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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, October 18, 2006

No Ideas, No Record, No Integrity: Kline Resumes His Smears Against Unpaid Staff

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

Coleen Rowley is surging in the polls. The U.S. occupation of Iraq is such an unmitigated disaster that James Baker, Bush family confidante and a man John Kline once called his hero, is reportedly recommending that we withdraw our forces. A fifth Republican member of Congress is about to go down in scandal. And John Kline has nothing he can run on. So he is devoting what's left of his campaign to a tried-and-true Republican campaign tactic.

Lie. Smear. Destroy. Take the low road.

Kline, the retired Marine Colonel, the man who "doesn't need to talk about ethics, he's lived it", who promised his supporters an "honest, issues oriented campaign" is smearing me for political gain. His lies could affect my employment, my friendships, and even my children. And he's only doing it because he thinks it will help him win.

Earlier this summer, Kline seemed to believe that his best hope for retaining his seat in Congress was to spread lies about me, sending out not one, not two, but three different direct mail attacks smearing my character, making statements which Kline knew to be false. For about 6 weeks, it appeared that he had given up that tactic in favor of more conventional campaign methods (namely, smearing his opponent rather than her unpaid staff). But a recent poll showed Coleen gaining 12 points on Kline in 19 days. So now he has panicked, and is started making his outrageous and false charges again this morning on FOX 9 News.

In short, Kline's charge boils down to two allegations. 1) He charges that I want to legalize methamphetamine. 2) He charges that I am a senior advisor who has more policy positions on this site than Coleen does. Both statements are categorically false.

Let's take them in reverse order. Kline charges that I have written more policy positions on this site than Coleen has. Not true. Here are Coleen's policy positions. While it is true that Coleen accepted input from a number of people on these positions --- good leaders take the time to research the facts and develop informed opinions before taking a position --- I only provided input for one out of 11. Most of these positions had been written up before I ever joined the campaign.

It's likely that Kline is basing his charge on the fact that I have written the majority of the posts on this campaign weblog. However, none of these posts establish new positions on issues. I encourage everyone to review them carefully, because you will quickly see that my posts are mostly informational, and not policy statements. When I do make a statement about Coleen's policy, I always provide a link to a policy statement Coleen authored. Coleen and I have also co-written a number of articles which Coleen has posted on The Huffington Post. These were joint efforts. (It should be noted that Coleen has co-authored other opinion pieces in the past, for example one published last year in the New York Times with the head of the Government Accountability Project on first amendment rights and most recently one on the Iraq War with Major General Army Reserve (retired) Jerald Albrecht of Prior Lake, MN.)

So Kline is either incredibly dishonest or clueless about what constitutes a policy position. Either way, he's unfit to be in Congress.

My views on legalizing drugs are irrelevant to the campaign. But because I know some people will demand more information, it boils down to this. More than three years ago, I wrote four sentences in support of "decriminalizing" drug use. This is not the same as legalizing drugs. It means that enforcement would be principally directed toward stopping the manufacturers of illegal drugs such as meth, rather than jailing the users. Moreover, it's hardly as though I went to great lengths to advocate this position --- I haven't even thought about it in 3 years, and I've certainly never discussed it as part of the campaign (other than to respond to Kline).

Moreover, for Kline to make this charge is staggeringly hypocritical, considering that it's a view similar to the one held by the libertarian CATO Institute. To my knowledge, Kline has never levelled a similar charge against them, even though his CD2 web site links to them approvingly, and Kline is a member of the Republican Study Committee, which works with CATO. Kline's old think tank, the Center of the American Experiment, also links to them.

Kline is trying to destroy me, and Coleen by association. If he wins this election, he'll keep doing the same thing in 2008 and for as long as lies and attacks "work" to keep him in office. But in 20 days, we'll have an opportunity to show John Kline that destroying people for political gain is not something we tolerate in Minnesota.

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