Monday, March 15, 2010

MN-02 : Kline Fails to Heed Eric Massa Advice

During Glenn Beck’s interview on Tuesday, March 9th, resigned Congressman Eric Massa said “Demand we do one thing in Congress and that's change campaign finance reform, because nothing else matters until we do that. Until we do that, nothing will change. That's my — that to me is the number one issue facing America today. It really is. We won't change jobs. We won't change anything until that is changed.”

Mr. Massa’s demand must have fallen on deaf ears as the next day, there was a fundraiser for Mr. Kline.
No, this was not “hot dogs at the Lakeville VFW” … this was a $1,000 suggested contribution held at a lobbyist’s private home . The home is owned by Bernie Robinson , a partner in The Livingson Group LLC.

So why would The Livingson Group be asking for contributions for John Kline ?

" 'As government grows, unless you're right there to limit it, it can intrude in just about any industry . . . There are agencies that love to do things and acquire new missions. People in the industry better have good lobbyists or they're going to get rolled over.' "– Bob Livingston founder of The Livingston Group, LLC in a Washington Post June 22, 2005 story

The Livingson Group LLC which considers its successes as :
* Multi-year track record of success in obtaining significant funding for transportation infrastructure (waterways, roads, airports, shipyards, etc.) on behalf of local governments and private companies
* Helped to defeat appropriations language that would have been damaging to the business of a large U.S. pharmaceutical company
* Secured tax incentives for client’s coal-to-liquid technology
* Successful advocacy on the Hill and in Administration on behalf of large defense contractor in major purchase of satellite communication firm
* Major appropriations successes in the education area on behalf of public and private universities, as well as innovative learning programs
*Generated $37 million in sales for a comprehensive mathematics instruction program. Marketed all aspects of program, from furniture and computer hardware/software to training and ongoing service for the product
* Secured significant increases in U.S. assistance for several countries
* and many other successes.

In short, what The Livingston Group represents is corporate influence in American politics.

Mr. Kline lambastes “earmarks” as evil. Yet, the bigger problem is corporate influence that leads to potential corruption. Banning all earmarks will not eliminate corruption or influence-peddling. In fact, the most famous recent such scandal involved not a “wasteful local project” but instead was Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-CA) being convicted for bribery involving funding for the Defense Department. The Jack Abramoff scandal was all about influencing legislation to benefit certain clients.

These clients are not interested in Mr. Kline per se, they are interested in the position that he holds as Ranking Member of the House Labor and Education Committee. They want influence. They want someone to obstruct legislation and Mr. Kline is a major advocate in the NO faction of the Republican Party.
NO are Neo-Con Obstructionists who have no problem with “earmarks” for military funding for F-22 jets that the DOD have never use in Iraq or Afghanistan but want citizens to fear the Federal Government taking over their lives (it's okay for health insurance companies to dictate how long I can recover in the hospital but not my doctor.)

Mr. Kline fits in well there … speaking from Washington … not for Minnesota.
After all, Mr. Kline has spent more years working in DC than his scant time in Minnesota.
Mr. Kline should know better. The Livingston Group did not have fundraisers before for him ... but now that he's in the chair, they want the influence.
Mr. Kline could have - and should have - turned them down ... that would be a stronger stand than his "Pork-Free-Diet" earmark philosophy.

Contrast that with Mr. Kline’s potential challengers in November. Dan Powers is a roofing contractor from Burnsville … running a local business that relies on serving the people is who should be representing the Second District. Or, Shelley Madore who has served her community for over 16 years … spending time listening to the peoples problems and advancing solutions in the Minnesota Legislature ... that is great experience that she will vote for Minnesota's best interests.

With every vote the Mr. Kline makes, the question must be asked : is he voting for Minnesota or is he voting based on what's in the best interest of his old employer's at The Heritage Foundation and his friends at The Club for Growth ?

If the country is going to listen to the people, it’s time to change the entrenched politicians that like saying NO for our needs while saying Yes to the corporate influence and its monies.

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