I grew up reading comic books wanting to be a superhero. Comics taught me that those who speak the truth are heroes, all the rest are liars.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Congressman John Kline Abandons Minnesotans

So let me get this straight...Congressman John Kline won't advocate for his district on congressional budget spending..hmmm...why is he still in office?

From the DFL:

John Kline’s Double Standard: Abandon the Home Front, but Still Back Iraq

Republican Congressman Abandons Earmarks for District While Costs of War He Still Supports Continue to Mount

St. Paul, MN (December 10, 2007) The Star Tribune reported today that Second District Republican Representative John Kline has abandoned the practice of earmarking, leaving his constituents to fend for their own in obtaining needed federal funding for worthy local projects, including for roads, bridges and transit. In response, the Minnesota DFL Party noted that Kline’s new-found fiscal conservatism cannot hide the double standard of his continued blank-check support for President Bush’s failed war in Iraq.

“John Kline’s double standard is breathtaking,” said Minnesota DFL Associate Chair Donna Cassutt. “It’s not just that his supposed fiscal conservatism is entirely new-found, given that he earmarked projects when Republicans controlled Congress. It’s not even that he voted against federal funding for the I-35W bridge on the same new-found grounds, after claiming he was for it. It’s his double standard: no funding for worthy projects here in Minnesota while the war in Iraq that he still supports is draining America dry.

“While corporate special interests like Halliburton and Blackwater keep profiting from the failed war, the rest of us will be stuck paying the bill for years to come while our needs at home keep going unmet,” Cassutt continued.

“Fortunately, next year Second District voters will replace John Kline and his double standard with someone willing to fight for the home front first.”

Kline’s Double Standard: Abandon Home Front but Still Back Iraq:

In Abandoning Earmarks, Kline Leaves Second District in the Lurch. Representative John Kline’s refusal to earmark projects for his district in this Congress, after having done so when Republicans controlled the House of Representatives, “has left officials in his rapidly growing suburban district wanting federal dollars to complete projects from the Cedar Avenue Transitway to the expansion of Hwy. 212 in Carver County.” [Star Tribune, 12/10/07]

Local Officials Not Pleased with Kline’s Inaction. “‘It's shocking and disturbing,’ said Dakota County Commissioner Will Branning, who heads a partnership working on the Cedar Avenue transit project, which was looking for about $6 million from Congress this year. ‘For one congressman to do it, it puts us in a box.’ Others on the Dakota County Board, including former Eagan Mayor Tom Egan, complain that the planned Mall of America bus corridor ‘is not a 'Bridge to Nowhere'’ -- a reference the now infamous Alaska project regarded as the turning point in last year's backlash against earmarks.” [Star Tribune, 12/10/07]

Kline Also Voted Against Funds for I-35W Bridge Reconstruction. The appropriations bill for the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (H.R. 3074) included $195 million in federal funding for reconstructing the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis. The only other Minnesota representative to vote against the bill was Representative Michele Bachmann. [Vote #1102, 11/14/07; St. Cloud Times, 11/14/07]

Minnesota Transportation Needs Going Dramatically Unmet. According to KARE-TV, the Minnesota Department of Transportation “is already reporting that current funding projections show they will be a $23 billion shy of what they need to hit performance goals in Minnesota over the next 23 years.” Counties, cities and the Minnesota Department of Transportation have identified over $1.07 billion in needed transportation projects for each of the next ten years [KARE 11, 11/27/07; Woodbury Bulletin, 11/28/07]

Iraq War Now Costing Over $700 Million per Day. “The money spent on one day of the Iraq war could buy homes for almost 6,500 families or health care for 423,529 children, or could outfit 1.27 million homes with renewable electricity, according to the American Friends Service Committee, which displayed those statistics on large banners in cities nationwide Thursday and Friday. The war is costing $720 million a day or $500,000 a minute, according to the group's analysis of the work of Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz and Harvard public finance lecturer Linda J. Bilmes.” [Washington Post, 9/21/07]

Cumulative Price Tag for Wars Already $16,500 per Family and Climbing. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have already cost the average American family $16,500 in taxes and other “hidden” costs such as oil market disruptions, forgone investments, long-term healthcare for veterans and interest payments on borrowed war funding. Through 2017, the total cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is projected to balloon to $3.5 trillion, or nearly $36,900 for the average American family. [Los Angeles Times, 11/14/07; Joint Economic Committee, 11/13/07]

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