There was a time when John Kline (R-MN-02) would issue press releases touting his efforts … “Kline Fights for Minnesota, Delivers Vital Funds” in taking credit for funding awarded to businesses in his district … such as :
– $4 Million for the Navy’s P-3C Anti-Surface Warfare Improvement Program designed by Lockheed Martin’s Eagan facility;
- $3 Million for the Army’s Electrochromics Technology with Sage Electrochromics in Faribault;
- and others.
Today’s press releases have a different tone : Kline: America Faces A Choice Between Two Futures
“America is facing an important decision: we must choose between accepting a future of debt for our children and grandchildren or correcting the mistakes of the past and putting our nation back on the path to prosperity.”
Hmmm … so how would Mr. Kline “deliver vital funds” today while still pursuing a “path to prosperity” ?
Well, since Lockheed Martin announced that it was closing its Eagan operation in favor of facilities in other states, Mr. Kline is relegated to issuing a “protest letter”. The recent news that CSM, a real estate development, leasing and property management company has a deal to acquire the facility with plans that could include retail and restaurants implies that those highly paid technical skilled employees will not be needed.
Thus no reason for Mr. Kline to issue a press release … no jobs and no path to prosperity for those employees.
But what’s new at SAGE Electrochromics ?
Readers of Minnesota Central blog may recall that
DOE announced a conditional commitment for a $72 million loan guarantee in addition to potentially a $31 million Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit was awarded to Sage in 2010 as an incentive to build a high-volume manufacturing in Faribault. The press releases cited Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Al Franken (D-MN) for their support while Mr. Kline’s name never got mentioned.
Why didn’t Mr. Kline get a shout-out ?
Well, that could because Mr. Kline is motivated to protect taxpayers’ financial interests advocating that government should not be involved in private business … as he explained in his protest over funding for the FreedomCAR program.
With the Republicans managing the House of Representative, Mr. Kline was in a position to exert influence over stimulus funding. Publically, Mr. Kline embraced H.R. 1 and the spending cuts. Thus, the SAGE expansion which was to be funded in part with a loan guaranteed by the Department of Energy was put in project in jeopardy.
As we know now over Mr. Kline’s objections, the Senate did not accept H. R. 1 and instead a compromise bill was approved.
Well, now that President Obama has signed the compromise funding bill, there is a press release addressing the SAGE project :
Thanks to hard-fought negotiations by Minnesota’s legislative delegation – including Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, Congressmen John Kline and Tim Walz, and Congresswoman Betty McCollum – the spending bill now includes terms that allow qualifying borrowers to avoid payment of those subsidy fees.
“We’re proud that our legislative delegation worked together to preserve this wise investment policy that will create green manufacturing jobs in Minnesota while developing new energy technologies that help cut utility bills, reduce carbon pollution and lessen our dependency on foreign oil,” said John Van Dine, SAGE founder and CEO. “Thanks to their efforts, Minnesota is now better positioned to become a clean tech innovation engine for creating a stronger economy and a healthier planet.”
“Innovation has always been a catalyzing force in Minnesota’s economy,” Klobuchar said. “SAGE’s groundbreaking work on energy-efficient windows is an example of how developing innovative technologies has the potential to create good jobs, while reducing our energy consumption and saving consumers money on their energy bills.”
Senator Al Franken commented, “This encouraging development shows you can reduce the deficit without cutting projects that will generate jobs and economic growth for Minnesota companies. I’ve personally followed SAGE’s success since their early days in Minnesota and am proud to have supported them through this process to a successful conclusion. SAGE is a very promising company with a bright future and now Minnesotans will benefit from the jobs SAGE will create and the growth it will certainly experience.”
Hmmmm … no quote from Mr. Kline … no press release from Mr. Kline’s office … yet the question must be asked, did Mr. Kline revert to his old ways (“Fights for Minnesota, Delivers Vital Funds”) ?
Or was this a press release issued which made sure that Faribault’s representative in Congress got mentioned ?
Considering that Tim Walz (D-MN-01) has been a strong advocate for renewable energy, there is no surprise that Congressman Walz would work on support this job creation legislation. Heck, I suspect that if the census causes the district boundaries to redrawn to include Faribault in Congressman Walz’s First District, that will please plenty of workers and employers.
Now, some may be surprised that Betty McCollum (D-MN-04) is listed … but then again, it has been reported that the City of Eagan and Dakota County have sought Congresswoman McCollum assistance in funding requests.
Call me a cynic, but my gut tells me that the praise for Mr. Kline is purely perfunctory.