Today was FEC report card day … the day that campaigns must report how much they raised for the period from July 24 through September 30. As of last check, the Kline For Congress campaign has not filed the report but did inform the media that it collected $470,000 and has $1.76 Million cash on hand.
Today was also a public forum … free and open for anyone to attend. Sponsored by The Minnesota Transportation Alliance, which is a statewide coalition of organizations advocating for a safe and effective transportation system, held this evening at the Eagan Community Center.
Not only was the public invited but so were candidates for elective office so that the voting public could hear their positions of the candidates on issues that are important to every Minnesotan – namely, transportation.
In fact, transportation issues are something that John Kline has frequently been asked about during his preferred Tele-Town Hall meetings.
Burnsville woman asks how Washington can be more efficient, effective with transportation funding. #KlineTTH
— John Kline (@repjohnkline) March 11, 2014
West St. Paul woman wondering about infrastructure priorities. #KlineTTH
— John Kline (@repjohnkline) April 22, 2014
As voters may remember, the House is in disagreement on how to fund the Highway Trust Fund.
The trust fund is the primary source of federal aid to states for surface transportation projects. Its money comes from the taxes paid on gasoline and diesel fuel. But revenue hasn’t been keeping up with demand because people are driving less and vehicles are more burning less fuel.
There are some Members, including Michele Bachmann (R-MN-06), who support H.R. 3486 Transportation Empowerment Act which has the feature of reducing the tax from 18.4 cents per gallon to 3.7 cents per gallon and letting the states pick-up whatever shortfall is needed.
As the deadline was approaching before cuts would have been made, Congress punted … it failed to approve a permanent solution and extended funding until next year — at present, the Highway Trust Fund will run out of money in May 2015.
What will happen then ?
It’s a question that participants at the Minnesota Transportation Alliance forum should have heard from John Kline … but he was a No Show.
Candidate John Kline is using some of those campaign contributions to blanket the television airwaves (as well as your mailbox with flyers) promoting himself as a “bi-partisan problem solver”.
What better problem that could be resolved in a bipartisan manner … as we do know that even Republicans want something done about our roads and bridges.
In fact, at the recent State Fair, Republican Party of Minnesota, which used its booth to gauge an estimated 7,600 Minnesotans voters, asked for their input on Minnesota’s current gas tax.
On the question of imposing a new 5-cent-per-gallon sales tax on gasoline, with proceeds going toward “help[ing] fund the backlog of highway and bridge needs around the state,” 54 percent of survey takers said “yes,” 40.5 percent said “no,” and 5.5 percent had no opinion.
So, ya gotta think that the 54% must wonder “Where was John Kline ?”
It’s something that Mike Obermueller also wondered
Mr. Kline was a no-show again, but we had a great discussion re: transportation needs in the state and country. Thanks to all who joined us!
— Mike Obermueller (@Obermueller2014) October 16, 2014
It was just another clear example … the incumbent has proven his willingness to shutdown the government and risk funding for infrastructure programs and is backed by the Big Bucks in Washington … versus … Mike Obermueller who has made it a point to meet with his constituents … as those who first met Mike at his Eagan event in 2009 can attest.