Saturday, April 21, 2007

Knollenberg's Online FEC Report is Still Wrong

We reported last week that Knollenberg's report on the FEC website was wrong.

We have been checking to see when it gets corrected. That hasn't happened yet.

The information has been changed, but it still isn't correct!

Such blatant errors and the inability to correct them seem to be a hallmark of both Bush & Knollenberg (e.g., Iraq, Katrina, US Attorney scandal, etc.)

Knollenberg's report still shows that he received $74,800 in contributions from Political Action Committees (PACs). (These PACs represent special interests and are usually very closely tied with lobbyists.)

But when you click on the link to see where the individual PAC contributions came from, they only list $23,000 in donations. So they report $74,800 in contributions, but only show $23,000. Where did the other $52,800 come from?

If Knollenberg is this careless with his FEC reports, does that mean he is this careless when it comes to making decisions on how to vote on key issues in Congress?

Knollenberg Still Unconditionally Supports Bush's War in Iraq -- Part 1

Joe Knollenberg has given Unconditional Support to George Bush's war in Iraq.

In one of his most recent statements, Knollenberg said he was supporting Bush's "STAY THE COURSE", but add more troops plan.

Specifically, Knollenberg said, "I am hopeful that the Administration’s new policy [the additional 21,000 troops] will bring an end to the sectarian violence in Iraq. . ." (March 23, 2007 statement.)

Instead, as we have seen, as more and more troops are added, the violence in Iraq just increases as well. Although only half of the additional troops have even arrived in Iraq, last month was the bloodiest month in the history of the conflict.

Vast Majority of Voters in Michigan Disagree with Knollenberg

But voters in Michigan disagree with Knollenberg on the war. In an April 21, 2007 article, the Detroit News reports that 67% of voters disapprove of Bush's handling of the war.

A full two-thirds of us disapprove of Bush's overall job performance! That is a remarkable statistic.

With only a third of us approving of the President's job performance, one would think that our Congressional representatives would feel similarly. Not because they would be following the polling, but simply because it seems they would be well aware of the same failures and problems of which the rest of us are aware and concerned about. But Knollenberg continues to vote with Bush over 90% of the time -- including unquestioning support for the war in Iraq.

Joe Knollenberg's Position on Iraq is Too Extreme for Oakland County.

Friday, April 20, 2007

What does Joe have against the people of DC having full representation?

Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed H R 1905 District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act, which gives the District its first full seat in Congress. Joe voted against the legislation. It may not have enough votes to pass the Senate, and the president has promised to veto the bill if it reaches his desk. Why don't Republicans want residents of Washington, DC to have full representation? They claim it's because it's unconstitutional -- that only states have the right to representation. But we know the real reason -- the seat will certainly be a sure Democratic seat. However, the compromise for passage included adding a representative to Utah, a heavily Republican seat.

The people of DC do pay taxes, so shouldn't they be entitled to have a voice in Congress? Perhaps a load of teabags on the WH lawn would be in order.

Source: Washington Post
By Mary Beth Sheridan and Yolanda Woodlee
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, April 20, 2007; Page A01A

Bill giving the District its first full seat in Congress cleared the House yesterday, marking the city's biggest legislative victory in its quest for voting rights in nearly three decades.Democrats on the House floor burst into applause, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) grabbed the arms of the District's nonvoting delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton, as the 241 to 177 vote was announced.

"There was nothing but joy in the chamber this afternoon," Norton said.

But the bill faces considerable obstacles. Democrats don't appear to have enough votes in the Senate to avoid a filibuster, and the White House has threatened a veto. If the measure becomes law, it probably will be challenged in court.

Read more:

Knollen-omics Strikes Again

Joe Knollenberg's positions on economic policies may help his lobbyist friends, but his positions hurt voters in Oakland County.

According to today's Free Press,
After decades of double-digit growth in property values of residential, commercial and industrial properties, Oakland County's assessed value rose by a mere 1.17% in the past year -- the smallest margin in nearly 40 years.

Knollenberg's positions on economic issues favor the super-rich, but hurt middle-class families. When the economy is strong, it can handle bad policy decisions without having as much impact on families. But eventually these bad policy decisions will have an impact -- and they always hurt middle class families the most.

Joe Knollenberg's Economic Policies Hurt Middle-Class Families.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Michigan Democratic Party Launches Knollenberg Watch

The Democratic party of Michigan has joined the clarion call to the public to be looking at Joe Knollenberg's record, as this blog has been doing for months. Welcome aboard. Click here to view the MDP Knollenberg Watch page.

Once Again Joe Knollenberg Shows Neither Leadership Or Vision

Leaders lead.

Joe Knollenberg is not a leader.

Joe Knollenberg is a follower.

We've already discussed how he "follows" the direction of lobbyists and George Bush when it comes to voting on legislation.

But glancing at his new blog illustrates Knollenberg's lack of leadership and vision. The majority of his blog posts start with phrases such as "great column in the Detroit News today" or "The Detroit News has a great story..."

In short, his blog posts are nothing but links to newspaper articles.

Leaders are people with original thoughts. If Knollenberg had any vision or leadership skills, he would use his blog to discuss what is going on in Congress. He would tell us what his positions were and why. We don't need his help to read the local papers.

We need a representative in Congress who understands our concerns and will fight for our best interests. We deserve someone better than Joe Knollenberg.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

How Much Does Knollenberg's Chief Lobbyist Cost Taxpayers?

Joe Knollenberg's Chief of Staff is Trent Wisecup, a Washington D.C. lobbyist.

We know that Washington DC lobbyists like Jack Abramoff make millions of dollars a year.

The only reason someone like that would give up a lucrative job like that would be because working on the inside would give him influence over a Congressman's votes and also because it would give him a network of people to call on later when he went back to lobbying. In DC they call it the "revolving door".

But how much does Knollenberg charge taxpayers for his lobbyist's salary? Wisecup isn't listed as an employee for Knollenberg for the last reporting period that ended on 12/31/06. So we don't know his exact salary, we can only guess it must be more than the $105,505 paid to his Constituent Services Director.

Here is what Knollenberg's other staffers make for 3 months work:

Payee Name Start date End date Position Amount Notes
Betz, Steven V 10/01/06 12/31/06 Field Representative $17,750.00
Brown, Eric K 10/01/06 12/31/06 Staff Assistant $10,000.00
Ciavattone, Shawn 10/01/06 12/31/06 District Staff Director $23,900.00
Elrod, Ruth R 10/01/06 12/31/06 Staff Assistant $8,250.00
Foster, Stuart 10/01/06 12/31/06 Congressional Aide $9,125.00
Geibel, Karen Sue 10/01/06 12/31/06 Executive Assistant $28,375.00
Goff, Jeffrey 10/01/06 12/31/06 Legislative Associate $18,999.99
Hallmark, Jessica 10/01/06 12/31/06 Staff Aide $12,625.00
Hing, Jennifer L 10/01/06 12/31/06 Communications Director $20,000.00
Johnson, Kathleen I 10/01/06 12/31/06 Constituent Services Director $26,376.33
Last, Jeffrey M 10/01/06 12/31/06 Staff Assistant $8,750.00
Lee, Lindsay A 10/01/06 12/31/06 Legislative Correspondent $10,499.99
Mitchell, Mildred I 10/01/06 12/31/06 Part-time Employee $8,000.34
Onizuk, Jeffrey M 10/01/06 12/31/06 Assistant to Rep. Knollenberg (P) $15,455.01
Orear, Mary M 10/01/06 12/31/06 Field Representative $18,500.00
Schwarz, Lindsay 10/01/06 12/31/06 Legislative Correspondent $12,689.17
Wilson, Heather 10/01/06 12/31/06 Staff Assistant $15,250.00
17 results

Monday, April 16, 2007

Knollenberg Keeps His Lobbyist's Very Close & Their Money Too

We have reported numerous times about how Joe Knollenberg's Chief of Staff, Trent Wisecup, is a Washington, DC Lobbyist who used to represent drug companies & who fought to prevent Seniors from being able to import less expensive medication from Canada. We have also reported on Knollenberg's links to other lobbyists such as Mark Valente and Paul Welday.

Well, today we would like to show you a graphical illustration of the donations that Knollenberg gets from his lobbyist friends.

If you look at the charts below, you will see the names of all of Knollenberg's campaign donors for the 1st quarter of 2007. The lines highlighted in red are lobbyists. You'll see some names scattered around on the charts that are highlighted in red -- until you come to page 4 -6 when you'll see a long block of lobbyists and special interest donors.

No wonder Joe Knollenberg votes the way the lobbyists tell him to vote. They pay for it.

What is Wrong With Knollenberg's FEC Reports?

What is wrong with these pictures?

Knollenberg's Federal Election Commission (FEC) report for the 1st Quarter of 2007 is wrong.

There is money reported as having been collected from special interest Political Action Committees (PACs), but according to the FEC, Knollenberg doesn't reveal from whom it was collected.

Click on the document to the left to enlarge it.

You will see that that the FEC lists Knollenberg as having collected:

Total Receipts: $264,311
Transfers From Authorized Committees: $0
Individual Contributions: $187,530
Non-Party (e.g. PACs) or Other Committees: $74,800

But if you went to the original FEC page for that document, and clicked on that last line item, the FEC link to "non-Party (e.g., PACs) or Other Committees", it only lists 4 PACs that contributed for a sum of $9,500. But the line item above clearly shows receipts of $74,800.

That is a difference of ($74,500 - $ 9,500 =) $65,000. In other words, we only know the source of $9,500 of those special interest PAC funds. Where did the $65,000 come from?

Did Knollenberg and his Chief Lobbyist fail
to properly report $65,000
that they got from special interest PACs?

To be fair, and we are always fair, this error could be the fault of the FEC.
If it is, then we would expect Knollenberg's campaign staff to make certain that the error is corrected quickly.

Democrats go after Knollenberg Oakland Press 4/17/07

Democrats clearly have Joe in their sights, not because they're "playing politics" as Trent Wisecup likes to repeat again and again and again. Joe Knollenberg is clearly out of step with his constituents, so much so that he won't let anyone that doesn't see things like the war his way even in his office to talk to him, an office taxpayers pay for. Joe thinks people that disagree with him are "liberal agitators." I think beacons for change is a better way to describe those of us that want to see Joe sent back to Bloomfield Hills permanently.
He's so out of touch, he doesn't even mention Iraq as an issue on his web site. And he doesn't acknowledge the 79% of those surveyed in a Birmingham survey that think the escalation in Iraq is bad policy.
I expect we'll see a letter to the editor any day now from a family member of Trent Wisecup, defending Joe's positions.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

I wonder if Joe's heard about the water powered car

Someone sent me this video and I can hardly believe it. This car actually runs on water. They also have a web site, Water Powered Car. I checked it out on and I can't find anything that says it's a hoax. The video is of a news report. Joe, do you think the Big 3 could manufacture this or it could be mass produced here in Michigan? I've forwarded the information to Governor Granholm for further investigation. Not to worry, Republicans wouldn't run with a good idea if it hit them upside the head.
The Sunday, April 15th, 2007 edition of the Oakland Press has a great letter to the editor from Thomas Bem of West Bloomfield Township. Tom hits the nail on the head on Joe Knollenberg's backward thinking. It's nice to see that other constituents are catching on to Joe's lack of leadership on important issues, like having our car manufacturers making cars that are cleaner and get better gas mileage. After all, why are we REALLY in Iraq? Could it be the oil? Just asking.