.R. 4173). 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.
  • 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]

Banking Votes against Minnesota Voters

  • H R. 1490: Rule Providing for the Consideration of the Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 4173, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Kline voted against Wall Street Reforms.
  • H R 5982: To Amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to Repeal the Expansion of Certain Information Reporting Requirements to Corporations and to Payments for Property, to Eliminate Loopholes Which Encourage Companies to Move Operations Offshore, and for Other Purposes
  • H R 964: Providing for Further Consideration of the Bill (H.R. 4173) to Provide for Financial Regulatory Reform, to Protect Consumers and Investors, to Enhance Federal Understanding of Insurance Issues, to Regulate the Over-the-Counter Derivatives Markets, and for Other Purposes, Kline voted No against implementing these oversights.
  • Rep. John Kline voted against authorizing bankruptcy courts to modify the terms of mortgages made on homeowners’ primary residences (H.R. 4173). Kline voted against Wall Street Accountability and Consumer Protection...sigh...naturally siding with big business and corporations.


Minnesota Central said...

Very informative post ... keep it up.

Another issue is climate change. One group that is spending freely to get it’s views known is Koch Industries – specifically the billionaire brothers, Charles and David Koch. The LA Times reports they will spend $1 million on a ballot initiative to change legislation in California … previously they funded the Orange County Tax Day Tea Party in Irvine CA.

Just this cycle, John Kline’s Freedom and Security PAC received $10,000 while they also contributed another $5,000 to his campaign.

FYI : The Justice Department and the EPA imposed a $30 million fine against Koch Industries, one of the largest civil penalty ever levied against a company under federal environmental laws. That fine stemmed from Koch's negligence in causing more than 300 oil spills that polluted waters in six states. In Minnesota, it was fined an additional $8 million for discharging oil into streams.
Read more about other government claims that were resolved during the Bush years … to the Koch family benefit.

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