Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Franken Runs-Kline and Walz Contrast

On today's podcast - audio of Al Franken's announcement that' he's running for U.S. Senate and a contrast between Minnesota's two military Congressmen. One reaches out for public opinion, the other apparently is not that fond of constituent input.

Newly elected Democratic Congressman Tim Walz is calling for a policy in Iraq based on fact and not ideology. (Audio in the podcast) Republican John Kline calls the proposal Walz supports “micromanagement”.

In response to public concern about deepening US involvement in Iraq Walz sets up a “Mobile Office” touring his congressional district seeking constituent input. In response to constituents for a dialog about the war Kline’s District Manager Mike Osskopp calls the police. Only after the Star Tribune reports on Kline’s arrogance does Osskopp sit down to meet with constituents and then says the earliest Kline can meet his constituents is April.

Its evident Kline is not a fan of facts and debates. Neither is Republican Chair Ron Carey who wrote that the constituents arrived at Kline’s office unannounced. If that’s so, why did Kline’s office call the Burnsville police the night before? It appears Kline’s office was aware and ready for the meeting. What Kline wasn’t ready for was the media scrutiny of his rude treatment of constituents and the uproar that followed.

Having a dialog about policy should be as simple as Walz makes it. Not as hard as Kline forces it to be.


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