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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

John Kline Has Not One, But Two Challengers For 2016

Category: John Kline
Posted: 01/26/15 18:16, Edited: 01/26/15 18:25

by Dave Mindeman


by Dave Mindeman

Here we are. It's still only January (over 21 months away from the 2016 election) and Congressman John Kline already has TWO challengers to his re-election campaign.

One comes from within his own party - David Gerson. This isn't something new; Gerson has already run twice to wrestle the GOP endorsement away from Kline. The only thing notable about this time around is that he is making his intentions known much earlier than before. Worth some observation, but otherwise not really relevant --- yet.

But the other announcement is a little more surprising. A St. Jude's Corporate executive, Angela Craig, has announced her intentions to seek the DFL endorsement for 2016. She has already stepped away from her VP position in HR to make this run, although she will still stay with the company in a lesser management position.

A few things to note.

1 - Ms. Craig has virtually no political experience. This is good in some ways- bad in others. Her only foray into politics is being a Precinct Chair in Eagan..a position she took on in 2013 - so very recent. Her only other connection is that she and her spouse (Cheryl Greene) held a significant fundraiser for Rep. Laurie Halverson of Eagan. A political novice against the ultimate political animal, John Kline is a tough match-up. However, she also has some long term experience in the other political game of climbing the corporate ladder.

2 - She is gay.... and that is something John Kline has never dealt with very well in a general sense. Oh, we know how he feels about gay marriage and gay rights in general (he's against all of it), but he seems awkward in dealing with it in a political way.

3 - Corporate Exec in the Medical Device Industry. I find that very interesting, which makes me very interested in her political stance on the Medical Device Tax. I would assume, as an executive in the Med Device industry, that she favors its repeal - and that position is not an unusual Democratic position in this state. After all, all 10 of our Representatives are now on record as favoring that repeal. What is more important is the position she takes on the ramifications of that repeal. Because the revenue from the Med Device Tax is one of the financial pillars that pays for Obamacare. Will she insist on some kind of revenue offset? or will she just insist on the repeal and leave that multi-billion dollar hole in ACA financing? Those are questions that need to be answered.

4 - Women Winning Board Member. Craig is on the WomenWinning board, but only recently. The website notes her as a board member since 2014. But I would assume that she would not make this announcement unless WomenWinning was fully on board for support. That is also significant.

There are other questions which will be answered in due time. Does she plan any self financing? Does she have a significant financial network in place? Has she developed any political networking over the past few years? And what are the feelings of other Medical Device Companies execs and board members about her candidacy?

All of that is fodder for another day. But the fact that challenges to Kline are coming out of the gate so early will make 2016 an interesting challenge for our favorite corporate shill, John Kline.
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Free Community College Will Never Happen In KlineWorld

Category: John Kline
Posted: 01/22/15 08:59

by Dave Mindeman

I am sure no one is shocked by this - Congressman John Kline opposes the President's plan for free community college.

Kline called the idea too lofty and rhetorically questioned why the president stopped at community colleges. "Why not say all college is free?" he said, in a press gathering in his office Wednesday morning.

Actually I'd like to hear a serious answer to that question - but I guarantee you, Kline is the wrong person to ask.

But Kline gives his usual excuses....he doesn't like the way it is paid for (capital gains tax increase) or the idea of yet another Fed program. And of course, there is the usual 'because Obama proposed it' argument.

But there is another reason why this is dead on arrival in Kline's committee. The same students that would benefit the most from a free community college program are the same marketing targets of For-Profit colleges. Kids with limited financial resources who might not be able to meet academic standards that can help their situation.

No, these community college prospects - the underprivileged, veterans needing retraining, long term unemployed - are the targets of For Profit marketers who want these prospects to take out those Federal loans and go to their very profitable universities. Free community college? That just does not fit into the capitalistic scheme of things.

But, of course, Congressman John Kline is going to protect his benefactors. He would never allow free community college to whisk away potential profit dollars from his corporate college friends.

It is why he gets all of those donation dollars. And in Congress, you expect a return on that investment.

John Kline delivers.
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John Kline: Bad Representation Part 3 - Torture

Category: John Kline
Posted: 12/16/14 09:19

by Dave Mindeman

Congressman John Kline decided that it was safe to talk to reporters after the mid-term elections. But did he really say anything?


He called last week's release of the Senate Intelligence Committee's report that alleging torture against alleged terrorists "purely partisan."

"This is created by Senate Democrat staffers to criticize the CIA and previous administration," Kline said. "There may be things that are true concerning torture, and maybe not, but I don't like a one-party report. There's not one Republican drop of ink in that report."

Torture, he said, "Should not be a partisan issue. We should not give (this report) objective credibility."

So, apparently what Kline is saying is....since Republicans won't talk about torture and any Democratic report is by definition, partisan, then Kline has decided he won't talk about it period.

On the one hand he says there may be some truth about torture in the report, but on the other hand, Democrats are giving us that truth, so we should reject its credibility.

That defies logic.

Kline has one part right...torture isn't a partisan issue. It is a topic that should be discussed openly and our elected officials should weigh in on the matter. But Congressman Kline doesn't want to discuss it in a substantive manner, he simply chooses to ignore it.

Kline uses the "partisan" excuse all the time. And that is because he only thinks of things in partisan terms.

A torture discussion would be uncomfortable and cast the US military in a bad light.

So in Kline's world, the topic needs to be ignored.

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