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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Strib Endorses Kline With Convoluted Reasoning

Category: John Kline
Posted: 10/25/14 11:21

by Dave Mindeman

The Star Tribune endorsed Kline again - like they did last year. Their reasoning included convoluted statements like these....

It's that expertise, and a strong record of getting serious legislation enacted, that has earned Kline a return trip to Congress despite a reputation that has been tarnished by his coziness with for-profit colleges.

Voters would be shortsighted to dismiss a candidate with Kline's clout. The silver-haired representative deserves their support, with the caveat that he needs to more aggressively hold disreputable for-profit colleges accountable.


As for that serious legislation that he has enacted, here is the list:

Kline has struck an impressive balance between enacting major legislation (workforce training, steadying student loan interest rates) while still tending the home fires. An example: Kline was a strong advocate for building a new overpass for a dangerous Hwy. 52 intersection in Goodhue County.

Kline's work on legislation to protect child sex trafficking victims is also commendable, as is the legislative fix he championed to help members of the Minnesota National Guard and other soldiers get overdue bonus pay. In addition, Kline has cast sensible votes to raise the debt ceiling and resolve early 2013's "fiscal cliff." He was not among his party's radicals.

Workforce training was enacted after the House Majority rejected extending unemployment benefits over and over. The student loan "steadying" resulted in an increase in rates from 3.4% to 5.9%. (Really?) The sex trafficking legislation came just recently....and who is going to be favoring sex trafficking for kids? The National Guard bonus pay could have been put in last year's endorsement because it happened last term. And Kline's "sensible" votes? The debt ceiling vote came after he stood with his radical friends in a previous vote that got the nation's credit rating downgraded and caused a near stock market crash....and of course, TARP.

In six terms, Kline has a handful of these "bipartisan" success stories. And most of them come just prior to election cycles.

But what I find especially gauling is this....

He's also capable of putting on impromptu foreign policy seminars when he sits down with the Editorial Board, using knowledge complemented by his 25 years in the Marine Corps and his travels to war zones while in office.

Seriously? Military expertise? John Kline supported the Iraq War debacle. He has supported keeping troops everywhere. And he supports more boots on the ground in our current conflict with ISIS. Kline loves war.

The idea that he can regurgitate his military travels can't make up for the fact that he is completely wrong on foreign policy.....and totally out of step with the feelings of his district.

The Strib endorsing Kline was expected. They like the idea of having a House Committee Chair to talk to.

But their reasoning is ridiculous - and being bought by the For Profit College lobby is not something to be dismissed as an after thought.
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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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