Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Kline's Congressional Office Apparently Maintains An Enemies List

You'd expect your Congressman to keep track of emails and letters you send him. Feedback from constituents is important. But would you expect your Congressman to search and record posts you make on a blog and then file them away for some future use?

That's what has been going on at Congressman John Kline's office. A Government employee has been paid to find blog posts from at least one citizen and then file them away on what appears to be a modern version of a Nixon "enemies list".

The Star Tribune's Kevin Diaz reports that Kline's office had been gathering blog posts from Paul Bartlett, a DFL activist who has written unfavorable things about Kline in the past.

Today Bartlett responded to the revelation:
Kline's staff exposed their dark underbelly during their Diaz interview, revealing that they have maintained "a lengthy file of his e-mails and blog entries." I would expect that they would maintain my e-mails, after all, I was a constituent and had every right to contact my congressman, but to admit that they search the blogs looking for my postings is disturbingly paranoid.

Following the Rove playbook, the Kline campaign has employed a singular strategy: citizen intimidation. Their relentless attack on David Bailey exposed their meanness; their attempt to disrupt the Murtha event showed their desperation; I knew they'd get around to me.

John Kline has joined some fine company: J. Edgar Hoover, Joseph McCarthy and Richard Nixon. Like them, Kline maintains an "enemies list."
Kline's Communication Director Troy Young has been contacted to verify the Star Tribune story and to find out how many other citizens are being monitored. So far no response.


Blogger Michael M said...

I've updated the story to reflect that the exact source of the maintaining file information is not known. The placement of the information in the Star Tribune story would seem to suggest it was a Kline Congressional staffer. However Reporter Kevin Diaz has told me he can not reveal who told him that Kline's office maintains an extensive file of emails and blog posts on Paul Bartlett.

10:05 AM  
Blogger Shazam McShotgunstein said...

Well, considering some of the mail I've sent to Kline and messages I've conveyed to his staff, I guess he probably keeps a file on me in his secret enemies list. Kline really is turning out to be such a charmer. Good to know...

11:10 AM  
Blogger Shazam McShotgunstein said...

I didn't even see this until now... but did you see Kline's non-apology covering for his aide? From Star-Trib:

"That's unacceptable now," Kline said. "We've all seen the John Wayne movies about World War II, and then it was acceptable. Now it's not, and [Osskopp] knows that."

In other words, hey, it's really no big deal, it was just fine to use racial slurs like that when we were growing up.

What a slimeball!

I went off about this at - this has got to come back and bite Kline. Thanks, Kline, for handing this race its own "Macaca" scandal.

12:31 PM  

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