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Disclaimer: The author of this site maintained the campaign weblog of John Kline's opponent in the 2006 election, which made Congressman Kline a bit testy.

As with all blogs, review the facts carefully and draw your own conclusions.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

John Kline Claims a Dubious First

Let's just look at a few excerpts from recent editions of the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

On January 7th:
"What I think we need out of this is stability and consistent leadership," said Kline, the first of the Minnesota Republicans to speak out. "It's my hope that Tom DeLay will recognize that he needs to concentrate his efforts and attentions on [his] legal battles."


Kline said his decision was spurred by Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff's guilty pleas to conspiracy and fraud charges in Washington and Miami this week. Abramoff agreed in return for leniency to become the star witness in a Justice Department influence-buying inquiry that could touch implicate several House members.

"Is Tom DeLay involved in this?" Kline said in a phone interview. "What's the extent of his involvement? What about his staff?

"The very fact that all those questions are being asked makes it more difficult for us to focus on policy and get going down the road [and] makes it less likely that Mr. DeLay's legal troubles will be resolved" soon, he said. "The climate right now is bad. It's bad for my party."

To which a reader (Neil Weikart) responded on January 10:

Rep. John Kline, in a Jan. 7 news article about the Tom DeLay/Jack Abramoff situation, said, "The climate right now is bad. It's bad for my party." He illustrates the problem and shows that he still does not "get it."

While it may be bad for his party, the problem is that it is very bad for our country.

Kline was not elected to represent only the Republican constituents in his district; he was elected to represent everyone in his district.

Republicans and Democrats alike must wake up. We need bipartisanship to solve our nation's problems.

To which Kline responded on January 13th:

In response to the Jan. 11 letter, "It's about what's good for us, not the parties," I would like to point out to the letter writer that I was the first member of the Minnesota Republican delegation to break with my party's leadership and to ask Tom DeLay to permanently step aside as majority leader, because I saw a problem that was bad for my constituents, our country and the Republican Party.

Yes, on January 6th, Kline was the first Republican in Minnesota's congressional delegation to call for DeLay to step down. Mind you, Kline wasn't the first to denounce DeLay's corruption or the systemic corruption in the Republican leadership, because he didn't do that. The "problem" he referred to in response to Mr. Weikart's letter was, specifically, that questions about DeLay's legal status "makes it more difficult for us to focus on policy".

Of course, Kline can't publicly recognize DeLay's guilt, despite the fact that DeLay has basically admitted he is guilty of money-laundering, because then he would also have to return $31,000 in campaign money he received from DeLay. Kline can't even admit that someone indicted for a felony has no business retaining a leadership position in the U.S. Congress, because in November 2004, the Strib reported that John Kline was "perfectly comfortable" with letting an indicted DeLay continue as majority leader. And Kline can't seriously pose as a crusader for cleaning up Congress, since he is strongly pushing for Ohio congressman John Boehner, a man best known for distributing tobacco money on the floor of the House, to take over DeLay's job.

Republicans have basically turned the U.S. government into an arm of big business. Republicans shovel tax breaks and deregulation at the K Street lobbyists, who return a small portion of that to the GOP when elections roll around, to make sure these crooks stay in power. Any Republican in Congress who claims not to know this is either lying or too stupid to keep his job --- and that includes John Kline.

Kline wasn't the first to denounce DeLay's corruption; he was just first out the door when the party was busted.


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