Friday, March 23, 2007
We know the majority of Americans now oppose the war in Iraq. In a recent poll, USAToday found that 59% of Americans thought the war in Iraq was a mistake in the first place.
46% of Americans don't think we can win in Iraq.
58% think we should withdraw troops within the next 12 months.
Once again, Joe Knollenberg is ignoring the will of the people.
Joe Knollenberg is still advocating the failed strategy of "Stay the Course".
The Act would hold the Bush Administration and Iraqi government accountable and would get our troops out of the way of the current civil war by engaging in a strategic redeployment by 2008.
In addition, the bill expanded funding for veterans’ health care and hospitals.
The bill also funded efforts to refocus military efforts on Afghanistan and fighting terrorism.
The only thing the opponents could come up with was that the bill was "micromanaging" the war. But that is disingenuous. There are legislative off-ramps that would allow the President to waive any provisions that were too restrictive. There was no excuse not to support this bill.
Joe Knollenberg voted NO on all of these things.
But I think the part that is still most disturbing is that Knollenberg refuses to vote for legislation that would mandate that the troops have proper body armor.Again, this 30 second video illustrates the consequences of Knollenberg's stubborn refusal to give our troops the proper body armor:
HR 1591 was the supplemental funding bill. It includes funding for the war in Iraq. Unlike previous legislation funding the war in Iraq, the Democrats have insisted that any troops that Bush sends to Iraq have at least the minimum amount of body armor that a soldier should have.
Specifically, the bill prohibits
the use of funds under this Act to deploy any unit of the Armed Forces to Iraq unless the chief of the military department concerned has certified to the congressional appropriations committees in advance that the unit is fully mission capable.
There is an "escape" provision that "Authorizes the President to waive such prohibition and deployment limits on a unit-by-unit basis for reasons of national security."
Knollenberg voted NO on this bill because it contained provisions like that that were intended to protect the troops by guaranteeing they would not be sent into harm's war without at least having the proper protective equipment including the current technology for bullet proof vests. Knollenberg would allow our troops to go into battle using the old and outdated vests that were used in Vietnam.
This 30 second video shows that using the most current technology for bullet proof vests is a matter of life and death.
Rather than support the troops, Joe Knollenberg has once again chosen to just vote his Party line.
Joe Knollenberg supports privatizing Social Security. He realizes that this puts him on the opposite side of the issue than the vast majority of voters, so now he won't admit it.
Make no mistake about it, if a bill came before Congress to privatize Social Security, Joe Knollenberg would vote for it.
Before the last election he submitted a survey response to AARP that stated he supported privatizing Social Security -- he just prefers to call it "personalizing" it instead of "privatizing".
Funny how he won't put that on his website though. Then again, he won't even admit on his website that he is a Republican.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
We've already pointed out that Knollenberg's Chief of Staff is Washington DC lobbyist. Yes. Knollenberg's Chief of Staff is a lobbyist, just like the infamous felon Jack Abramoff!
But now Knollenberg and his lobbyist have put up a billboard and website asking for contributions. The press articles report that the billboard cost $10,000 and the website cost $1,500. Now they are trying to raise campaign funds to cover that cost -- but they are trying to raise them in amounts below which they have to track and report the individual donations to the FEC!
Are Knollenberg and his lobbyist, Trent Wisecup, trying to skirt campaign finance laws?
Of course we also have to question the judgment of anyone who would put up a billboard like that for $10,000.
Unfortunately for us, Knollenberg spends taxpayer money just as wildly as he spends his millions in campaign funds.
He has said the same thing about Iraq month, after month, after month.
According to his Chief Lobbyist, Trent Wisecup, Knollenberg is impatient and wants to see progress soon. But he keeps saying that over and over and over. And there is no progress. But he never changes his message.
He is like a bird that just repeats the same phrases over and over again.
Awwwk. Polly wants a cracker. Awwwk.
Therein lies the problem with Joe Knollenberg -- he doesn't DO anything!
Knollenberg has not put forth a single proposal to resolve the problem in Iraq. Knollenberg has not worked with other members of Congress to come up with a bipartisan solution.
Month After Month After Month Knollenberg Says the Same Thing About Iraq.
And Month After Month Knollenberg Does The Same Thing -- NOTHING
All Knollenberg does is repeat the same tired rhetoric. Well, the voters in this District are just as tired as Old Joe's rhetoric. They'll finally put him out to pasture in 2008.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
"A random thought on a Sunday evening in Oakland County … if the“professional environmentalists” (those who get paid to shut down job-producing and wealth-generating industries like the automotive sector of the economy) wantAmerica to behave more like Western Europe on climate change … why do theycontinue to oppose allowing us to use nuclear power and diesel engine technology more fully?"Does anyone know anyone who gets "paid to shut down job-producing and wealth-generating industries"?
I've never met anyone with that job title. How would they fit it on a business card?
That is just crazy talk.
Not mention his paranoia about people opposing diesel technology -- many of the new engines being produced today are diesel engines! What is he talking about? It is the auto industry's choice as to whether they want to use gasoline or diesel engines. The engines in Europe combined with the pollution standards here in the US would be great. Who is arguing against that?
Knollenberg has gone from a do-nothing Congressman to an hallucinating Congressman. I'm not sure, but it might be an improvement. At a minimum, it is more entertaining.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Last week Joe Knollenberg voted to send our troops to Iraq without proper body armor.
Knollenberg thinks our troops only deserve Vietnam era body armor -- he won't vote to supply them with the proper body armor. This 30 second video by a veterans group illustrates the difference.
During the same Appropriations committee meeting, Knollenberg also voted to slash funds for veterans healthcare again!
We have contacted votevets.org to see what we need to do to modify this so it can be run here so voters see just how Knollenberg "supports" the troops.
If you are interested in helping, send an email to Joe@knollenberg.org and we will add you to our contact list.
[Thanks to Sharon for her post on this issue and to Bruce for raising the issue to my attention.]
Joe was among the Republican members of the House Appropriations Committee who unanimously opposed requiring that the troops sent to Iraq be properly prepared for their mission and protected with armor. Again.
Let's see what he does when this bill comes up for a vote in the full House -- I think we all know what he'll do.
Sorry for the error.
Monday, March 19, 2007
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) is:
. . . the sales weighted average fuel economy, expressed in miles per gallon (mpg), of a manufacturer’s fleet of passenger cars or light trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 8,500 lbs. or less, manufactured for sale in the United States, for any given model year. Fuel economy is defined as the average mileage traveled by an automobile per gallon of gasoline (or equivalent amount of other fuel) consumed as measured in accordance with the testing and evaluation protocol set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).Knollenberg claims higher CAFE will destroy the Auto Industry. This is particularly interesting since 2 years ago his current Chief
based on recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences, which would increase fuel efficiency without a negative impact on the U.S. automobile industry.Gosh. I wonder why those higher standards would now suddenly devastate the auto industry. NO explanation from Joe or his lobbyist on that one.
Now the CAFE standard for cars has been set at 27.5 mpg for the last 17 years. Doesn't it seem like the auto companies could (and in fact probably have) done something to increase gas mileage over the last 2 decades?
Higher CAFE Standards Mean Less Money For Joe From Big Oil
But, it all makes sense now. Raising CAFE standards means consumers will use less gasoline. If we buy less gasoline, big greedy oil companies like ExxonMobil won't make as much of a profit. Maybe instead of making $40 Billion in profits every year they will only be able to make $38 or 39 Billion.
And Joe certainly doesn't want the oil companies to see any reduction in their profits -- because that might mean they would give him less money for his campaigns.
Joe Knollenberg is very cozy with the big oil interests. So cozy that he votes FOR Big Oil Profits and against average middle class families.
Here is a sample of Joe's PRO OIL/ANTI-Family votes:
* Knollenberg voted against cracking down on the oil and gas industries price gouging [HR 3402, Vote 500, 9/28/2005]
* Knollenberg voted for the GOP energy bill that gave billions to oil, gas and nuclear industries [HR 6, Vote 445, 7/28/2005]
The real reason Knollenberg opposes increasing CAFE standards is because Oil industry lobbyists told him to.
Knollenberg votes the way Bush tells him to vote.
Interestingly, there is another close tie between Knollenberg's lobbyist, Trent Wisecup, who is also Knollenberg's Chief of Staff, and George Bush's lobbyist -- they both were executives at the same firm!
Here is the DC Navigator's Press Release proudly announcing that Bush's lobbyist was joining the lobbying firm where Wisecup was a Vice President.
We know Joe votes how Bush tells him to vote.
And we know Joe votes how lobbyists tell him to vote.
Now he has both Bush and the lobbyists telling him how to vote.
Too bad our Congressman cannot think for himself.
Joe Knollenberg's Chief of Staff is the bigshot Washington DC lobbyist, Trent Wisecup. He was most recently a lobbyist affiliated with a group called "DC Navigators".
But he wasn't just any lobbyist. He also worked directly on election campaigns, including Governor Schwarzenegger. (Which just makes the anti-Arnold billboard he put up for Knollenberg all the more strange.)
More specifically, according to the DC Navigators website, Wisecup "directed the campaign’s opposition research and rapid response teams."
That of course means that Wisecup's job was to dig-up and make-up, dirt on any opponents. Richard Nixon was an expert at such dirty tricks. Apparently such low ethical standards are still in force in the Republican Party.
Lying About the Background of an Opponent
What types of things would a scumbag opposition research & rapid responder do? Lie of course. (No wonder lobbyists are so good at that job!)
In the case of Schwarzenegger's campaign in 2003, his opposition research and rapid responder lied about the background of a stuntwoman who had accused the movie star of groping her while filming. How did the scumbag opp researcher respond? By lying about the woman's background. They claimed she was a felon with a long criminal background. It wasn't true. She had never been in trouble with the law. If you want more, just google the name Schwartzenegger and "dirty tricks" and you'll get plenty of hits.
Who Pays Wisecup's Salary?
Another interesting point -- who does Wisecup really work for? Is he working for Knollenberg or is he still a lobbyist? He is listed as Knollenberg's Chief of Staff, but his name doesn't show up on the list of House staffers and their salaries. And we know that his lobbying firm opened up a Detroit office a few years ago.
How Can You Trust A Congressman Who Fills His Staff With D.C. Lobbyists?
Don't you think that after all the scandals involving Republican Congressman and Washington D.C. lobbyists, that any rational Member of Congress would avoid hiring a lobbyist at all costs? Not Joe. Oh No.
Joe prefers to keep his lobbyists and their fists full of fundraising dough real close.
Who does Wisecup work for? The lobbying firm?
Maybe the better question is who does Joe Knollenberg work for? It certainly isn't the voters of the 9th District. I think we'll find out more as we continue to investigate his campaign contributions, extensive earmarks for campaign donors, and other things he has done in exchange for campaign cash and other party favors.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
For more details about this invitation and to RSVP online, go to: http://www.party2win.com/retirejoeknollenberg/parties?e=retirejoe1&userid=38973