Another (John Kline) Rant!

My oldest son and I were returning home from a quick four store Christmas shopping trip around 4:30 Sunday afternoon.  As we drove up Pilot Knob Rd toward Farmington, we approached a mini-traffic jam.  After numerous cars ahead of us moved into the right lane to pass a slow driver, we were left following a white Ranger pickup going about 45 mph, and slowly swerving from side-to-side across the lane.  My assumption is that he had been cheering on the Vikings or Packers with a libation or two.

I don’t know if there had been any alcohol ingested, but when I approach a driver who seems to be showing signs of intoxication, I like to stay back, not in front of them, so I didn’t pass.  I made it the next couple miles safely home, and assume the driver of the white Ranger made it unsafely home. 

I thought about that driver again this afternoon when I read a story that Dakota County is among the deadliest counties in Minnesota for alcohol related crashes.  The next article I read was about earmarks requested by the each congressional representative.  Among the requests was a $100,000 DUI court request for Koochiching County.  It made me mad.

I know you are wondering what the maddening connection is.  I got mad because Koochiching County is going to get $100,000 for an issue that is important, and that we, including our children, have a danger every day of coming into contact with, yet John Kline didn’t request any funds for the 2nd Congressional District (CD2).   No funds!  No transportation infrastructure improvements.  No startup business funds.  No hospital funds.  No state trooper funds.  Not even a frickin’ 100K for anything DUI related, when four of the seven counties he represents: Dakota, Rice, Washington and Scott, all make the list of the deadliest DUI counties!

John Kline’s communications director said this of earmarks:

“In January 2007, he decided not to participate in earmarks. He does not support the corrupt and corrupting process of earmarks.”

Too bad he doesn’t feel that way about the corrupt and corrupting influence of the lobbying process!  Really?  There is nothing worth compromising to improve in CD2?  There is no way of participating in the system and attempting to change it? 

I think it is important to point out that GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen requested 1.6 million dollars for improved and safer highways in his district.  Michelle Bachmann and John Kline are equals in that she does not “believe in earmarks.”   Her spokesperson said “that the earmark process is broken and in need of reform. It’s not transparent or open enough, and too often jumps politics above merit.”

So the final view:  John Kline = Michelle Bachmann

Keep that in mind.

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2 thoughts on “Another (John Kline) Rant!”

  1. GREAT POST !

    Representative Kline may not “believe” in earmarks … but he votes for them. During election season Candidate Kline likes to talk about stopping pork projects but Representative Kline has no problem with military pork. Case in point : an earmark offered by Rob Bishop R-UT for additional F-22s even though the DOD doesn’t want them and they are not used in the current war zone. When confronted about his vote by a true fiscal conservative, retired Congressman Tim Penny, Kline said it would be good for jobs. The F-22 authorization resulted in talk of an Obama veto, so it was killed in the Senate … but the DOD got other authorizations like 10 additional C-17 cargo planes that the Air Force doesn’t want, or a DDG-51 destroyer that isn’t a Navy priority, etc. Military contractors got jobs … but Minnesota’s Second District doesn’t get any support for its workers.

    Kline’s faux fiscal conservatism is for election purposes. It has worked in the past … he will talk about “research on fruit flies” without acknowledging that the DOD also does research on flies. He talks about “small” projects while letting the mega-dollar projects go through.

    Kline talks with conviction … conviction may be good for political effect, but talking either knowingly inaccurately or without reading the legislation, is simply theatrical bravado. Case in point : he has rejected a war tax to begin to pay for the ongoing campaign in Afghanistan. The legislation in question is H.R. 4130, the “Share the Sacrifice Act of 2010.” Kline argument is that the economy is too weak to ask for additional taxes now. But reading the bill … it is not now … it does not go into effect until 2011 … second, it gives the power to the President to delay implementation if the economy is too weak. I wrote a commentary calling his stance unconscionable for passing this debt onto future generations. Bruce Bartlett, ex-Reagan Treasury, wrote in Forbes that the Republicans have an incentive to support pushing debt-financing the wars, namely to end ill-conceived social programs.

    My suggestion for Dan Powers and Shelley Madore would be to meet with all County Commissioners and ask what projects are in dire need of being funded — water filtration plants, flood plain projects, bridge and highway improvements, etc. Then target voters asking if they think the US Government should fund $300 million for the National World War II Museum or the County Commissioner’s projects. The money is being spent, but Kline is not representing the people’s needs.

    As I recall during the 2008 campaign, Erik Paulsen took a middle ground on the earmark question … Powers and Madore should use the same approach … no doubt there are wasteful projects (the middle ground approach is to agree with Kline on $188 million for The Lobster Institute) and then ask if it makes sense not to seek funding for Second District projects.

  2. The Courts administer the penalty phase, but has Representative Kline supported the protection phase ?

    One of the key aspects of the “stimulus” plan was to provide monies for police.
    The American Recovery & Reinvestment Act allocated more than $29.1 million for state and local law enforcement assistance available through the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program. The JAG Program supports a variety of efforts such as hiring and support for law enforcement officers; multi-jurisdictional drug and gang task forces; crime prevention and domestic violence programs; and courts, corrections, treatment, and justice information sharing initiatives.

    The State of Minnesota website lists how the funds have been allocated … including rehiring of police in communities in the Second District. So according to the State — not the White House – the last two releases has $16,289,586 in ARRA funds being issued to support over 170 new or retained positions and related program costs for a two year period.

    Representative Kline is on record opposing the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act.
    BUT as cited in your commentary … using “earmarks” wasn’t always a problem. Reading an old press release : “Congressman Kline has been a consistent supporter of the Byrne Grant program and other law enforcement programs. Last year, Congressman Kline supported the committee’s recommendation to increase funding for the Byrne JAG program by $50 million, which was $367 million more than President Bush’s request.

    So, has Kline’s opposition to “earmarks” been motivated by the House of Representatives and White House now being lead by Democrats ?

    The sidelight to this question of police funding is how our communities pay for police protection. Governor Pawlenty’s cut of LGA funds hits these budgets hard … so how many police are not patrolling the streets because of funding problems ?

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