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According to the campaign spokesman of former MN State Representative Shelley Madore, currently running for Congress in Minnesota’s Second District, they received a formal response Monday from GOP incumbent Congressman John Kline (R-MN) rejecting an opportunity to debate her in front of a live audience in the Second Congressional District at any time that was convenient to him.
In a year when incumbents are on shaky ground, Kline is keeping his head down. “It saddens me that the voters of this district will have one 25-minute radio interview just one week before the election as their only opportunity to evaluate our ability to best represent them in Washington,” said Madore discussing the incumbent’s reluctance to make time to appear before district voters. Kline’s voting record is more conservative than Michelle Bachmann (MN-6), and his district gets back less than half the federal taxes they pay now that Kline’s anti-earmark ideology has painted him into a corner when it comes to helping his constituents.
“Rep. John Kline has been in office for eight years; he seems to take for granted that his seat is secure despite the 18% public approval rating for members of Congress. I believe the voters of this district have had enough of elitist Washington politics.
I have appeared at FarmFest and the Goodhue County Veterans candidate forums and will participate in two Transportation Alliance candidate forums in the next two weeks, all of which John Kline has refused to attend. In his response, John Kline cited his conversations with voters at community events over the summer. I have spent the last nine months listening to voters’ concerns about jobs, health care, transportation and education funding. These are serious times and demand a serious candidate willing to work for your vote.”
Former Minnesota Representative Shelley Madore
Madore’s campaign has reportedly conveyed an additional offer made Monday by the Burnsville Chamber of Commerce to host a debate, seeking an opportunity for voters to compare and contrast the two candidates and their records in a setting where the public can see and judge both.
According to Rasmussen incumbents are in trouble, and Kline’s lack of initiative for projects within the district while he continues to vote for earmarks inserted by other members of his party leaves him open to questions from the voters. His record of voting against funding for veterans has led some to accuse him of supporting war without supporting the warriors. Madore’s 35 Cent Tour has successfully explained to Minnesotans that not all earmarks are pork, and at least one survey suggests swing voters (those who report they have not stuck strictly to one party in the past) believe Kline needed to do more than repeat talking points if he wanted to represent them in Congress again – and I’m inclined to believe them.
Thomas Hayesis a political strategist, entrepreneur, and journalist currently working for the Madore for Congress campaign in Minnesota’s Second Congressional District. He contributes regularly to a host of web sites on topics ranging from economics and politics to culture and community, and helped the Madore campaign to a convincing upset victory in the August primary.