John Kline (politician)
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota's 2nd district
January 3, 2003
|Preceded by||Mark Kennedy|
September 6, 1947 |
|Alma mater||Rice University, Shippensburg University|
|Service/branch||United States Marine Corps|
|Years of service||1969–1994|
Operation Restore Hope
|Awards||Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal (3)
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Presidential Service Badge
Navy Commendation Medal
John Paul Kline (born September 6, 1947) is the U.S. Representative for Minnesota's 2nd congressional district, serving since 2003. The district includes most of the southern suburbs of the Twin Cities, including Apple Valley, Inver Grove Heights, Burnsville and Eagan. He is a member of the Republican Party.
Early life, education and career 
Kline was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of W. B. Ray High School in Corpus Christi, Texas (1965) and was educated at Rice University (1969) and Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania (1988).
Before his election to Congress, Kline was a 25-year veteran of the United States Marine Corps, where he was a senior military aide to Presidents Carter and Reagan and was responsible for carrying the President's "Football". During his military career, Kline served as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam, commanded all Marine aviation forces in Operation Restore Hope in Somalia, flew "Marine One," the Presidential helicopter, and served as Program Development Officer at Headquarters Marine Corps. He received numerous medals and commendations, including Four Legions of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal (awarded 3 times), the Vietnam Campaign Medal, a Presidential Service Badge, and the Navy Commendation Medal. Kline retired from the Marine Corps as a colonel.
Kline and his wife, Vicky, live in Lakeville. They have two children and four grandchildren.
U.S. House of Representatives 
Committee assignments 
- Committee on Armed Services
- Committee on Education and the Workforce (Chairman)
- As Chairman of the full committee, Rep. Kline may serve as an ex officio member of all subcommittees of which he is not already a voting member.
- Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education
- Subcommittee on Workforce Protections
- Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training
Political positions 
Kline received $30,000 in campaign contributions from former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's political action committee ARMPAC. Following DeLay's indictment on charges of money laundering (Tom DeLay campaign finance investigation), Democrats criticized Kline for failing to return DeLay's contributions or to donate them to charity. Kline also accepted $11,000 in political contributions from former congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham's PAC. After Cunningham’s indictment on fraud charges, Kline donated the money to charity.
Kline was considered the most conservative member of the Minnesota delegation in the 109th Congress, scoring 2.8% progressive on a range of issues and 88% conservative based on 2006 House votes.
In 2006, Kline voted to maintain the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. He voted against a bill prohibiting employers from discriminating based on sexual orientation. The Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBT equality organization in the country, has repeatedly given Kline low ratings.
Kline has largely opposed restrictions on gun ownership, receiving high ratings from such organizations as Gun Owners of America and the National Rifle Association. He voted to repeal parts of the firearms ban for Washington, D.C. He has described himself as "a collector of antique guns and a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment".
Kline has stated, "Job creation is our nation's no. 1 challenge and Congress must make it our no. 1 priority." Kline has spoken in support of education reform designed to encourage parent involvement and teacher accountability. He is opposed to any tax increases and has stated that such strategies must be taken "off the table." In remarks made to fellow representatives, Kline said, "we are watching a massive growth of government power, size, and spending, and I deem that unacceptable."
In his time in office, Kline has sponsored eight bills, on such diverse topics as Veterans' Day and tribal lands. Only one has made it out of the House, and none have been passed into law.
Political campaigns 
Kline made his first run for office in 1998, when he challenged 6th District Democratic incumbent Bill Luther and lost, taking 46 percent of the vote. He sought a rematch in 2000 and lost by only 5,400 votes as George W. Bush narrowly carried the district.
After the 2000 census, Minnesota's congressional map was radically altered, even though the state didn't gain or lose any districts. The old 28-county 2nd District was dismantled, and a new 2nd District was created in the southern suburbs of the Twin Cities. At the same time, the 6th District was pushed slightly to the north and made significantly more Republican than its predecessor. The remap left the home of the 2nd District's freshman incumbent, Republican Mark Kennedy, just inside the reconfigured 6th District. Realizing this, Kline immediately filed for the Republican nomination in the new 2nd District; his home had been drawn into this district. After some consideration, Luther opted to run in the 2nd as well, even though it was thought to lean slightly Republican.
During the campaign, Luther came under fire when one of his supporters, Sam Garst, filed for the race under the banner of the "No New Taxes Party." This was done in retaliation for an ad the National Republican Congressional Committee ran in support of Kline that accused Luther of being soft on crime. Luther subsequently admitted that his campaign knew about Garst's false flag campaign. Kline gained considerable momentum from this, and ultimately won handily, taking 53 percent of the vote to Luther's 42 percent.
In 2004, he defeated Democratic Burnsville City Councilwoman Teresa Daly to win a second term and in 2006, he defeated former FBI Special agent and whistleblower Coleen Rowley, one of Time magazine's "Persons of the Year", with 56% of the vote. In 2008 Kline defeated former Watertown mayor Steve Sarvi and increased his margin of victory to over 57% of the vote. In both 2006 and 2008, Kline was one of the few bright spots in disastrous years for Republicans.
Electoral history 
|2008 Second Congressional District of Minnesota Elections|
|2006 Second Congressional District of Minnesota Elections|
|2004 Second Congressional District of Minnesota Elections|
|2002 Second Congressional District of Minnesota Elections|
|No New Taxes Party||Sam Garst||12,408||5||-|
|2000 Sixth Congressional District of Minnesota Elections|
|1998 Sixth Congressional District of Minnesota Elections|
See also 
- "Congressman John Kline – Representative of Minnesota". John Kline's Biography. United States House of Representatives. Retrieved December 22, 2006.[dead link]
- DeLay's Money, Part 9 Accessed August 12, 2006
- Some Republicans are dumping donations given by Cunningham Accessed August 12, 2006
- Grossman, Joshua. "ProgressivePunch Leading with the Left". All Issues. ProgressivePunch. Archived from the original on August 31, 2007. Retrieved September 8, 2007.
- "ACU Ratings of Congress, 2006". American Conservative Union. 2006. Archived from the original on September 3, 2007. Retrieved September 8, 2007.
- The Minnesota Congressional Districts page shows the entire delegation's scores
- Diaz, Kevin (January 8, 2007). "Minnesota delegation offers cool response". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on October 21, 2007. Retrieved January 9, 2007.
- Talev, Margaret (January 10, 2007). "House approves minimum wage increase". Star Tribune. Retrieved January 12, 2007.
- Schmickle, Sharon. John Kline, Steve Sarvi clash over policies and tone of campaigns. Minn Post. October 20, 2008.
- Scheck, Tom. Luther, Kline get heated in TV debate. Minnesota Public Radio, August 22, 2002.
- Congressman John Kline official U.S. House site
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Ballotpedia
- Congressional profile at GovTrack
- Congressional profile at OpenCongress
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Financial information (federal office) at OpenSecrets.org
- Staff salaries, trips and personal finance (federal office) at LegiStorm.com
- Issue positions and quotes at On the Issues
- Voting record at The Washington Post
- Appearances on C-SPAN programs
- Collected news and commentary at The Washington Post
- Profile at SourceWatch
- Campaign 2006: John Kline profile from Minnesota Public Radio
- John Kline at the Notable Names Database
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota's 2nd congressional district
|Chairman of House Education and the Workforce Committee
|United States order of precedence|
|United States Representatives by seniority