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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

John Kline Writes A Northfield Letter To The Editor

Category: John Kline
Posted: 10/21/14 00:08

by Dave Mindeman

John Kline wrote a Letter to the Editor. I guess he wrote it himself. He sent it to the local Northfield, MN paper. Interesting coincidence...given that Bill Maher was recently there with his FlipADistrict campaign.

But let's take a look at the letter.

If you didn't know anything about Congressman John Kline, you might think he is doing a great job.

Whether leading the fight to strengthen laws to protect our children from predators; ensuring members of the Minnesota Guard receive overdue bonus pay they were promised; or championing a bipartisan effort to train the unemployed for new job opportunities - all three of these efforts were signed into law by President Obama - I am doing everything I can to deliver for you, your families and friends, and our communities.

Nice words. "Protect our children". "Championing a bipartisan effort." "I can deliver."

It is like Kline has a whole different pesonna that he is peddling.

Yes, he did put forward a law regarding sex trafficking - a bill that had no opposition in Congress. Who is against "protecting children"?

Yes, he helped get the MN National Guard some neglected bonus pay - of course, it was not during his current term - but it did happen with support from the other members of the Minnesota Congressional delegation.

Yes, Kline worked on a bill to help train the unemployed. It passed 415-6. But it happened after repeated NO votes against unemployment benefits extension. As MSNBC put it - "Congress throws a bone to the long-term unemployed."

Yes, John Kline did those things. Those three things. Which he uses in his rhetoric and commercials, over and over.

But what he will never talk about is how he accepts huge sums of donation from For Profit Colleges and then allows them to continue to exploit students and veterans for their own profits.

What he never mentions is that the No Child Left Behind legislation which everyone wants to modify or change, languishes in Kline's Committee - with our current Congressman resisting and criticizing all of the President's efforts to seek change.

What he won't tell you is that he has voted against EPA efforts to work on the environment. He even votes against funding to simply study the effects of climate change.

And in his letter he wants us to believe this....

While I have been able to break through the gridlock in some instances, the challenges facing us are steep.

Breaking through the gridlock? Congressman, do you mean the gridlock where you are one of its biggest instigators? The gridlock that Congressional Republicans took to a shutdown, which, as you stated to a Tea Party group, was a "strategy" to repeal Obamacare? The gridlock that allows the House Majority, (which you are a part of) vote 55 times to repeal Obamacare, but never take up immigration reform?

Is that the gridlock you refer to?

But then you decide to invoke Ronald Reagan....

Despite the turbulence our nation endures, I continue to adhere to the unwavering belief that you and I are blessed to live in the greatest nation in the world. That shining city on the hill - the beacon of light that provides hope for everyone, that they, too, can pursue the American dream - should be within each and every Minnesotans' reach. And I will continue to fight to that end.

Yes, we are lucky to live in this great nation.....but the American dream is rapidly moving beyond the reach of some. College graduates are being saddled with incredible sums of debt. Debt they may never repay. And the income disparity grows more prolific every day. Coming out of that great recession, only the wealthy are recovering - many in the middle class still struggle. And if we talk about the American dream, we must talk about the Dreamers - the children of the undocumented.....who also call this great country home, but are still denied their own chance at the American dream because our immigration system remains broken.

Congressman, you say "I will continue to fight to that end." But what is that end? You fight for corporations, for For-Profit Colleges, for mining companies, for oil and gas subsidies, and for the polluters.

When do you fight for us? It is time for a change. It is time that we elect someone who proudly fights for the middle class. Who stands with students, veterans, labor, and women. Someone who knows how to really fight the gridlock in DC.

Elect Mike Obermueller - vote for REAL representation in the 2nd District.
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Senate Looks At ForProfit Abuses - Media Lets Kline Off The Hook

Category: John Kline
Posted: 10/13/14 19:51, Edited: 10/13/14 19:51

by Dave Mindeman

A Senate Committee took direct aim at the ForProfit College abuse of our veterans in regards to the GI bill.

A report released recently casts some pretty unfavorable light on the for-profit college and university industry and its continued pursuit of student veterans using their GI Bill benefits.

The report from the U.S. Senate's Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, "Is the New G.I. Bill Working?" says bluntly, "The fact that so many veterans are continuing to enroll in high-cost, for-profit colleges with questionable outcomes raises questions regarding whether aggressive deceptive and misleading marketing efforts are continuing."

This is important to the American taxpayer for this reason...

taxpayers pay twice as much on average to send a veteran to a for-profit college compared with a public college or university.

The Star Tribune article points out the problem, but again, John Kline is not mentioned. John Kline is not asked. John Kline is not held accountable.

And why should he be?

Because John Kline gaveled down a possible fix to this problem by adding GI loans to the 90/10 rule for college loan money. The 90/10 rule requires colleges and universities to not exceed 90% of their loan funding from government sources. Currently, GI loans are not counted and thus the For Profit Colleges target veterans into programs that often lead nowhere in regards to getting a job.

The fix was discussed - but John Kline did not EVEN ALLOW DEBATE on the proposal. As committee chair, he, and he alone, was able to gavel this down, at his discretion. A move that directly benefits his For Profit College donors.

It borders on criminal - but the media continues to ignore it.
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Cong. John Kline - Supporting A Debt Collector Near You

Category: John Kline
Posted: 10/13/14 01:22

by Dave Mindeman

Congressman John Kline seems to like debt.

His work to make student loan debt a growing scourge on society is pretty well documented....at least by some of us.

But Kline isn't just content with that - Kline is also working to make life easier for, get this....bill collectors.

Take this interesting paragraph from a recent press release....

October 7, 2014: Congressman John Kline (R-Minn.) recently held a campaign event in Burnsville, Minn., attended by ACA International member Tom Gavinski, vice president of healthcare for I.C. System in Saint Paul, Minn.


[i]There they are together - Kline and Tom Gavinski, credit collection guru

Gavinski said he spent a few minutes talking with the congressman and thanked him for his support of ACA, in particular for signing a letter sent to the Federal Communications Commission calling for reform of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

Now before you scratch your head too much and wonder what parallel universe we are living in...that would have John Kline "support the ACA", don't worry. It's not THAT ACA.

The ACA that John Kline supports is the Association of Credt and Collection Professionals. You know, the bill collectors.

Minnesota passed a law in 2013 which tries to curb aggressive collection practices, and Gavinski was there to defend his industry....

A new law passed by the Minnesota legislature that goes into effect this week is designed to put limits on debt buyers' ability to pursue and win judgments against Minnesota consumers. Tom Gavinski, who represents the Minnesota Association of Debt Collectors, said his is an important but difficult job. He said in 2010 debt collectors recovered $2 billion in unpaid debts for Minnesota businesses.

Yeah, protect Minnesota business...with constant harassing calls. Nope, I don't think so.

In 2012, State Attorney General Lori Swanson filed suit against a collection agency that targeted Fairview Health Services customers with aggressive tactics that obtained confidential records in the hospital system. The company agreed to a $2.5 million settlement in that case.

But in spite of the abuses, the ACA is "thanking" John Kline for his support in "reforming" the Telephone Consumer Protection Act". You know, the "do not call list" regulation.

Wonder what kind of "reforms" they might be looking for.

Well, whatever it is, John Kline is on their side, not ours.
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