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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.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Respect Our Veterans

When Coleen Rowley briefly posted a doctored photo of John Kline dressed as Col. Klink, Kline angrily responded that the photo was an offense "to every veteran". When the photo was removed and Rowley apologized, Kline essentially refused the apology, saying:

Since the day you announced your candidacy, you have attempted to trivialize my military services, distorted my record and questioned my integrity, which I have built over a 25 year career in the United States Marine Corps.

While I personally can't think of any other instance where the Rowley campaign has done any of these awful things, I might be forgetting something. If any readers know of something I'm missing, please remind me.

In response, taking care not to distort Kline's record (something we take very seriously here), the Rowley campaign issued a press release detailing how Kline has voted on veteran's issues. Many veterans may find Kline's record is more offensive than a doctored photo. The meat of the press release is summarized in a recent letter to the editor by John and Marilyn Raplinger in John Kline's hometown of Lakeville:

Rep. John Kline's veteran friends are upset at Coleen Rowley's campaign website that depicted him as Col. Klink from "Hogan's Heroes." Those friends should look at Kline's voting record on veterans' issues. Then they'd really be upset.

  • He voted against a $53 million boost for veterans' health care benefits.
  • He voted against expanding Tricare health insurance to thousands of National Guard and Reserve volunteers
  • He voted for a budget that cut veterans' health care programs by $13.5 billion.
  • He voted against debt assistance for returning National Guard and Reservists.
  • He voted against additional job assistance to veterans returning from overseas.
  • He voted against full retirement and disability benefits for all veterans.

Maybe a more appropriate title would be Col. Hypocrite.

Actually, the Raplingers didn't cover all of Kline's anti-veteran votes; there are more listed in the Rowley press release. Please also note it was the Raplingers, not the Rowley campaign, who suggested the title of "Col. Hypocrite". The Rowley campaign would not trivialize John Kline's service in that way.

There is a perception that since John Kline is a 25-year USMC veteran, that he must be a strong proponent of veterans, a perception which Kline makes every effort to foster. But his record gives the lie to that perception.

(I would like to upload a PDF of Kline's letter to Rowley, but it seems Blogger won't let me do that. Until I can figure a way around this, I'll gladly email the letter to anyone who asks for one.)


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