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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.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

John Kline: Too Busy to Debate?

[Disclaimer: This post was first published on Coleen Rowley's campaign weblog.]

John Kline will not participate in the League of Women Voters debate on October 14. When first asked why he had refused, Mr. Kline said something to the effect of "You run your campaign and I’ll run mine." Later, however, he must have improved on his answer since radio news reported he's too busy to debate. But with Congress adjourned until after the election, one would think a two-term incumbent would have nothing better to do with his time than to afford his constituents a side-by-side comparison of his views with his opponent's, so that voters can make an informed decision on election day.

When failing to explain Kline's refusal, Kline's spokesman explicitly noted that "No incumbent member of Congress in Minnesota debated their challenger more than Congressman Kline in the last election." So it's all the more striking that Kline is ducking debates this time around. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that George Bush is an extremely unpopular president now, and so praising Bush for his "principled, consistent and determined leadership for our men and women in the armed forces" (Pioneer Press, 10/22/2004) doesn't win votes like it used to? Perhaps Kline doesn't want to try to defend his support for an open-ended U.S. occupation for Iraq, for the Medicare Part D fiasco, and for privatizing Social Security? Or maybe it's the simple fact that most people have come to rightly view our Republican-led Congress as being bloated, corrupt and ineffective, and so appearing in public as a Republican member of Congress is damaging to Kline's electoral prospects?

Or perhaps it has to do with the fact that this time, Kline's opponent is Coleen Rowley, a principled Democrat who supports comprehensive ethics reform of Congress, responsible redeployment from Iraq, universal health care, and holding the Bush administration to account for its deception and incompetence.

Just guessing.

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