Sunday, March 05, 2006

Amy Klobuchar -"This administration has dropped the baton"

Klobuchar talks Health Care, Corporate Tax Loopholes, Iraq & Mark Kennedy
Click here to download or listen to podcast
US Senate Candidate Amy Klobuchar says the Bush administration's "go it alone" foreign policies are weakening US power. Listen as she tells Wendy Wilde how the Bush administation has "dropped the baton" and why we need to return to doing things through diplomacy.

"We were always the world's moral compass. You think of after World War II when we came in there and that helped us. It helped us with our economy and trade and relationships that we had around the world and help from other countries when we needed help. And basically this 'go it alone' foreign policy has destroyed that moral compass that we have in the world and we need to regain that and go back to looking at diplomacy"

Amy sat down with Wendy at the Wilde Roast Cafe recently for an energetic discussion of the issues in the US Senate campaign. Among the topics covered in this 30 minute podcast:

Health care- Klobuchar wants universal health care first and says eventually we can get to a single payer system. She says the change will help all businesses since health care is becoming a larger and larger benefit for businesses to pay.

Iraq- Klobuchar is outraged that Halliburton has overcharged the US Government for work in Iraq and now the Bush administration is willing to just "let it go".

Business- Klobuchar would like to eliminate tax loopholes that allow businesses to set up shell corporations in Bermuda.

Likely Republican opponent Mark Kennedy - Kennedy claims he is independent of the administration, but Klobuchar says his voting record shows otherwise

Democratic "backbone" - Klobuchar says Democrats in the past have been afraid to differentiate between what's right and what's wrong. She says that has to change. "It is right to have social security to be a guarantee. It's wrong to make it a gamble. It's right to invest in our kids' education and affordable healthcare and it's wrong to give oversized tax cuts to the wealthiest among us. It's right to equip our troops and herald them as heroes when they return from war and its wrong to go to war without a plan"

You can subscribe to our podcast in iTunes with just one click.

Comments or questions please call our hotline 206-33-TALKS or email us at insidemnpolitcs@mac.com.

Click here to stream podcast if you can't download it.

3 Comments:

Blogger Tony Muehlbauer said...

Did Amy have any comments about Wendy's recent diagnoses of Governor Pawlenty? I'm sorry, It's hard to take this host seriously when she has such an odd, internet double life.

10:15 AM  
Blogger Dr. Jack Shepard said...

Dr. Jack Shepard says, “By not supporting a market increase to your State Union workers is the same as raising their taxes; another example of what we call good unethical thinking by Amy Klobuchar.”


“Ms. Klobuchar refused to support her Hennepin County attorneys that were seeking a market increase during the last contract negotiation so their wages would be representative of the work they do” James Appleby-President, Local 2938 on behalf of the Executive Board of Local 2938


To not give a market increase to your union workers is the same as raising their taxes; good unethical thinking by Amy Klobuchar.
Amy's Klobuchar's 100% wrong for the US Senate; she can not treat her employees correctly how can she represent Minnesota in the Senate with her record!
Amy Klobuchar talks unethically about Dr. Jack Shepard and Amy Klobuchar takes all the credit for the work of her staff and still treats her employees so bad that her own employees warn us not to support her! Dr. Jack Shepard says
Read the letter below from James Appleby President, Local 2938 on behalf of the Executive Board of Local 2938 bottom, says "As County Attorney, Amy Klobuchar has created a hostile work environment" Amy Klobuchar is someone that we do not wish to have as Hennepin County Attorney or give her the chance to "Create a hostile work environment by treating her staff as poorly in Washington as she treats her staff in Minnesota." says Dr. Jack Shepard
Dr. Jack Shepard
this strike anybody as a shock? Klobuchar letter
The strong feelings of our membership compel the Executive Board of Local 2938 to write you regarding AFSCME’s contemplated endorsement of a candidate for the United States Senate. Our local represents the attorneys and legal professionals in the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office who have worked under candidate Amy Klobuchar for seven years. Thus we are in the unique position of providing you with the most comprehensive information necessary to judge Ms. Klobuchar’s performance on the issues germane to our organization. Four years ago, this local asked Council 14 to withhold the endorsement from Amy Klobuchar. This request was ignored. We do not want that to happen again. The purpose of this letter is to tell you why Ms. Klobuchar continues to be wholly undeserving of AFSCME’s endorsement.
Throughout her tenure as Hennepin County Attorney, Amy Klobuchar has demonstrated her disdain for the very employees that have placed her in the position to run for the office she now seeks. She has denigrated these lawyers both publicly and privately. She has refused to support their efforts to obtain a fair wage adjustment. She has taken credit for the hard work of her employees. She has severely damaged the morale of the office.
As County Attorney, Amy Klobuchar has created a hostile work environment. This has resulted in increased grievances from employees as well as informal disciplinary matters in which the union was asked to intervene on the employee’s behalf. Ms. Klobuchar’s hiring practices have further evidenced disdain for her own employees. Qualified personnel from her own and other public offices have been rejected because her priority has been to choose candidates who support her ambitions. In a dispute with county investigators, Ms. Klobuchar made no effort to keep these qualified team members in the office. She has even succeeded in diminishing the union ranks by promoting retirement among a group of employees, and then rehiring them as independent contractors.
In short, Amy Klobuchar is exactly the kind of candidate that AFSCME should oppose.As you are aware, Hennepin County attorneys were seeking a market increase during the last contract negotiation so their wages would be representative of the work they do, and competitive with the wages of attorneys in neighboring jurisdictions. Local 2938 sought Ms. Klobuchar’s assistance. For months, Ms. Klobuchar refused to support these efforts. Last October Ms. Klobuchar attended a fund raiser for Senate District 19. A former AFSCME member, Lori Schmidt, asked for her position on the market increase. Ms. Klobuchar did not offer any words of support. Instead, she ridiculed the request and characterized it as unreasonable and unfair.
Around this time, Ms. Klobuchar met with AFSCME leaders in an attempt to obtain AFSCME’s early support. They, too, questioned Ms. Klobuchar’s support for the attorneys’ wage adjustment, pointing out that new associates from her former law firm were receiving starting salaries greater than the non-supervisory attorneys in her office that were at the top of the pay scale. Ms. Klobuchar responded that such a comparison was irrelevant since none of the attorneys in her office were competent enough to work in her former firm. AFSCME correctly withheld an early endorsement. Ms. Klobuchar was finally forced to meet with our local 2938’s bargaining team in mid-November. She said she would support a “fair increase” but refused to define what she meant by a “fair increase.” She promised to assist us, but refused to do so publicly. She promised to support us “behind the scenes” by advocating for a fair market adjustment with county board members prior to our scheduled mediation. We understood Ms. Klobuchar’s comments as a promise that she would actively lobby the county board on our behalf. We do not believe Ms. Klobuchar kept her promise to AFSCME. In the end, her “behind the scenes” assistance was so tardy, weak and grudgingly given that only one member of the County Board clearly recalled having any contact from either her or her management team. Any perception that Ms. Klobuchar sincerely helped our members on this issue is incorrect. We fear that AFSCME will support Ms. Klobuchar based on her unfulfilled promise of assistance.
The fact that Ms. Klobuchar holds so little regard for her employees has not stopped her from taking credit for their work. She has used the publicity from the many successfully prosecuted criminal cases to give the public the false impression that she was actively involved in those cases. She was not. She presents herself as a dedicated public servant acutely concerned with the public’s safety when her only dedication is to her own self-promotion.
AFSCME represents thousands of working men and women that have dedicated themselves to fairness in the workplace. Council 5’s slogan is: “One strong unified voice for Minnesota workers.” Amy Klobuchar assumes she will receive AFSCME’s endorsement. She believes that AFSCME’s fear that a Republican will be elected will preclude any fair review of her labor record. This must not happen. AFSCME must hold Amy Klobuchar responsible for her shameful treatment of her employees. We, the members of Local 2938, demand that you deny Amy Klobuchar endorsement for the United States Senate.
Sincerely,
James Appleby
President, Local 2938 on behalf of the Executive Board of Local 2938
Posted by: Dr. Jack Shepard; Veteran America Service Officer announces he will run again for the GOP nomination –www.shepardusgov.com

4:50 AM  
Blogger Dr. Jack Shepard said...

Dr. Jack Shepard said...
MY REQUEST
Amy's Klobuchar's 100% wrong for the US Senate; she can not treat her employees correctly how can she represent Minnesota in the Senate with her record!
Amy Klobuchar talks unethically about Dr. Jack Shepard and Amy Klobuchar takes all the credit for the work of her staff and still treats her employees so bad that her own employees warn us not to support her! Dr. Jack Shepard says
Read the letter below from James Appleby President, Local 2938 on behalf of the Executive Board of Local 2938 bottom, says "As County Attorney, Amy Klobuchar has created a hostile work environment" Amy Klobuchar is someone that we do not wish to have as Hennepin County Attorney or give her the chance to "Create a hostile work environment by treating her staff as poorly in Washington as she treats her staff in Minnesota." says Dr. Jack Shepard
Dr. Jack Shepard announces that he will seek the GOP nomination for the 4th Congressional District of Minnesota in the September 12, 2006 Primary Election.
Dr. Jack Shepard's has been called; "an evangelist in the fight against global terrorism".
Dr. Jack Shepard says at this very critical time in our Nations History the next United States Congress urgently needs new Congressmen and Congresswomen with international experience especially whose with a very good first hand understanding of the Arab Countries in the Middle East.
Dr. Jack Shepard is on the record as saying that the only possible way to achieve a long lasting peace in the Middle East is necessary to win our war on Terrorism is through dialogue.
Dr. Jack Shepard, a self-described "Born-Again Republican" and Veteran American Service Officer.
For almost a quarter of a century Dr. Shepard has been based and working out of Rome, Italy as a Mideast Specialist.
Dr. Shepard hopes to be returning to his hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota to run for the 4th Congressional District if he gets the support of the White House in his efforts to be the first Republican to win the 4th Congressional District in almost 60 years.
Dr. Shepard is just launching into the heart of his campaign; and “God Willing", says Shepard, the heart of his campaign will be the Arab World.
Dr. Shepard's campaign support to date has mainly come from the Hmong and Vietnamese communities in St. Paul.
They supported him after he promoted policies that would aid the Hmong refugees in the US and help to resettle the Hmong refugees in Thailand and Laos.
Dr. Shepard see his election to the US Congress as being urgently needed so he would be in a position to convince other US Congressman who do not really understand the urgency of fulfilling President Bush's vision of the states of Palestine and Israel living side by side in peace as the key to creating a democracy Iraq.
Dr. Shepard believes that Americans need to be informed about the Arab World. Dr. Shepard is seeking to strengthen his Arab ties and to promote Arab and Palestinian interests within the Bush Administration.
If elected, Dr. Shepard promises to go and do anything that the Bush Administration would ask of him to jump start the presently frozen Middle East Peace process. If elected he promises to relay the true needs of Arabs and Palestinians to the Bush Administration.
Dr. Shepard is seeking to hold a forum with top Arab leaders; by giving a voice to the Arab World. He hopes- as an impartial observer- to facilitate a neutral space where these leaders can safely explore what each can and would do to contribute to peace in Iraq and help with finally getting the Israeli’s and Palestinians to the peace table, and do what it takes to have President Bush’s Vision of the two states of Palestine and Israel living side by side in Peace as crowning accomplishment of the Bush Administration.
Dr. Shepard is on record as saying, “Until all the voices, values and priorities of all the Arab leaders are heard there will be no chance for resolving the pressing problems in the Mideast.
“My goal is to kick start major peace efforts with Arab Governments who deserve to be included in the decision-making. These leaders are close to the ground/people, very frustrated from having to watch things they do not like to see, and such, have many good ideas on how to fix things.”
“These are brilliant minds that have been sidelined, he adds. “The world doesn’t understand. Everybody thinks Arabs don’t want peace; they want peace. They are dying for it. They want everybody to roll up their sleeves and get back to work. It is (the despair of) everybody doing nothing that is contributing to all the killing.”
Dr. Shepard envisions a kind of expanded quartet (to address the peace process) includes Israel and Arab countries. Dr. Shepard says the forum will give an opportunity to the three major players
( Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Iran) to make a statement that will go right- via mass media- to the American voters, who can then make an informed decision regarding the snarl of questions the Mideast is increasingly raising. Dr. Shepard says Arab (and Muslim) leaders currently do not get that chance.
Dr. Shepard also says these are the countries we need the most to hear from, “These are the countries my government wants to have great relationship with but does not have a great relationship with.” For years Dr. Shepard has gone out of his way to visit and meet many high level Government officials from these countries.
Aside from facilitating a critical dialogue, Dr. Shepard’s emphasis is largely on economic reform. Dr. Shepard economic objectives for the Mideast include a Common Market- a Middle East Economic Union modelled on the European Economic Union. - Which would establish an economic free trade zone in a borderless Mideast. “Where in 5 years one could drive from Damascus to Jerusalem as easily as we can drive today from Berlin to Paris.”
Dr. Shepard says in the past other leaders in the Congress have not been at liberty to promote Palestinian interests in Congress or Arab leader’s voices; until President George W. Bush began to lead his vision of Palestine and Israel living side by side in peace “It was political suicide; now it is official American Government Policies. Dr. Shepard says President Bush should be getting even stronger support for his Middle East peace efforts from congress.
If elected to become the first republican Congressman from the 4th congressional District of Minnesota in almost 60 years; Dr. Shepard intends to lead an urgent effort to get a much greater involvement of the next US Congress in supporting President Bush’s Middle East peace plans.
If elected Dr. Shepard is going to get out the on the Congressional Floor and say, “If we are ever going to have peace in the Middle East we are know approaching a point of it is now or never, so Let’s do it, and do it NOW”
Dr. Shepard believes there is a place for him in Congress, “ Post 9-11”, Americans are seeking officials who know their way around the Middle East who can stress dialogue with the contacts that they have developed in the past years with the high level Government official in the Middle East counties. This is necessary if we are ever going to have peace in the Middle East. This is necessary to get Muslim countries to join us in our stabilization efforts in Iraq so our brave American Soldiers can come home; Mission accomplished.”
Dr. Shepard as a “Compassionate Liberal Republican” is committed to equality and justice and says that he wants to get more diversity within the Republican Party. “The Republican party controls the White House, the Senate and the Congress. To be a protestor is a waste of precious time. Dr. Shepard says, “To really make a real difference a person must join the Republican Party and work through the system to get your views heard.”
Dr. Shepard become a “Born Again Republican” a former lifelong Democrat he left the Democratic Party after encountering overt racism at the higher levels of the Democratic Party while being a Senior delegate from Democrats Aboard of Italy at the Global Democratic Convention and Regional Caucuses in 2000 held in Paris.
To Dr. Shepard’s and all the Black Delegates shock not one Black Delegate was chosen from all the Democrats Aboard delegates from any country in the whole world except America to be a delegate for the Democratic National Convention in 2000 which was held in Los Angeles to nominate the Democratic Candidate for President.
Long-time political associate and Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) Country Project Officer Dr. Charles Rutledge says he supports Dr. Shepard wholeheartedly .Dr, Rutledge said; “Dr. Shepard has a fine reputation with most Middle East Ambassadors; high ranking officials at FAO, WFP and all other United Nations Agencies headquartered in Rome, Italy.
Most respect and trust him. The only problem Dr. Shepard has encountered is, “People have always listened to Jack because he’s basically always right. The problem is, his ideas are a little too perfect for the world he’s working in. Most important the Republican Party does need people like Jack because he has great ideas and the Republican Party needs the involvement of like minded people like Jack to carry them out.”
Dr. Shepard is eagerly hoping to change his present position which he will not go into detail about but he says it’s similar to being a goodwill ambassador for America without a portfolio, to becoming the most junior Congressman from Minnesota but with maybe more Middle East Experience then any other Congressman or Congresswoman now serving in Congress.
Dr. Shepard is confident that he understands the frustrations and suffering that goes on worldwide so very unnecessarily that he hopes to stimulate a spiritual awakening by convincing people to once again learn love their neighbors. Dr. Shepard recently said, “I care and work for others, so you think that to call people names, to hate people or to even kill people will help individual causes; these people have forgotten that one day they will be all judged by God.” .
Many of you have let hate into our hearts. You use as justification where you were born and in what condition we are forced to live in. This hate has grown in your heart and now makes you think and say and do evil things.
I pray for you, that God opens your eyes and opens your ears and you remember that you are create by God and pray that he will makes you well and good. Again.
This you can do by treating others are equals, not hating others. You will be judged as you judge; you will be treated as you treat others please never forget this and we will maybe give our children a future better then it look now.
Too many of you show your hatred by name calling and hurting or even killing your neighbours; you know I am right.
Look at your life, what you do, where you are and where you wish to be.
You can only change that and help yourself by having a change of heart by start liking your neighbors, helping each other, begin to work together and live a normal life that GOD finds pleasing.
This begins by start to talking to your neighbours with normal language in a way that God would consider pleasing.
You must change to be a good person that Loves your neighbour, wishes to help your neighbor, do something’s constructive with your life. Make the world a better place then you found it...
May God Bless you with Love, and cleanse you heart of the hate you developed I do not know why; but who ever got you so mad and so unhappy with life you have to forgive them and you will feel better.
You still can join others and doing and SAYING things that please God.
May God Bless you by opening your eyes and opening your ears so you can hear and do what God finds pleasing.
May God Bless America with Peace and Happiness
Dr. Jack Shepard
this strike anybody as a shock? Klobuchar letter
The strong feelings of our membership compel the Executive Board of Local 2938 to write you regarding AFSCME’s contemplated endorsement of a candidate for the United States Senate. Our local represents the attorneys and legal professionals in the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office who have worked under candidate Amy Klobuchar for seven years. Thus we are in the unique position of providing you with the most comprehensive information necessary to judge Ms. Klobuchar’s performance on the issues germane to our organization. Four years ago, this local asked Council 14 to withhold the endorsement from Amy Klobuchar. This request was ignored. We do not want that to happen again. The purpose of this letter is to tell you why Ms. Klobuchar continues to be wholly undeserving of AFSCME’s endorsement.
Throughout her tenure as Hennepin County Attorney, Amy Klobuchar has demonstrated her disdain for the very employees that have placed her in the position to run for the office she now seeks. She has denigrated these lawyers both publicly and privately. She has refused to support their efforts to obtain a fair wage adjustment. She has taken credit for the hard work of her employees. She has severely damaged the morale of the office.
As County Attorney, Amy Klobuchar has created a hostile work environment. This has resulted in increased grievances from employees as well as informal disciplinary matters in which the union was asked to intervene on the employee’s behalf. Ms. Klobuchar’s hiring practices have further evidenced disdain for her own employees. Qualified personnel from her own and other public offices have been rejected because her priority has been to choose candidates who support her ambitions. In a dispute with county investigators, Ms. Klobuchar made no effort to keep these qualified team members in the office. She has even succeeded in diminishing the union ranks by promoting retirement among a group of employees, and then rehiring them as independent contractors.
In short, Amy Klobuchar is exactly the kind of candidate that AFSCME should oppose.As you are aware, Hennepin County attorneys were seeking a market increase during the last contract negotiation so their wages would be representative of the work they do, and competitive with the wages of attorneys in neighboring jurisdictions. Local 2938 sought Ms. Klobuchar’s assistance. For months, Ms. Klobuchar refused to support these efforts. Last October Ms. Klobuchar attended a fund raiser for Senate District 19. A former AFSCME member, Lori Schmidt, asked for her position on the market increase. Ms. Klobuchar did not offer any words of support. Instead, she ridiculed the request and characterized it as unreasonable and unfair.
Around this time, Ms. Klobuchar met with AFSCME leaders in an attempt to obtain AFSCME’s early support. They, too, questioned Ms. Klobuchar’s support for the attorneys’ wage adjustment, pointing out that new associates from her former law firm were receiving starting salaries greater than the non-supervisory attorneys in her office that were at the top of the pay scale. Ms. Klobuchar responded that such a comparison was irrelevant since none of the attorneys in her office were competent enough to work in her former firm. AFSCME correctly withheld an early endorsement. Ms. Klobuchar was finally forced to meet with our local 2938’s bargaining team in mid-November. She said she would support a “fair increase” but refused to define what she meant by a “fair increase.” She promised to assist us, but refused to do so publicly. She promised to support us “behind the scenes” by advocating for a fair market adjustment with county board members prior to our scheduled mediation. We understood Ms. Klobuchar’s comments as a promise that she would actively lobby the county board on our behalf. We do not believe Ms. Klobuchar kept her promise to AFSCME. In the end, her “behind the scenes” assistance was so tardy, weak and grudgingly given that only one member of the County Board clearly recalled having any contact from either her or her management team. Any perception that Ms. Klobuchar sincerely helped our members on this issue is incorrect. We fear that AFSCME will support Ms. Klobuchar based on her unfulfilled promise of assistance.
The fact that Ms. Klobuchar holds so little regard for her employees has not stopped her from taking credit for their work. She has used the publicity from the many successfully prosecuted criminal cases to give the public the false impression that she was actively involved in those cases. She was not. She presents herself as a dedicated public servant acutely concerned with the public’s safety when her only dedication is to her own self-promotion.
AFSCME represents thousands of working men and women that have dedicated themselves to fairness in the workplace. Council 5’s slogan is: “One strong unified voice for Minnesota workers.” Amy Klobuchar assumes she will receive AFSCME’s endorsement. She believes that AFSCME’s fear that a Republican will be elected will preclude any fair review of her labor record. This must not happen. AFSCME must hold Amy Klobuchar responsible for her shameful treatment of her employees. We, the members of Local 2938, demand that you deny Amy Klobuchar endorsement for the United States Senate.
Sincerely,
James Appleby
President, Local 2938 on behalf of the Executive Board of Local 2938
Posted by: Dr. Jack Shepard; Veteran America Service Officer announces he will run again for the GOP nomination

1:14 PM
Dr. Jack Shepard said...
Shepard for Congress Committee says use your intelligence and vote for Jack Shepard in the GOP Primary for the 4th CD on Sept. 12, 2006


aljazeerah.info supports Betty Mc Collum

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Aljazeerah supports Betty Mc Collum that is really the end of Congresswoman Betty Mc Collum’s political future!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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How AIPAC Controls US Congress: US Representative Betty McCollum Reacts to the Intimidation Tactics of of the Israel Lobby

Council for the National Interest, May 22, 2006




TAKE ACTION: AIPAC Banned by Rep. McCollum (MN-4)

TAKE ACTION: Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN-4th district) has banned the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) from her office until she receives a formal, written apology from AIPAC for equating her vote in the House International Relations Committee against HR 4681, the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act, with "support for terrorists."
The following "Letter to AIPAC" from Rep. McCollum will be published in the June 8th edition of the New York Review of Books with a long piece by Michael Massing ("The Storm over the Israel Lobby"). Massing includes the letter as evidence to support his thesis that the tactics of the Israel lobby are harsh, and often extremely effective, in pursuing its objectives: "to keep Israel strong, the Palestinians weak, and the United States from exerting pressure on Israel." Both items are essential reading.

Please take a moment to thank Rep. McCollum for her stance against HR 4681 and for her courage to stand up to AIPAC's attempts to smear her and stifle debate. You can call her office directly at 202-225-6631 or call the Capitol switchboard toll-free at 1-888-355-3588 and ask to be transferred to her office.

If no one is able to take your call, please leave a brief message of thanks along with your name and address so that Rep. McCollum can get in touch with you. Please call today!


New York Review of Books

Volume 53, Number 10 June 8, 2006
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/19063

A LETTER TO AIPAC

By Betty McCollum

The letter below was sent by Representative Betty McCollum, a Democrat from Minnesota, to the executive director of AIPAC. The bill mentioned, H.R. 4681, the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006, would place so many restraints on aid to the Palestinian people, and so many restrictions on the administration's ability to deal with the Palestinians, that even the State Department has opposed it. AIPAC has strongly backed it. The Senate version of the bill, S. 2237, would allow the administration far more flexibility. On April 6, the House International Relations Committee passed H.R. 4681 by a vote of 36 to 2; McCollum was one of the two nays. As of May 11, AIPAC has yet to respond to her demand for an apology.

-Michael Massing

April 10, 2006

Mr. Howard Kohr
Executive Director
American Israel Public Affairs Committee
440 First Street, NW; Suite 600
Washington, D.C. 20001

Dear Mr. Kohr:

During my nineteen years serving in elected office, including the past five years as a Member of Congress, never has my name and reputation been maligned or smeared as it was last week by a representative of AIPAC. Last Friday, during a call with my chief of staff, an AIPAC representative from Minnesota who has frequently lobbied me on behalf of your organization stated, "on behalf of herself, the Jewish community, AIPAC, and the voters of the Fourth District, Congresswoman McCollum's support for terrorists will not be tolerated." Ironically, this individual, who does not even live in my congressional district, feels free to speak for my constituents.

This response may have been the result of extreme emotion or irrational passion, but regardless, it is a hateful attack that is vile and offensive to me and the families I represent. I call on AIPAC to immediately condemn this un-American attack and disavow any attempt to use this type of threat and intimidation to stifle legitimate policy differences. I will not stand to be labeled or threatened in a manner that questions my patriotism or my oath of office.

Last week, I did vote against H.R. 4681 during mark-up of the bill in the House International Relations Committee. As a Member of Congress sworn to uphold the Constitution, and ensure the security of the US and represent the values and beliefs of the constituents who I serve, it was my view that H.R. 4681 goes beyond the State Department's current policies toward Hamas and the Palestinian Authority and potentially undermines the US position vis-à-vis the coordinated international pressure on Hamas. The language contained in S. 2237 accurately reflects my position.

Keeping diplomatic pressure on Hamas to renounce terrorism, recognize the State of Israel, dismantle terrorist infrastructure, and honor past agreements and treaty obligations, while preventing a humanitarian crisis among the Palestinian people, are all policy goals already strongly supported by myself, the Bush administration, Congress and the American people. But, if the purpose of H.R. 4681 was to send another strong message to Hamas and the Palestinian people, as Congress already has sent with the passage of S. Con. Res. 79, then I disagree with the vehicle for that message. In my opinion, Congress should be articulating clear support for the Secretary of State's present course of action; not creating a new law which likely diminishes the diplomatic tools needed to advance US policy goals with regard to the Palestinian people, potentially cuts US funding to the United Nations, and largely restates current law while creating on-going and burdensome unfunded reporting requirements.

As you well know, in Congress we do not shy away from condemning the vile words of despots and dictators who use anti-Semitism as a weapon to incite hatred, fear and violence. AIPAC should not have a lower standard for persons affiliated and representing its organization when they label a Member of Congress who thinks for herself and always puts the interest of our nation and people first a supporter of terrorists.

You and your colleagues at AIPAC have the right to disagree with my position on any piece of legislation, but for an AIPAC representative to say that I would ever vote to support Middle East terrorists over the interests of my country will never be tolerated by me or the families I serve. This incident rises to a level in which a formal, written apology is required.

Mr. Kohr, I am a supporter of a strong US-Israeli relationship and my voting record speaks for itself. This will not change. But until I receive a formal, written apology from your organization I must inform you that AIPAC representatives are not welcome in my offices or for meetings with my staff.

Betty McCollum
Member of Congress
4th District, Minnesota
Washington, D.C.



Council for the National Interest Foundation
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Washington, District of Columbia 20024
http://www.cnionline.org/
http://www.rescuemideastpolicy.com/
Phone: 202-863-2951
Fax: 202-863-2952







Earth, a planet hungry for peace

Apartheid Wall


The Israeli Land-Grab Apartheid Wall built inside the Palestinian territories, here separating Abu Dis from occupied East Jerusalem. (IPC, 7/4/04).






The Israeli apartheid (security) wall around Palestinian population centers in the West Bank, like a Python (Alquds, 1/25/03.


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