Friday, February 02, 2007

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Knollenberg Votes NO on Ethics Reform

Here is the real reason that Congressman Joe Knollenberg voted NO on the ethics reform bill that passed the house last month -- he likes to take lobbyist paid vacations.

The AP reported that between 2002 and 2005, Joe Knollenberg took three lobbyist funded trips worth nearly $12,000.

That doesn't include the weeklong trip to Hawaii he took last January.

The reason Joe Knollenberg voted NO on ethics reforms is because he wants more free trips from lobbyists like Jack Abramoff.

(The AP story is no longer available for free online, but this link contains a partial reprint.

Joe targeted by DCCC

The Detroit News ran an article on 1/31 stating that Joe Knollenberg is targeted by the DCCC as being vulnerable in '08.

Also, the CQ has an article with the same premise, that Joe is in the target of the Democrats in '08,

The Detroit News article also has a quote from Joe's spokesperson saying that Joe doesn't support price controls on drugs. I guess Joe thinks that negotiating prices is the same as price controls. Makes me think Joe is just plain stupid. Anyone that buys in bulk knows to try to negotiate the price of what they're buying. I wonder if Joe has ever negotiated a better price for anything he's bought in his personal life when he bought a lot of something.

His spokesperson again reiterates that Joe is pro life. Joe may be pro birth, but he is definitely not pro life. If he were, he'd support universal health care and be against the escalation of the war which is killing thousands of American service people and hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Knollenberg Doesn't Think "Healthcare" is an Issue

After writing about how Knollenberg doesn't even list "Iraq" as an issue on his list of issues on his website, I noticed he doesn't list "healthcare" as an issue either.

Knollenberg must be out of touch with this District if he doesn't think "healthcare" is an issue.

Knollenberg: Stay the Course In Iraq

In an effort to discern Knollenberg’s position on Bush’s war in Iraq, I reviewed all of the public statements I could find. I searched the Congressional Record, Knollenberg’s own website, and I also conducted a google search for information from newspapers, magazines, trade journals, etc. What I found confirms what has already been stated on this site. Apparently, the war in Iraq is not an important issue to Joe Knollenberg.

Knollenberg doesn’t even list "Iraq" as an “issue” on his webpage.

He has made only a handful of comments on the issue and has nothing in writing.

Knollenberg Supports Escalation
I only found 2 statements in the Congressional Record:
  • THE TRUTH ABOUT THE WAR IN IRAQ -- (November 03, 2005)

    If you click the link you will see he is basically saying the war is going well.

The only other statement I could find was one he made when he voted to approve the Authorization to use Military Force against Iraq:

  • AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF MILITARY FORCE AGAINST IRAQ RESOLUTION OF 2002 -- (House of Representatives - October 08, 2002)

    Again, if you click the link you will see that Knollenberg seems to just be reading reading George Bush’s talking points into the record. There doesn’t appear to be any original thought involved. Unfortunately, like Bush, Knollenberg didn’t do his homework. If he had, he would have known that those “aluminum tubes” were not related to nuclear weapons. This was a line from Bush’s September 12, 2002 presentation to the UN – but that information had already been debunked by Bush’s own experts in both the Department of Energy and the State Department. So Knollenberg was making false statements into the Congressional Record.

We do know that Knollenberg has accepted over $110,000 in campaign donations from defense department contractors. That is less than his friend Duke Cunningham, but then again, Cunningham is now in jail for accepting bribes.

Press Statements
Bush gave his speech on escalating the war in Iraq on January 10th. The next day, the Detroit News ran a brief article quoting a few Congressional Reps from Metro Detroit regarding their position on Bush's speech. The article, entitled "Bush gets cool reception in Michigan.
Even former staunch supporters of Iraq policies are hesitant to accept president's plan", quoted Knollenberg as saying:

Rep. Joe Knollenberg of Bloomfield Hills offered "conditional support," but
without real progress in Iraq "within 90 days," he said, "we really have to
evaluate what we're going to do."

Radio station WWJ AM has a similar statement attributed to Knollenberg on their webpage:
“``His leadership is on the line here and he knows it,'' said Rep. Joe
Knollenberg, a Republican from Oakland County's Bloomfield Township. The
congressman said he would only offer ``conditional support'' for the plan and
wanted to see significant progress in the next three to four months.”

USAToday has an article regarding the June 16, 2006 vote in which Knollenberg voted to
“reject[s] setting a timetable for pulling U.S. forces out of Iraq, labels the
Iraq war part of the global fight against terrorism and praises American
There is no statement or additional information about Knollenberg. It is just a list of who voted Yea and Nay.

Then there is the January 25, 2007 Free Press article which quoted Knollenberg as saying:

My patience with the war is growing thin. We need to see real progress in Iraq soon.

On October 1, 2005, the Oakland Press reported that Knollenberg put out a press release stating:

"Pulling our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan now would be absolutely detrimental to the safety and security of all Americans," he stated. "We owe it to those serving overseas and their families, as well as the Iraqi and Afghan people, to continue in our fight against terrorist extremists. "We have made good progress in the war on terror, and God willing, the Iraqi people will soon have the ability to defend themselves. "Until that time comes, however, the U.S. must stay the course and not simply stand by while terrorists and dictators exploit innocent people and threaten our security here at home."

On December 15, 2005, The Oakland Press reported on a group of constituents who went to Knollenberg’s office to discuss bringing home the troops.

Knollenberg thinks that any withdrawal of troops from either Iraq or Afghanistan would be dangerous for the safety of Americans, said his press secretary, Jennifer Hing.
"He feels that by calling for and giving any sort of timetable for withdrawal, we give terrorists the upper hand on the war," she said. "He agrees with the president when he says the withdrawal of the troops will come when the Iraqis say they are ready."

The Oakland Press ran an article back on March 25, 2004 where they quoted Knollenberg as saying:

Despite demonstrations to the contrary, most Iraqis don't want Americans to leave until their country is again "safe,. . .

They article said that Knollenberg indicated he was ‘encouraged by the scenes of progress he witnessed around Iraq’, but then they quote him as saying:

"We rarely got outside military compounds," he said. "We drove through Baghdad but didn't get out."

The Oakland Press Article goes on to state: “Knollenberg reported signs of an improving economy, including growing numbers of cell phones and satellite dishes.” Too bad Congressman Knollenberg didn’t realize that those cell phones he was so pleased about have been used to detonate the bombs and Improvised Explosive Devices (IED’s) that have been maiming and killing US troops.

Analysis of Knollenberg's Statements

Knollenberg Says He Supports the Troops But His Votes Show Knollenberg Does NOT Support the Troops

The November 2005 statement implies that he supports the troops. I certainly support the troops. Every American supports the troops. But taking a closer look at his “support” for the troops I found:
  • Rep. Knollenberg voted to continue awarding contracts to Halliburton even if the Pentagon's own audit processes found that more than $100 million of their contractor's costs in Iraq were unreasonable.
  • Rep. Knollenberg opposed expanding access to the military's TRICARE health insurance program to thousands of Reservist and National Guard members, even though 20 percent of all Reservists do not have health insurance, and 40 percent of Reservists aged 19 to 35 lack health coverage.
  • Rep. Knollenberg voted against granting a bonus to grant a $1,500 bonus to every American service member serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, including National Guard and Reserve forces.It seems that Joe talks the talk but he doesn’t walk the walk. Knollenberg says he supports the troops, but he votes against them.

Knollenberg Still Says Stay the Course in Iraq
Knollenberg hasn’t said much about the war in Iraq, but what he has said has been 100% in line with President Bush.

Knollenberg even uses Bush’s line about how important it is to STAY THE COURSE.
Knollenberg hasn’t said or done anything contrary to Bush’s plan.


Knollenberg’s most direct statement has been to STAY THE COURSE” in Iraq.

He hasn’t said or done anything to counter that position.