Aaron Blake of the Washington Post asks which seats might be surprisingly competitive this year?
Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.): Kline’s redistricting fate [the state legislature deadlocked and left the issue to the courts] – the courts drew a surprising map, and he drew the short straw. His district now would have given Obama 50 percent of the vote, and the previously safe Kline is finding himself targeted. Democrats have recruited former state representative Mike Obermuller and put him in their “Red to Blue” program for emerging races.
Long-time watchers of Minnesota’s Second District know that Chairman Kline’s shaky standing should not be just assumed to be a result of redistricting but instead Chairman Kline’s failures.
As Chairman of the Education and Workforce Committee, Mr. Kline has failed to reform No Child Left Behind legislation while focusing extensively on anti-union activities.
As a faux-Fiscal Conservative, Chairman Kline has vocally complained about Washington’s wasteful spending, while personally spending more on his own Congressional office :
The actual dollars spent for last year for the Minnesota delegation had at the top of the list : $1,319,468.42 – John Kline (R-MN-02) spending 91.6% of his budget while at the bottom of the list was $1,198.273.03 – Betty McCollum (D-MN-04) spending 84.0% of her budget.
Reflecting Chairman Kline’s Party-First motto of We Are All Conservatives (not We are All Minnesotans or We are All Americans) as expressed by Senatorial candidate Richard Mourdock (R-IN) “I certainly think bipartisanship ought to consist of Democrats coming to the Republican point of view.”
John Kline’s performance is what makes this a compelling contest … do voters want to return someone who has failed on what was to be his signature issue, big spender and committed to partisan politics ?
Yep, Mike Obermueller is “One to Watch” !