August 20, 2007

An Evening With John Kline

My representative, John Kline, conducted a telephone town hall forum to connect with his constituents. In fact, it's still going on as I blog. It uses a new technology to do outbound dialing, and at the moment, Congressman Kline says 750 people are participating on the call. The exchange calls the numbers in the district, and people who answer get asked to stay on the line to listen in and participate. Having 750 people make that decision says quite a bit about MN-02, and all of it good.

Given its random nature, some of the questioners voted for Kline's last opponent, Colleen Rowley, but everyone thus far has been congenial. One man opposes the war; another wants Kline to act to protect religious expression in the military. Social Security has come up more than once, and term limits as well. In fact, Kline supports the idea, but it's hard to do without a national referendum.

I joined the call mainly to congratulate Kline for his perfect RePork Card from the Club for Growth. He was one of only 16 Representatives to vote in support of earmark reform on all 50 opportunities, and I wanted to make sure that he knew of our appreciation.

Of course, the call format allows some of the fringe elements into the town hall. We've already had our North American Union call, and Kline tried to assure him that no such proposal exists, but the caller isn't buying it. I'll listen for a while longer and see what else comes up.

UPDATE, 7:33 PM: A good, lengthy discourse on health care. Kline does not want the federal government to run the health care system, but acknowledges that costs are high. He notes that progress in surgery has greatly reduced costs just through making procedures far less invasive. HSAs incentivizes people to look for lower costs, too, which helps keep costs lower.

7:35 - Increase in gas tax should not be our first impulse, although one may eventually be needed. We need to look at prioritization for the transportation funding, and put bike trails to the back of the line. Once we've fixed the prioritization of existing funds, then we can look into whether the revenue is sufficient.

7:42 - If any of you are wondering, we can do this on BlogTalkRadio, too.

7:44 - We just heard from a border-enforcement advocate who opposes the Iraq war ("Bush landed on the carrier and declared victory years ago", blah blah blah). Kline agrees that we have no credibility on our borders. He corrects her to say that we have increased VA spending by a considerable amount over the last several years. It's gone up over 50% from 2000 as of FY2006, I know, and I'm not sure what the increase was for FY07. On the Iraq war, he says a precipitous withdrawal would be a disaster for both us and the Iraqis. He wants to see what General Petraeus will report.

7:51 - Okay, the Borders Rather Than Iraq theme seems to be recurring here. I wasn't aware of this meme before, but it seems to be a MN-02 argument for 2008.

8:00 - I have to bail on this -- I have a couple of other commitments tonight, and as Hot Air notes, the History Channel has an intriguing program coming up on 9/11 conspiracies and their debunking. Be sure to tune this in -- and again, kudos for John Kline on conducting a classy and informative town hall forum and to my district for participating.


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Comments (1)

Posted by unclesmrgol | August 20, 2007 8:42 PM

"The Borders Rather than Iraq?" Do these people know that with the Democrats, they'll get neither?

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