Vote For Change, Vote Coleen Rowley

Local activists blog for congressional candidate Coleen Rowley (D)

Monday, July 31, 2006

Democratic candidacy for Congress is complete change of venue for FBI whistle blower Coleen Rowley

Democratic candidacy for Congress is complete change of venue for FBI whistle blower Coleen Rowley: "Peeking inside Coleen Rowley’s house a person can imagine an F.B.I. field office — office clutter, documents dangling on the wall.

But outside there’s a high-mileage van with a Rowley for Congress sign bolted to the roof and another campaign sign at the base of the steep driveway leading to the Rowley family’s Apple Valley home.

It’s a complete change of venue for the 9/11 whistle blower.

Something wholly new.

Rowley, 51, said the closest she came to elective politics previously was when one of her best friends in the 8th grade ran for school office — Rowley was her speech writer.

“I am really not very political,” said Rowley during a recent interview.

That’s officially changed."

Informational, if not interesting, article.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Kline Staff Anonymously Attack Rowley

Dump John Kline: "Klinefan" unmasked

"Klinefan" a frequent (and impolite) poster to this blog has been posting his comments from the same ip address that hosts John Kline's re-election website!

Kline campaign spokesperson, Marcus Esmay, who recently sent a letter to the Star-Tribune that uses much of the same arguments in "Klinefan's" postings says he was also the only one who was in Kline's Burnsville campaign headquarters during Klinefan's most recent postings. When I called, Mr. Esmay said he had nothing to do with the postings. Coincidentally, "Klinefan" logged off the site within minutes of Mr. Esmay hanging up the phone. Draw your own conclusions.

Restoring honor and dignity, Republican style.

Quick Update: Here are more links about the story;
Daily Kos
Truth Surfer
Stronger DFL

And here are links to past indiscretions;
Stronger DFL
DFL 38
DFL 38

Cross-posted at Rook's Rant

The Result of Politics as Usual

As of this writing, the cost of the U.S. occupation of Iraq is over $299 billion and rising. The National Priorities Project keeps a running total, and offers a quick comparison of how this affects each state. For instance, if I compare the cost of staying in Iraq (as of today) to its impact on Minnesota, I find we could have hired over 120,000 additional teachers for a year, and built over 62,000 new public housing units.

A note on the public housing units - according to a
study done by the Wilder Research Center, on October 23, 2003 alone, the number of homeless people counted in Minnesota was estimated at 8,800 to 8,900. Having helped three homeless people in a year's time, I would bet this number has increased. I invite Congressman Kline to visit one of the shelters located in downtown St. Paul. It's an interesting experience to say the least, but it's the children that touch your heart.

There are a number of national debt "clocks" on the web. I found not only shows the grand daddy total of close to $9 trillion, but also which administration got us here and how. This one tells us each citizen's share of this gargantuan amount... almost $30,000. Sorry kids. keeps us up to date on the current trade deficit with a
Trade Ticker. This one is over $433 billion.

Oh, by the way, as we experience an average of $3 a gallon at the pumps, Exxon Mobil
reports a $10.36 billion profit in the 2nd quarter of this year. BP also shared in gains with $7.3 billion (+30%), ConocoPhillips $5.18 billion (+65%), and Royal Dutch Shell $7.32 billion (+40%).

Over 2,500 soldiers dead, almost 20,000 wounded.

Wow, you can almost drown in these numbers, and it's just the tip of the iceberg.

I could go into the unemployment rates being false; the budget numbers being fixed; the raiding of the Social Security Trust Fund; cronyism; corporate welfare; budget cuts for the most needy, and for energy, science, and education; the dismantling of our civil liberties; the rollback of workers' rights and safety regulations; destruction of the environment; the condescending manner of our representatives... well, it's a very long list.

I say no more politics as usual! No more borrowing and spending. No more irresponsible leadership, and irresponsible lawmaking. No more corporate give-aways, no more selling votes and favors to the highest campaign contributor. No more injustice, no more lies, no more manipulations, no more spin, and no more self-serving partisanship.

Coleen Rowley is a dedicated and hard-working American with the honesty, integrity, energy and intelligence to get America back on track!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Talk About Changing the Subject . . .

From the "Huh?" Department:

John Kline's campaign spokesman Marcus Esmay had the following to say about his candidate this week:

"Congressman Kline is a 25-year Marine Corps veteran who served in Vietnam, was Military Aide to both Presidents Carter and Reagan and received Four Legions of Merit. John Kline doesn't need to talk about having integrity and ethics, he has lived it."

Taken alone, this is just the typical flag-waving and baby-kissing you might expect of a campaign that tries to buy votes with fried chicken. But here's the thing: He was responding to Rowley's criticism of Kline's voting record, in a speech she gave at a fundraiser, in which she pointed out that he has the worst voting record in the state on environment, education, disabled veterans and working family issues. Esmay even went so far as to call discussion of Kline's record a "smear."

A smear!

Okay, so, apparantly it's considered hitting below the belt to point out that Kline has been given a 0% score on the environment by the League of Conservation Voters. It is out of bounds to mention that he has been given a 0% score on education by the National Education Association. Announcing the fact that he was given a 0% by the group Disabled American Veterans is a low-down dirty trick. And the way Rowley talks about how the AFL-CIO gives him a mere 2.2%, well that's just plain mean.

Problem is, Marcus, it's all true. And your response is to talk about how Kline was a marine and a military advisor? Who cares!?!? What does that have to do with his voting record in Congress, I mean aside from offering a potential explanation for why Kline seems to always vote the way his Commander-In-Chief orders him to?

Oh, I see. A straw man argument. If you can't dispute the points your opponent is raising, dispute the ones she isn't. I'm sure everyone will be fooled, Marcus.

But then, I guess a straw man argument is strangely appropriate when you are trying to re-elect a puppet.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Kline cares about family farming?

My husband tells me, and he is right, that to really understand what is going on in politics today I need to check out what's being said on the other side. I look at him like he's crazy, since he's never really checked out the other side himself, but hey, I'm not afraid to call myself a liberal, so what could possibly be scary about taking his advice, right? Bring it on you wack-job right-wingnuts, you never know, I just may learn something.

Is it just a coincidence that every time I turn the dial from Air America and a discussion of, oh... the economy, poverty, the Iraq occupation, etc., to one of the right-wing radio stations I get a diatribe of anti-gay rhetoric followed by a tantrum on how negative and unpatriotic Democrats are? Sorry, honey, I tried. Okay, radio is out. I'd already risked my sanity enough with O'Reilly and the rest, so TV has long been out.

Not to be put off, I check out Congressman John Kline's web site, to see just what he's spewing out to the public. I read his News Center column, "An Agricultural Legislative Update for Farmfest Participants" due to appear in August in the Redwood Falls Gazette's Farmfest 2006 publication for - you guessed it - Farmfest 2006. Hello Minnesota Corn Growers Association.

Point one, Kline touts helping his wife's fourth generation family farm as the basis for how much he appreciates all the challenges farming families face. Well, if that's the case, why did he vote in favor of CAFTA, which can possibly devastate Minnesota's sugar beet industry? Must have been Norm Coleman's justification that the survival of just one industry shouldn't hold back all the supposed good that can come from this so-called "free trade" agreement. Even though CAFTA was based on NAFTA, and the outcome of that one has been the loss of 38,000 family farms in the U.S... sure Norm, I can see your point.

Secondly, his military service. Thank you for serving, John. I would have served as well, but Reagan was in office when I wanted to join up, and they just weren't too keen on letting women in. I just wasn't needed... thanks Ronnie. I don't really care what's on John's military resume, because people change, and I need to know what he believes in now. I, like many Democrats, respect John McCain for his time in Vietnam too, but his politics are still harmful to America. Anyway, I'm sure flying Marine One was a blast.

Moving on to high energy costs, he brings up corn, soybeans, and oh my gosh - sugar - as one of the products that could replace our oil needs. Sugar. Sugar beets. Minnesota sugar beet industry. CAFTA. Alternative fuels. Um, John...

Well, there's always OFTA. After all, why should sweatshop owners in Jordan be exempt from making profits? They are special too.

Let's move on to the capital gains tax. Apparently this continues to "burden more Minnesota farmers and ranchers each year," and threatens their livelihood. I had no idea we had that many ranchers in Minnesota, 96% of our dairy farms have 200 cows or less, and as far as I can tell, family farmers are dwindling in numbers as they are forced to sell out to big agribusiness corporations or land developers, and there's that CAFTA thing again. But hey, what do I know.

Okay, another destroyer of the family farm is the dreaded (and punitive, no less) estate... er, I mean death tax. Never mind the $30,000 birth tax every child inherits when they take their first breath, it's the death tax we have to worry about. Poor, poor Paris Hiltons of the world. Now, as I recall when the Democrats asked the Republicans to find even one family farmer who lost it all due to the estate tax they came up with a glaring zero. I guess they should have asked Kline... apparently he knows.
The current exemption for the estate tax is $2 million a year (or $4 million per couple), and is set to go up to $3.5 million (again, double that for couples) in 2009. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the share of estates subject to the tax now is a whopping 0.5%. You do the math.

And finally, the problem of manure. Well, it is definitely overflowing in Washington these days, so I would have to agree manure is a problem. The issue is the classification of manure as a hazardous substance or contaminant that Kline objects to. Apparently this is another growing concern with those darn farmers. Can't they just quit complaining? Which farmers are that, John? Frankly, if I had a farm, and particularly in an area of the state with a high risk of flooding, I would want to have proper storage for my manure. I hear it contains good stuff, like methane gas, ammonia, carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and let's not forget hydrogen sulphide... if not flammable or downright explosive, more than one compound is classified as a chemical asphyxiant. In fact, people have died in Minnesota from it. Yes really, look it up.

More on the manure topic... if you don't want it contained, are you going to give your family contaminated water to drink, John, or don't you have to worry about that in Lakeville? The other part of the manure issue is that it can actually be used as an alternative energy source. They use what is called anaerobic digestion systems. Can you imagine... containing manure so it doesn't poison people and the environment, and using it to power our state? Why not give "family" farmers an incentive to invest in these systems, and help solve the energy problem too? I know, makes too much sense.

Well John, have a nice time at Farmfest.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Kline's Dirty Money

If you have been following the news, you already know that Tom DeLay's political action committee ARMPAC was fined and shut down by the Federal Election Commission this week. (And if you haven't been, read it at the Associated Press).

John Kline, who recieved $30,000 from ARMPAC, has said that he would return the money if and only if Tom DeLay himself is convicted of money laundering.

At this point, that seems like a pretty unneccessary distinction. The money came from ARMPAC, and ARMPAC has admitted it's guilt. So why would John Kline tie the question of giving back this ARMPAC money to the question of whether DeLay himself is convicted of money laundering? Interesting, isn't it, that DeLay's trial will almost certainly not begin until after the election.

Whether or not DeLay himself is ultimately convicted, one would at this point have to be either incredibly naive or incredibly corrupt to go on insisting that this money is clean.

I wonder which one John Kline is?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Full Disclosure

For the record, I am not employed by any candidate in any capacity. This blog is done on my time, of my own accord, and without any direction, order or payment from any candidate.

Except, of course, those orders coming from Kos received by microchip implanted there by him years ago.

Hey, we all have our faults.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Tips Wanted

Here's the deal; we, or more accurately, I could use tips. Any tips at all about John Kline, any past statements upon which he has flip flopped. Any outrageous statements that show an obvious lack of compassion and empathy, or just any incident showing him to be a corporate lackey.

Also, I understand that there is a study somewhere out there in the internets that shows Mr. Kline voting lock-step with the Bush administration. Since I suck at Googling, I could use the help. Thanks!

Act Blue By Giving To Coleen Rowley!

Down With Tyranny is showing his support of Coleen Rowley by asking the netroots to contribute to her campaign.

On the other extreme, look at a candidate like Coleen Rowley. She's running for a seat against another corporate whore, John Kline, who is being supported by Big Oil and Big Pharma as a reward for selling out his constituents at every turn. He's loaded. She's a retired FBI agent. Of the $4,721 she's raised on Act Blue, almost $4,000 came from the communities who participate in Firedoglake, Crooks and Liars and Down With Tyranny. Coleen's district, like John Laesch's, Rick Penberthy's, Larry Kissell's are areas where radio spots go for "a dollar a holler."

A little bit of money goes a very long way for these candidates. Except for Ned, none of the Blue America candidates live in expensive media markets.It's hard for me to ask people to reach into their pockets and contribute money to political candidates. All I can tell you is that every single candidate on the list got a contribution from me to start the ball rolling. And I'll vouch for each and every one of them being a dependable progressive who will not go to Washington and sell us out the first time a lobbyist mentions a golf trip to Scotland. Please help us create some momentum for our candidates today and give what you can afford.

If every daily reader of the 3 blogs gave $10 today we could probably deliver 10 congressmen and congresswomen that the DCCC isn't even aware of!

Police Chiefs to John Kline: "This is Just Completely Nuts."

You know, for the last several years I've been appalled and frightened by the slow stripping away of our rights to privacy and due process, and have quietly hoped that some brave members of congress would step in to curtail this expansion of law enforcement's powers.

But geez, this isn't what I had in mind.

John Kline has co-sponsored two bills which, if passed, will restrict police department access to federal gun tracing information, and reduce the penalties imposed on gun dealers who repeatedly violate the laws governing gun sales.

The Minnesota Association of Police Chiefs has already formally come out against this brain-dead proposal -- perhaps the best way we can all do our part is make sure our friends and relatives know who supports it.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Rook Here

Just doing a quick post to show that I have accepted the invitation to be one of the bloggers for this here blog.

My personal blog, Rook's Rant, is where I do a lot of national story blogging, as well as some personal stuff. I also, on very rare occasions, do some writing over at The Practical Press, though not much lately.

To be honest, I have not paid a whole lot of attention to local politics. Part of my reason for accepting this invitation was to start diving more into what our local scene has to offer.

Anyway, I look forward to doing some digging and fact-checking for Coleen Rowley.

Guy Andrew Hall

Had Enough? Vote Coleen Rowley

I was at Coleen Rowley's announcement to run for the second congressional seat. She made her announcement much of how she lives her live, simple, in the driveway of the home she shares with her husband and their children. She had friends making pancakes for everyone and spoke to anyone who asked a question. Simple, honest, open, friendly. That's why I decided to support her. The families in our area need a representative that will listen to them and their needs. Join change, vote for Coleen Rowley.