Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Strib covers the "freshmen": In their own biased ways

I just read yet another Startribune fluff piece on Congresswoman Bachmann. I find it rather interesting the Startribune's selection of which Bachmann opponent to bring up as well as the insistence that Bachmann's Predidential fondle was a "casual hug". Check out Dump Bachmann, there was nothing casual about Bachmann's hug, it was definitely not an "awkward A" hug!

The Strib described two key Bachmann votes in Congress, the energy bill and a transportation spending bill.
In the waning days of the 2007 Congress, Bachmann also voted against a key piece of Democratic energy legislation that Bush signed, boosting automotive fuel efficiency standards and ethanol production.

To Bachmann, the bill failed to provide much in the way of "new energy," despite its sixfold increase in ethanol use by 2022, a boon for Minnesota farmers.

"Ethanol is something that has had mixed reviews," she said.

Note the Strib completely ignoring the fact that Bob Olson is a subject matter expert on Sustainable Energy sources.

Yet, when discussing the transportation vote, the Kevin Diaz deliberately discussed Elwyn Tinklenberg.
Nowhere, they say, was that more evident than in her vote against a major transportation spending bill this fall that included money for the collapsed Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis and the Northstar commuter rail line, which would run from Minneapolis to Big Lake, near St. Cloud, in the heart of her suburban district.

Bachmann cited an excess of spending, particularly for earmarks that fund pet congressional projects across the nation.

She noted that she authored a "clean" 35W bridge funding bill that was derided and ignored by the new Democratic majority in Congress.

"I'm willing to spend money when it's for infrastructure that's a legitimate duty of government," she said.

The 35W bridge is likely to loom large for Bachmann. The political fallout from the bridge collapse has already drawn in one high-profile opponent, former Minnesota Transportation Commissioner Elwyn Tinklenberg. He and other DFL critics see Bachmann's position on the bridge as a favor to Bush, who supported the bridge money but wielded a veto threat against the larger transportation bill.
Diaz should read the same archives Blueman reads. If he did, he'd find that Tinklenberg's transportation past is not as rosy as the newer scribes at the Strib and some of Tinklenberg's supporters think.

Juxtapose this with the piece on Congressman Walz. Diaz takes the time to use NRCC stats describing the Congressman's voting record, and as Ollie points out, fails to cite it!

The best-known challenger, state Sen. Dick Day of Owatonna, emphasizes taxes and
immigration to make the case that Walz is not the moderate he claimed to be in
his come-out-of-nowhere campaign in 2006.

Day gets his anti-immigration talking points from moderate political figures such as the "Minutemen". How moderate is that?

They even allowed Dick Day to take a pot shot at the Congressman. Dick Day? Really? Even after the Strib and Mark Brunswick were caught red handed pimping Dick Day press releases, the Strib lets this guy get in a low blow on Congressman Walz?

And some out there chide bloggers for being careless and free with the facts.

Diaz did catch one key difference between Bachmann and Walz.

"It forces me to be responsive to my constituents," Walz said. "Not just politically, but to be aware of the reality of where they're at."
With Bachmann's lack of constituent outreach, it's tough for her to be as responsive to her constituents, to understand the reality faced daily by residents in the 6th.

But it does beg the question, why no comparison of Bachmann voting along side Kline on bill upon bill, voting against the interests of Minnesota, time and time again.

A comment at Bluestem Prairie summarizes it better than I can...

Walz has voted on a number of key votes against the Democratic majority … which in my mind says that he is an “independent leader for Southern Minnesota”.

And in reality with 1186 roll call votes to date, how many are truly important? Diaz should have pointed to just the most significant votes. Why didn’t he compare how Bachmann/Ellison/Walz approached funding and response for disasters in the state … we’ve had a few … it should have been easy but not as easy as interviewing a few critics who can supply all the ammo needed.

As a point of comparison, Diaz should look at Bachmann. There are many examples where she (and John Kline) voted in opposition to a majority of Republicans … so Walz is outside Minnesota values but Bachmann doesn’t even get a mention even though she is so far outside that she even Republicans don’t agree with her on the issues.

Lastly, this comment by Dick Day "Out of all the people who have represented the district in recent decades, Walz is by far the most liberal," Yeah, Walz is so “liberal” that he voted FOR FISCAL DISCIPLINE after six years of Gil Gutknecht voting for one-year ATM patches that has helped explode the National Debt. Responsible fiscal management says that you have to balance tax cuts with revenues (or spending cuts) … Gutknecht did neither.

Well said! So while Congresswoman Bachmann continues with her free pass from the Strib scribes, Congressman Walz keeps working! I'll take work over fluff everyday!

1 comment:

Minnesota Central said...

Thanks for reading my comment on BlueStemPrairie.

I did a review of the first 300 or so roll call votes to look for independence in the Minnesota delegation. Not surprisingly, Jim Ramstad joined the Dems on more issues than Bachmann and Kline, but the other trend I noticed was how often Bachmann (and to some extent Kline) voted against the majority of Republicans. While on some issues the Republicans joined the Dems, to actually move legislation forward in a bipartisan manner … Bachmann would be standing in opposition. For example, on College Student Relief Act Roll Call Vote #32 124 Republicans voted with the Dems while Bachmann, Kline and 69 other Republicans voted against it. There were more examples … unfortunately, the data was destroyed in the August flood.

How can so many other Republicans be reasonable but Bachmann and Kline be so obstinate ? Is there any better reason why Congress is getting such low performance ratings.

Dick Day’s comment got me so irked that I added a commentary on my blog recognizing that the First District finally has someone voting in a fiscally responsible manner.