Sunday, July 09, 2006

Mark Kennedy - The Hypocrite Congressman from Minnesota
Orginally posted in The Mankato Free Press Forum on May 8, 2006

Anybody know what Congressman Mark Kennedy’s middle name is? Could it be Hypocrite?

Last week, I received an email from the Congressman bemoaning the wasteful spending by Congress. Being a staunch fiscal conservative, this complaint is one that I agree with. This complaint would resonate with me more if Kennedy had not voted for the spending in the first place. In his email, he cited his comments in Congressional testimony. But the examples that he cited were just a small portion of more than $60,000,000 projects that have questionable value. BUT, the problem is that HR 4818 was passed with Congressman Kennedy’s vote. It was not just a forced vote where if Kennedy did not support this, the bill would not pass, but it was passed 344 to 51 ( and yes, for those of you that wonder how Gil "Fiscal Hawk" Gutknecht voted, he said spend the money).

And in all this largesse is some money for Minnesota. But the only project that I saw on the list of more than 100 questionable projects was $50,000 for Wild Rice Research … thank goodness, the project includes funding the Coca-Cola Space Science Center in Columbus Georgia … every time I drink a Coke, I will thank Mr. Kennedy for keeping my soft drinks affordable and not requiring a namesake company to make a greater contribution.It is not only an irony that Kennedy is complaining about Congressional spending, but one of the candidates to replace Kennedy is Congress lists the following on his website :

I, like many of you, have been disappointed with what has been happening in Washington. We have a Republican majority in Congress and control of the White House; yet, we have seen spending reach new highs and our conservative agenda left at the wayside. I believe it is time to create not only a Republican majority in congress, but a true conservative majority.

Many of our elected Republican’s have become too complacent, and the fervor of the “Republican Revolution” of 1994 needs to be rekindled. The reason for this complacency is that we have elected from our party, the status-quo candidates, who have been serving in government their entire careers. [Question : Could this last sentenace be a dig at Gil Gutknecht ? ]

If you wish to see more waste approved by Congressman Kennedy’s vote, here is a link :

And the following is Congressman Kennedy's statement in Congress.
"Mr. Chairman, as someone who spent 20 years in the business world before coming to Congress, I understand that for any business to be successful, it needs to have leadership that establishes priorities. The owners of businesses big and small know this, but, over the past couple of decades Congress has decided to follow a different set of rules. You don't have to look any further than the proliferation of earmarks, which have grown from 958 in FY1996 to nearly 14,000 in FY2005.
"Egregious examples of waste are easy to see: $2,000,000 to relocate a kitchen in Fairbanks, Alaska; $950,000 for the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia; and $150,000 for the Therapeutic Horseback Riding Program at the Lady B Ranch in California.
"These no longer come as a surprise to us. So we shouldn't be surprised that FY2006 spending is projected to reach an all-time high of $23,638 per U.S. household, of which $3,800 will be borrowed.

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