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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Rep. Kline: Rhetoric Without Action or Blatant Obstruction

Category: John Kline
Posted: 07/07/15 12:01

by Dave Mindeman

City Pages had another good posting on our Congressman John Kline. The opening lines gave Kline a little boost....

John Kline, Minnesota's Most Reprehensible Congressman (TM), has tried to come across as more cuddlier in recent months. He's toured dilapidated Native American schools and supported student loan relief for kids ripped off by for-profit colleges.

Which is true, except for the fact that he has not delivered for the Native American Schools (ironically, the State of Minnesota has) and his loan relief only applies to students at the bankrupt corporate Corinthian Colleges. Mr. Kline seems to have forgotten the millions of other "ripped off" students.

But Kline has reverted quickly back to form...opposing Obama's executive order that would increase the number of workers who would get overtime pay. It is worth noting that these are workers who have already put in overtime, but are not getting paid because their company classifies them with a bogus salary title.

Kline, who himself works about a hundred days a year, can't fathom why these working class people would need to the extra compensation - even though they did the actual work.

And also in keeping with Kline's flippant support (meaning none) of equal pay for women, it turns out that 56% of the people affected by the overtime ruling are women.

That's the pattern with our Congressman.....sympathetic rhetoric with no action for some issues and blatant opposition for others.

It is getting to be a tiresome pattern....(sigh).
comments (1) permalink

CD2 - Mary Lawrence: Pro-Business Candidate

Category: John Kline
Posted: 06/29/15 21:56

by Dave Mindeman

It is hard to figure a candidate's positions from fundraising letters, but they often give clues to what kind of a legislator they might be should they get elected.

Here is a quote that came in a campaign e-mail regarding the Mary Lawrence for Congress campaign (via her husband Jim Lawrence)....

For more than 50 quarters as CFO of Northwest Airlines, General Mills and Unilever, I sweated through the last few days of the quarter-end. Sales orders need to come in, and the guys and gals in the warehouses need to work long hours to get the goods out the door. (Slightly different in the airline business, but you get the idea.)

Now, I am sweating for my wife, Mary, who needs your dollars before midnight tomorrow, Tuesday, June 30.

This is not a letter to persuade you to contribute. This is a call to action!

If you believe that a centrist, pro-growth, pro-business congresswoman would better serve this country than a far-right (or left) partisan ideologue, then we need action today.


That last paragraph is interesting. It was subtle but what is said in parentheses is probably a veiled attack on Angie Craig. And the nice little code words of "pro-growth" and "pro-business" give us a little more insight into what kind of Congressperson Mary Lawrence aspires to be.

Lawrence is attempting to position herself as a "centrist" candidate. And that's fine, if you think replacing John Kline with a very slight twist to the left from his right wing positions is the only way to win in the 2nd District.

And while Lawrence doesn't make a direct reference to Craig as a leftward partisan ideologue - it is hard to imagine that there is anyone else on the horizon who could remotely bring up the (or left) subject unless Lawrence sees something out there that the rest of us don't.

It is getting more clear that Lawrence is going to run and legislate as a Blue Dog Democrat. Let's just say-- more of a Collin Peterson than a Betty McCollum. And, frankly, that's OK if you think that is what it will take to beat John Kline.

Personally, I'd rather see a more transparent and complete ideological change from what Kline has been delivering. Moving from a Congressman who is owned by the corporations....to a person who has a corporate ear...is probably not enough for me...but that's just me.

Jim Lawrence gives us a corporate view for the Mary Lawrence campaign and I doubt this would be "paid for" by the Lawrence campaign unless that is clearly where she stands as well.

To be fair, I think Angie Craig has pretty close corporate ties as well. After all, she comes out of the Medical Device industry with their device tax repeal agenda. But Lawrence aspires to get that corporate sympathizer label all to herself.

Pro-growth and pro-business. Pro-growth depends on where that growth goes and we all know it is NOT going to the 99%. And if being pro-business is the way to get there....well, we have heard enough of that from the other party. Don't need to dump Kline to get that.

Mary Lawrence applauded the Supreme Court's same sex marriage ruling, supported the Obamacare ruling, and is a strong advocate for Veterans.

But if pro-business is your method of fundraising in the Democratic base, then more questions need to be answered.
comments (1) permalink

Kline Concerned About Corinthian Students - What About The Rest?

Category: John Kline
Posted: 06/01/15 10:37, Edited: 06/01/15 10:40

by Dave Mindeman

Congressman John Kline is calling for student loan forgiveness via loans channeled through the defunct Corinthian College For Profit company.

OK, Kline is finally on the right side of this thing....but its a little late.

John Kline has had the position and the authority to have prevented this problem in the first place. And just because he recognizes the wrongdoing of the Corinthian College situation, doesn't mean he shouldn't be held responsible for all the other For Profits that are still doing the exact same exploitation at this very moment.

Kline issued this statement:

"A lot of lives have been severely disrupted by this unfortunate situation and I support discharging the loans for those eligible students who were in the process of earning a degree," Kline said in a statement released after declining interview requests. "The department is continuing to review this and will determine any additional steps that may be taken. As I have stressed from the beginning, all parties should continue to keep in mind the best interest of students."

Yes, Congressman, a lot of lives have been disrupted, to say the least. But people have told you this was happening....for years. You refused to act. You refused to listen.

A year ago I put together the The John Kline For-Profit College Donor List Hall of Shame.

Corinthian was on that list then - but Kline said nothing. Phoenix and Globe and Herzing and Capella are all there as well. Each has been criticized for their recruiting practices. Each continues to operate. And each of them remain on Kline's donor list.

Ahhhh...there is something worth noting. Bankrupt Corinthian can no longer be a Kline donor. Even though they kept the money coming to the bitter end.....

Corinthian even continued donating to Kline after it got in trouble with the feds. Public records show the last donation of $2,500 was made about six weeks after the U.S. Department of Education fined Corinthian $30 million for falsifying its job placement rates last year.

Could John Kline's sudden sympathy for the Corinthian students be related to the donor spigot getting plugged?

Oh please. Certainly, Kline could not be as shallow as that. (Said with a note of sarcasm)

But then you have to wonder why the system wide problems that dog this industry on student recruitment continues unabated. Legal pressures surround these schools. Lawsuits abound. And yet, the simple passage of the 90/10 rule protection of our GI bill veterans cannot get a hearing in John Kline's committee.

Kline's sudden concern for the plight of students scammed by a questionable education system is worth noting. At least he finally recognizes the problem. That's always the first step, but Kline has miles to go before he can convince anybody that this concern is more than just a political stunt.

My bet is that more of Kline's sympathetic improvement will follow the bankruptcies.

Just thinking out loud.
comments (2) permalink
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