Monday, October 23, 2006

NEWS FLASH : Gutknecht Supports Minimum Wage Increase

NEWS FLASH : Gutknecht Supports Minimum Wage Increase
… and I’ve got a bridge in the desert to sell the believers.

Gil Gutknecht is running a radio commercial challenging some of the assertions in Tim Walz’s commercials. I heard it a number of times during the afternoon … good strategy … the target audience is workers with a radio on in the background … this strategy was successfully used by Richard Nixon to win the White House.

Gutknecht asserts that he voted to support an increase in the minimum wage.

Voting for a bill and actively supporting legislation are two distinctly different activities. Congressmen vote on a number of bills for the pure purpose of telling their constituents that they supported that concept while knowing fully well that legislation will never become law.

Fact : Gutknecht did vote to raise the minimum wage. Fact : In the same bill, he also voted to give tax reductions ranging from timber sales to inheritance taxes.

Would you tell me how important increasing the minimum wage was to Gutknecht based on the first line of his August 28th press release.

Washington, DC -Representative Gil Gutknecht (MN-01) today voted with his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the Estate Tax Extension and Tax Relief Act of 2006, which provides permanent estate tax (better known as the death tax) relief.

The precise bill is H.R.5970 : Estate Tax and Extension of Tax Relief Act of 2006

( Introduced 7/28/06 and passed 7/29/06)
Title: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to increase the unified credit against the estate tax to an exclusion equivalent of $5,000,000, to repeal the sunset provision for the estate and generation-skipping taxes, and to extend expiring provisions, and for other purposes.

Although passed by the House of Representatives, it would still have to be approved by the Senate and the President. When a bill is introduced and voted on within 24 hours, I think you can safely say “election-year gimmick”.

Now, if Gutknecht would truly be in favor of raising the minimum wage, he would work to pass H.R.2429 which is entitled : To amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide for an increase in the Federal minimum wage.

That is a straightforward bill.

It was introduced on 5/18/2005 and has 144 co-sponsors

Since it has been held up by the Republican leadership, a discharge petition (#109-11) was started on 2/28/06 ... and although all four Minnesota Democratic Congressman signed the petition, none of the Minnesota Republicans did ... it should be noted that Republican Congressmen from other states did sign the petition ... but not Gil.

So here is the question for the next public debate : Congressman Gutknecht, will you sign the discharge petition and vote in support of H.R. 2429 - a straightforward bill which will increase the minimum wage?

So voters remember even when you hear the words “I approved this message” … ignore the message. Instead look at the complete voting record and any policy statements.

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