Vote For Change, Vote Coleen Rowley

Local activists blog for congressional candidate Coleen Rowley (D)

Monday, September 04, 2006

Bi-Partisan or Bully Politics

On John Kline's official website (still unchanged since July), he likes to tout his so-called "bi-partisanship" in getting his handful of bills passed. Was it really?

The Republican version of being bi-partisan has included an outright rejection of anything offered by Democrats. This includes multiple votes against properly funding our most vulnerable areas - more security on our borders, our ports, our railways, our airways, our nuclear facilities, our factories, etc. Yet they have the audacity to say it is the Democrats who don't want to protect America. They lied.

Their tactics have also included literally shutting out Democratic members from their own committees, meeting in secret, and going against the rules of the House by holding votes open until they forced even their own side to vote the way they wanted them to. They have refused to allow Democrats to offer amendments to bills, or even have the chance for debate. Not one Republican stood up to say this practice was wrong, including John Kline. They bullied.

If that isn't bad enough, they've also forced votes on bills without giving lawmakers on both sides enough time to actually read the text they would be voting on. At times they've literally changed the wording in the middle of the night, so what our legislators thought they were voting on, could actually be something completely different.

Their non bi-partisanship has resulted in a lawsuit filed against legislation the President signed into law that was a version not agreed to by both the House and Senate, as is required. As it is, Bush has written 800 signing statements anyway, essentially putting in writing his self-appointed "right" to interpret or ignore these laws as he sees fit - at least while we are in this endless "War on Terror". It's no wonder his mantra on Iraq is to stay the course. Without this "war on terra" Bush becomes just a mere mortal. They cheated.

The rampant use of earmarks and special interest legislation has also run amok with this Republican ruled Congress. The Party who used to be able to claim fiscal responsibility has been the most successful in pork production, resulting in huge deficits. They've also voted repeatedly to raise the debt ceiling, now quickly approaching $9 TRILLION. They talk of a the estate tax as a "death" tax for the most wealthy, yet have no problems putting an instant $30,000 on the heads of every child born in America today.

Under the guise of helping their constituents, they have personally benefitted from their unethical acts, literally lining their own pockets. While they help themselves to riches out of our reach, the dollar earned from most working Americans continues to shrink in the slowest recovery we've seen in American history. They are greedy.

They've hired relatives as campaign workers - a common practice, but the salaries paid are much greater than any paid before. They have personal ties to lobbyists, and let's not forget the K-Street Project, allowing only former Republican staff and legislators to become lobbyists in the most powerful firms in Washington. They are self-serving.

They sit on corporate boards they also draft legislation for, essentially shielding them from wrongdoing, and allowing loopholes so taxes owed do not get paid. They turn a blind eye to companies with P.O. box addresses in other countries as another way to avoid tax liability, and they offer incentives to companies to move factories and American jobs overseas. They do not legislate fairly.

Fighting until the other side gives in to your demands is NOT being bi-partisan, it is unethical, unfair, and lying bully politics.

When the Republicans took control of both the House and the Senate, they swore in front of our nation and every person in it to be different - they would clean up Congress, but have done nothing but corrupt it even further than it was before. They lied to us. The Contract For America in reality became the Contract On America.

Kline has voted with this group of neo-cons under the Republican banner. They already went back on one promise to be ethical in government, why should we trust them now?