Saturday, April 26, 2008

Joe voted against fair elections

This vote should have been a no brainer, even for Joe Knollenberg. The Emergency Assistance for Secure Elections Act of 2008 would have funded converting from error-prone electronic voting machines and paid for providing backup paper ballots. I guess Joe Knollenberg doesn't care about fair, secure elections. I wonder if he's planning on cheating to win in November.
Emergency Assistance for Secure Elections Act of 2008 - Directs the Election Assistance Commission to reimburse certain jurisdictions for the costs of: (1) converting from electronic or other voting systems to paper ballot voting systems for the general elections for federal office to be held in November 2008; (2) retrofitting direct recording electronic voting systems to produce voter verifiable paper records; and (3) providing backup paper ballots if the jurisdiction uses a direct recording electronic voting system which happens to fail. Authorizes appropriations.

Knollenberg has no ideas, just hopes another Henry Ford shows up in Michigan

Poor Joe Knollenberg and the Republicans. They are fresh out of new ideas. They just keep repeating their mantra, lower taxes, less regulation. It reminds me of an old Miller Lite commercial, whose refrain was, "tastes great, less filling". Republicans think that if you keep repeating the same lies over and over again, people will believe them. It worked for George W. Bush in the run-up to the war. But the American people are finally wising up to the Republicans' lies.

In Joe's piece in the Oakland Press this morning, Joe admits that the reason new employers are locating in Michigan and Oakland county is not low taxes, it's our skilled work force. I think that's what Governor Granholm was saying in the 2006 election cycle when the Republicans kept repeating their "lower taxes" mantra.

Even the auto companies are getting the fact that we have to increase mileage our vehicles get and have started to introduce hybrid, fuel cell and all-electric vehicles to the market and guess what, they're still in business and hopefully they're finally catching on to the fact that 15 mpg SUV's aren't going to sell in a world of $4 per gallon gasoline. But Joe Knollenberg wants to protect the auto companies from having to build vehicles that get better mileage, even while they lay off workers because of poor sales, while companies like Toyota get the fact that higher mileage vehicles sell better in these times of high priced energy.

Joe Knollenberg wants to live in the past and push old ideas. We need new leadership that wants to move forward with confidence in ourselves that we can find new answers to the problems that face Michigan and the country.

We've seen what happens when taxes burden the middle class unfairly and too little regulation leads to disasters, like sick cows making it into our food chain, lead paint on our children's toys coming from China and airplanes that don't get checked for safety.

Joe's man, John McCain, in New Orleans

This video sets the record straight on John McCain's record on Katrina related legislation, in contrast to what happened in New Orleans. I guess, using "Reverend Wright" logic, Joe is guilt by association for endorsing John McCain

Friday, April 25, 2008

Hey, Joe, watch this ad. You Think We Can't Get Universal Health Care?

This is one of the funniest political ads I've seen this elections season. And it's on one of my favorite topics, health care.

Guess who doesn't really support the troops

Joe Knollenberg says he supports our troops. But guess what, actions speak louder than words. There is a new 2008 GI bill. It has 235 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives. Guess who isn't one of those co-sponsors. If you guessed Joe Knollenberg, you'd be right.

Here's a video about the 2008 GI Bill:

This is what Joe has to say on his web site.
Joe in his own words:

America must maintain the strongest military in the world to defend our way of life from the threat of terrorists who want to destroy us. 9/11 changed everything.

I have consistently voted to provide our soldiers with the most updated and sophisticated military equipment. And I have voted numerous times to increase the pay of the brave Americans who are in harm’s way.

There is no greater sacrifice an individual can make. We must never shortchange our troops.

I feel just as strong about our veterans. In the past five years, I have voted to increase spending on veterans benefits from $48 billion to $71 billion.

This year, I voted for the largest increase in veterans spending in the Veterans Affairs Department’s 77-year history. I am frugal when it comes to the federal budget, but we must honor our commitments to our veterans. They risked everything to keep us safe. We need to ensure they have the benefits they deserve.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Joe Knollenberg's temper tantrum against Carter

Recently Joe Knollenberg has been trying to get in the news by railing against Jimmy Carter's talking to Hamas and has proposed legislation to cut off federal funding to the Carter Center. Before we do that, it might be a good idea to look at some of the accomplishments of the Carter Center.

When asked directly on Fox News whether there is any chance of his legislation passing, he evades the question. This is all for show, folks. Whether you agree with Carter's talking with Hamas or not, Joe Knollenberg is just trying to get his free media time with a constituent audience.

The Carter Center Peace Programs: Peace With Justice

Peace with justice requires resolving conflict according to rules agreed to by all, beginning with the shared commitment to human rights and democratic values. Today, virtually all governments claim to share this belief. The Carter Center, in partnership with others, seeks practical ways to narrow the gap between the rhetoric and realities of government policies in countries striving to overcome legacies of oppression and deadly conflict by building more just societies of their own.

At the invitation of governments and in cooperation with civil society, The Carter Center continues to play a leading role in election observation across the developing world, broadening its participation to help countries better prepare for elections and build upon the results to deepen democracy and ensure peace becomes permanent.

Whether helping to standardize election procedures in China's villages, giving voice to human rights defenders in Africa, or increasing transparency of campaign finance and governance in the Americas, the Center's programs work to attain peace with justice in those areas of the world most in need and who request our help.

The Carter Center's principled impartiality and record of achievement give its peace making programs the credibility needed to work nationally, regionally, and globally.

These programs include:
  • The Democracy Program: working for the development of inclusive democratic societies and the empowerment of citizens through election observation, consensus-building for international standards for democratic elections, and democracy-strengthening activities in emerging democracies and regional organizations.
  • Human Rights Program: intervening on behalf of victims of human rights abuses; strengthening the voices of human rights defenders internationally; and building capacity for rule of law in partnerships with civil society, governments, and international organizations.
  • The Conflict Resolution Program: helping prevent deadly conflict, mediating differences, and ensuring that peace processes become irreversible at the invitation of parties to disputes and assisting capacity building for conflict resolution in regional organizations.
  • The Americas Program: improving regional cooperation and the deepening of democracy within the Western Hemisphere, thwarting corruption, increasing transparency,, and decreasing social inequities to ensure that free and fair elections lead to the consolidation of democratic institutions and rule of law.
  • China Program: advising China's Ministry of Civil Affairs on local elections practices, voter education, and data collection.

Current peacemaking initiatives include:

Knollenberg Changing His Tune on Trade. Must Be an Election Year

Joe Knollenberg has been a reliable vote for all of our free trade agreements. Yet now that he has a stiff challenge from Gary Peters, he may be trying to change his tune on trade, realizing that in these times of recession, voters may not be so happy that he's consistently voted to send American jobs overseas to countries with low cost labor. That doesn't sound like Joe Knollenberg is interested in protecting good paying American jobs.

In an article from Thursday's Detroit Free Press, here's what Knollenberg's spokesperson had to say.

So steady is the drumbeat of anti-trade invective that even U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg, a Republican from Oakland County who voted for NAFTA and other free trade deals, may oppose the Korean accord if a vote comes.

Knollenberg spokesman Nate Bailey said key elements of the Korea pact -- big reductions in Korean duties on imports of U.S. beef, oranges, cars and trucks in exchange for elimination of the fairly tiny 2.5% U.S. tariff on cars -- look good. But he said Knollenberg is worried about enforcement of the pact.

What Bailey didn't say, and didn't have to, is that Knollenberg represents a district with a lot of auto industry workers and companies going through hard times. And even as a Republican who doesn't normally feel compelled to genuflect to the UAW on trade matters, Knollenberg is savvy enough to know that most Americans -- rightly or wrongly -- link job losses in manufacturing to globalization and to free trade.

Here's Joe's record on previous free trade agreements.

YES on 'Fast Track' authority for trade agreements: Strongly Favors topic 13
YES on Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China: Strongly Favors topic 13
NO on withdrawing from the WTO: Strongly Favors topic 13
YES on implementing US-Singapore free trade agreement: Strongly Favors topic 13
YES on implementing free trade agreement with Chile: Strongly Favors topic 13
YES on implementing US-Australia Free Trade Agreement: Favors topic 13
YES on end offshore tax havens and promote small business: Opposes topic 13
YES on implementing CAFTA, Central America Free Trade: Strongly Favors topic 13
YES on assisting workers who lose jobs due to globalization: Opposes topic 13
YES on promoting free trade with Peru: Favors topic 13

It looks to me like Joe Knollenberg is having an election year conversion.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Joe, Gary Peters is and environmentalist and you're no Gary Peters

So, let's take a look at Joe's environmental record

Dirty Dozen Member # 2: Representative Joe Knollenberg

The second person added to the Dirty Dozen today is Representative Joe Knollenberg (R-MI). While Rep. Knollenberg calls himself an environmentalist saying that “protecting, preserving, and providing for the health of our environment is one of his top priorities,” his record paints a much different picture. Rep. Knollenberg has repeatedly voted for corporate polluters and against environmental protections, earning him a lifetime LCV score of only 7 percent. Rep. Knollenberg has strongly opposed all attempts to raise fuel economy standards for cars and trucks. In 1998 and 1999, Knollenberg attached a rider known as 'the Knollenberg amendment' to congressional budget appropriation bills to prevent government agencies from doing anything that would regulate global warming pollution, including forbidding the EPA from holding educational seminars about global warming. In August 2007, he voted against a provision that would increase the amount of renewable energy produced in the United States.

“Michigan families need to ask, ‘whose side is Representative Joe Knollenberg really on?’” LCV President Gene Karpinski said. “Rep. Knollenberg’s record clearly shows that he votes for policies that reward his corporate contributors rather than supporting clean energy solutions to our energy challenges that would help fight global warming. We want to help inform Rep. Knollenberg’s constituents about his terrible environmental voting record – he can’t hide from it any longer.”

Representative Joseph Knollenberg (R-MI 9th)

8th-term Republican from Michigan.

Photo: Representative Knollenberg

Bio & Contact Info

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Member Staff

Vote Ratings
110th, 1st Session (2007) 20%
109th Congress (2005-2006) 3%
108th Congress (2003-2004) 6%
107th Congress (2001-2002) 0%
106th Congress (1999-2000) 0%

Scorecard Votes

Name of Legislation Voted Score
Passed CAFE & Clean Energy 12/06/2007 N
Passed Hard Rock Mining Reform 11/01/2007 N
Failed Weakening Hard Rock Mining Reform 11/01/2007 Y
Passed Clean Energy 08/04/2007 Y
Agreed To Renewable Electricity Standard 08/04/2007 N
Failed Grasslands Protection 07/27/2007 Y
Failed Farm Bill - Subsidy Reform 07/26/2007 Y
Passed Environmental Funding 06/27/2007 N
Agreed To Oil Shale 06/27/2007 N
Agreed To Tongass Logging Roads 06/27/2007 N
Failed Mexican Wolf Recovery 06/27/2007 Y
Agreed To Clean Air 06/27/2007 N
Failed Reducing Global Warming 06/27/2007 Y
Failed Offshore Drilling 06/27/2007 Y
Failed Population 06/21/2007 Y
Failed Electric Transmission Corridors 06/20/2007 N
Failed Global Warming and National Security 05/11/2007 Y
Passed Clean Water 03/09/2007 N
Failed Liquid Coal 02/08/2007 Y
Passed Oil Subsides Repeal 01/18/2007 Y

Votes Legend

Joe earned a score of 20 from the League of Conservation Voters. If you look at his web site, you'd think he was the best thing to happen to the environment ever. There's even pictures of Joe picking up leave at a park in Royal. So, you'd have to conclude that Joe give a rip about the environment if he and his staff were at a park picking up leaves, right? Nothing could be further from the truth. If it comes down to business or the environment, business wins every time. God forbid the auto companies should be required to build cars that get higher mileage when gas is pushing $4.00 per gallon.

Joe Knollenberg is no environmentalist, no matter what his taxpayer paid for mailers or his web site say.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Peters Endorsed by League of Conservation Voters, Knollenberg made Dirty Dozen list

Gary Peters and Joe Knollenberg are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to their environmental records. On Earth Day, Gary Peters gained the endorsement of the League of Conservation Voters. Peters and Knollenberg can't be further apart on the environment. Knollenberg was added to the LCV's "Dirty Dozen" list as one of the members of Congress with a terrible record on the environment.

Outside groups jolt fed races

Gordon Trowbridge / Detroit News Washington Bureau

ROCHESTER -- Outside groups are gearing up to spend thousands of dollars in Michigan's two high-profile congressional races, pushing everything from environmental protection to tax cuts to animal welfare.

One of the biggest outside players weighed in Monday, when the League of Conservation Voters endorsed Democrat Gary Peters in his bid to unseat Rep. Joe Knollenberg, R-Bloomfield Hills.

"There's a clear contrast here in the 9th District," Peters said at a news conference announcing the endorsement, criticizing Knollenberg for what he called a failure to help position Michigan for a new economy based on alternative energy sources.

Monday, April 21, 2008

What will Joe say if Carter is successful?

So, Joe, what kind of resolution will you call for if Jimmy Carter is successful in negotiating peace between Hamas and the Israelis. Will he sponsor legislation doubling the amount of money the Carter Center gets? Doubt it.
DAMASCUS, Syria - The leader of Hamas said Monday that his Palestinian militant group would offer Israel a 10-year "hudna," or truce, as implicit proof of recognition of Israel if it withdrew from all lands it seized in the 1967 Middle East War.

Khaled Mashaal told The Associated Press that he made the offer to former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in talks on Saturday. "We have offered a truce if Israel withdraws to the 1967 borders, a truce of 10 years as a proof of recognition," Mashaal said.

In his comments Monday, Mashaal used the Arabic word "hudna," meaning truce, which is more concrete than "tahdiya" — a period of calm — which Hamas often uses to describe a simple cease-fire.