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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

PAC Influence - Which Is Worse. Peterson Or Kline

Category: Congressional Races
Posted: 09/14/14 16:49

by Dave Mindeman

The Republicans are attacking Collin Peterson in the 7th because he takes too much money from unions and AG PACs. Here's the graphic going around:


The assumption must be that Collin Peterson accepts that money and does their bidding.

But does he?

Here is some union ratings for Peterson's voting record:

International Brotherhood of Boilermakers - 57%
Unite Food and Commercial Workers - 71%
American Federation of Government Employees - 53%
AFL-CIO Lifetime Score - 75%
SEIU (2012) -66%


National Farmers Union - 50%
American Farm Bureau - 50%
National Association of Agricultural Employers - 66%

Not exactly a 100% record. Has the PAC money influenced Peterson? I guess it would be hard to say - and that is probably the way it should be.

For the 2013-14 cycle, Peterson has raised $785,050 from PACs. And the Republican Party is criticizing Peterson for taking that money and supposedly doing their bidding.

But they won't criticize John Kline will they. How about Kline's record?

Kline has taken $882,132 from PAC's.....over $60,000 coming directly from For Profit College PACs. And we all know how much he sticks up for the For Profit College industry.

So why isn't the Republican Party as concerned about John Kline's voting record and PAC money as they seem to be about Collin Peterson?

I'm certainly not going to defend Rep. Peterson. There are questions to be raised about his positions, but as for being influenced by money? It sure doesn't look like it.

The real culprit in money influence is John Kline. But you will never see that graphic about Collin Peterson being done in regards to John Kline. And that is because the Republican Party doesn't really consider it wrong - it's a matter of who gets away with it.
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John Kline's For Profit College Buddies Raise John Oliver's Ire

Category: Congressional Races
Posted: 09/08/14 13:29, Edited: 09/08/14 13:31

by Dave Mindeman

I would hope that you have a modicum of knowledge about how close Congressman John Kline is to the For Profit College Industry. If you don't, then let me just repeat IT'S REAL CLOSE.

Well then I also think you would find it interesting that HBO comedian John Oliver has found the For Profit Industry methods of recruiting worthy of a segment on his show....

John Oliver: Massive student debt is just like an STD, it 'will follow you the rest of your life'

The methods that we are growing accustomed to hearing about got under John Oliver's skin.....

Oliver....highlighted push-back from the for-profit institutions who, when faced with legislation that would reign in their predatory tactics, initiated a $10 million campaign using form letters for students and administrators to send to congressman asking them to leave the industry alone.

Oliver pointed out that many students failed to even fill in the form letters, leaving them reading: "I am a career student at [INSTITUTION] studying [PROGRAM]."

Yes. Apparently their students were so engaged that they didn't bother to put in their own names or where they go to school.

Guess these students are used to being USED.

And I am sure that Congressman John Kline would attest to the authenticity of Oliver's segment because he would be one of the main recipients of those letters.

Oliver decided to start his own letter campaign that would be sent to the For Profit College lobbyist group APSCU. It goes like this:

To Whom It May Concern:
I am [NAME HERE], a human being with [DESCRIBE AT LEAST SOME LEVEL OF SENSE] who is sick of your [SYNONYM FOR bullsh*t ].
Whatever the benefits of for-profit schools, your trade group is protecting the worst actors, and [ADDITIONAL INSULTS]. [IDEAS FOR PLACES TO CRAM THIS LETTER ONCE ROLLED UP]. [PROPOSALS FOR HUMAN WASTE PRODUCTS TO BE EATEN].
Thank you for your time,

Filling in the slots is optional.

Hope they send copies to Congressman Kline.....

Oh and by the way #FLIPADISTRICT
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A Deliberative And Right Approach On The Middle East

Category: Congressional Races
Posted: 09/03/14 12:46

by Dave Mindeman

If the President looks around the country, he could get a lot of "great" (a loose term)commentary on the situation with ISIS....

Elizabeth Hasselbeck: "You look back to 2007 and the president alluded to the fact that he thought it would change the world once he was inaugurated, that he would be able to understand Muslims," Hasselbeck remarked. "And, therefore, crimes like this would not occur, and the world would be safer because he had understanding."

Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty: "In this case, you either have to convert them -- which I think would be next to impossible," Robertson said. "I'm not giving up on them, but I'm just saying either convert them or kill them. One or the other."

And, of course, Congress is always more than willing to offer opinions, its the action part that is a little bit of a problem. The Hawks are out in full force and, as usual, have all sorts of military solutions to offer.

But Obama is being deliberative and that is a good thing.

This problem with ISIS is a serious one. And we will need a course of action. But we also do not need knee jerk responses that have consequences out of our control. ISIS wants us to attack them. They want the US to come to them and fight on their terms. These beheadings are meant to illicit an emotional response from the American people. To retaliate in any way possible.

The American people want action as we so often do. Fix it now. Do something right now. Respond now.

But now has some problems. ISIS is being successful because Iraq is very close to a failed state. The religious factions are fighting each other. Do not trust each other....and cannot act with any kind of political will. In Syria, the same holds true. In order to fight ISIS in Syria, we would have to support Assad....side with a brutal dictator....a regime that has killed 10s of thousands of its own people.

Does that sound like a situation needing a quick response?

You conservatives can begin rolling your eyes, because I am going to blame a lot of this turmoil on George W. Bush. His doctrine of "spreading democracy" in the Middle East has been a failure from its inception. Our country is a stable and successful democracy, but we seem to forget how turbulent a beginning democracy can be. Our country survived because, at the time, we were protected by an ocean to the east and wilderness to the west. Even with those protections we were nearly wiped out in 1812.

The upheaval in the Middle East has brought some chaotic times. And when governments fail, anarchy and war ensue. And that allows controlling dictatorial regimes to fill the governmental vacuum.

When we brought down Iraq's brutal dictatorship, we were not prepared to follow through on how a new government would be formed. We opened up the factional differences and allowed them to fester into political corruption and sectional fighting. As other neighboring countries brought down their regimes, the leadership vacuum became broader and deeper and more vulnerable.

Our country had to stand by and watch for the most part because the Muslim world does not want our meddling....even though there are times when we could help with stability.

So here we are with nothing but bad options. Obama held off on bombing the Syrian regime over chemical weapons because they offered to destroy them on their own. The administration did not send enough weapons to the Syrian opposition because some of the factions were jihadists (like ISIS) and it would only mean our own weapons would be used against us....like ISIS is using Iraq's weaponry now.

Even our humanitarian efforts fail because there is no longer much of any governmental agencies to make it work on the ground.

John McCain and Diane Feinstein and Ted Cruz and Lindsay Graham can talk incessantly about military responses and tougher policies, but the region is quicksand and we are already mired too deep to escape. Anything we do seems to simply make it worse.

So Obama is taking a cautious approach. We should thank our lucky stars that he makes the final decision on where we go from here. He will not find a popular solution - that type of answer does not exist. But he can look for and nurture a broad coalition of participants willing to do a cooperative approach that can possibly take the oxygen away from this fire. It might look like he is doing nothing, but he is gathering opinions together and evaluating options. Finding something that can do the least harm in the short term and the long term.

McCain and Graham can bark and howl at the moon, but they have nothing of value to offer either. Obama has to ignore popular opinions and quick fixes.

He has to do what is in the best interest of the American people. That is his job.
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