October 6, 2007

Another Challenger To John Kline

The Democrats have come up with yet another challenger to John Kline for Minnesota's Second Congressional District -- my district. The Hill reports that an Iraq war veteran will file campaign paperwork to run against Kline in the general election as a Democrat, and that the former Watertown mayor sees himself as a vanguard in the effort to make Minnesota go completely blue:

Iraq war veteran and former Watertown Mayor Steve Sarvi just began his campaign against Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.) on Thursday, but he’s already talking about not only his own victory in 13 months, but three others for the state’s Democrats as well.

“We’re talking about the whole state turning blue,” Sarvi said. “It’s going to be an exciting time.” ...

Sarvi, who calls himself a fiscal conservative and social centrist, believes he can take a bite out of Kline’s base. He emphasizes that he’s not running as someone “angry about the Iraq war.” But he does think it’s time to pull the troops out and force Iraq to protect itself.

“Although it seems rather conservative, I think a lot of the people in this district are more of the small-i independent and are really looking for leadership and someone who’s going to actually work to get things done,” Sarvi said.

We wish Mayor Sarvi the best of luck, and acknowledge that the Democrats have gotten smarter than they were in 2006. They ran Coleen Rowley against Kline, a woman who had national name recognition for her whistleblowing over the Zacarias Moussaoui case. However, even though she was a former FBI agent, she turned into something of a kook once she began campaigning, chasing after Cindy Sheehan and coming close to endorsing the 9/11 Truther movement. Even in a year which favored Democrats, Kline beat Rowley like a drum, 56%-40%.

This time, Democrats have found someone without the kookiness quotient, or at least seemingly so. However, one has to wonder why MN-02 would give up its reliable representative for one who campaigns on the basis of being just as conservative but whose vote would increase the caucus of the Left. Kline has served his nation honorably, first in his career as a Marine Corps officer and afterwards as Representative for three terms. Kline has a sterling reputation, including one of the leaders in the fight against earmarks and corruption. Kline has one of only eleven perfect scores on the RePork Card from Club for Growth, meaning that he voted in favor of all 50 earmark reforms that made it to the House floor this year.

John Kline is part of the solution, not part of the problem. Given the efforts by House and Senate Democrats this year in watering down earmark reform and submarining it when possible, adding to their caucus will make matters worse, not better. Sarvi may be a better candidate than Rowley -- who wouldn't be? -- but MN-02 knows a real independent and successful conservative already.


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Comments (3)

Posted by filistro | October 6, 2007 11:29 AM

This (from Josh Marshall at TPM) will probably provide Sarvi with some talking points of his own.

The 2,600 members of the Minnesota National Guard recently ended a 22-month tour of duty in Iraq, the longest deployment of any ground-combat unit in the Armed Forces. Many of its members returned home, looking forward to using education benefits under the GI bill.

For example, John Hobot, a platoon leader, said, "I would assume, and I would hope, that when I get back from a deployment of 22 months, my senior leadership in Washington, the leadership that extended us in the first place, would take care of us once we got home."

It's not working that way. The Guard troops have been told that in order to be eligible for the education benefits they expect, they had to serve 730 days in Iraq. They served 729.

"Nearly half the members of one of the longest serving U.S. military units in Iraq are not eligible for a more generous military educational benefit, with some falling one day short of eligibility. [...]

All 2,600 of the soldiers, who returned this year from Iraq, are eligible for money for school under the GI Bill. But nearly half discovered they weren't eligible for a more generous package of benefits available to other soldiers."

Minnesota's congressional delegation is apoplectic, and the Army has vowed to look into the matter, but the troops are understandably suspicious that they were deliberately brought home after 729 days so the Pentagon could deny them GI Bill benefits.

How is this playing locally, Cap'n?

Posted by Terrye | October 6, 2007 5:49 PM

The Democrats did the same thing when they ran Ellsworth here in Indiana. The guy is pro life, pro second amendment, pro military, anti gay marriage, etc.

Posted by skeptic | October 6, 2007 6:02 PM

Captain Ed,

Ron Paul has a much better rating from the National Taxpayers Union than John Kline. The NTU has been around much longer than The Club for Growth and is much less partisan.

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