John Kline (politician)

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For other people of the same name, see John Kline (disambiguation).
John Kline
Johnkline.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota's 2nd district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2003
Preceded by Mark Kennedy
Chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded by George Miller
Personal details
Born John Paul Kline
(1947-09-06) September 6, 1947 (age 66)
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Vicky Kline
Children Kathy Kline
Dan Kline
Residence Lakeville, Minnesota
Alma mater Rice University
Shippensburg University
Occupation defense strategist
Religion Methodist
Military service
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1969–1994
Rank Colonel
Battles/wars Vietnam War
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 an American politician who has served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from Minnesota's 2nd congressional district since 2003. The district includes most of the southern suburbs of the Twin Cities, including Apple Valley, Inver Grove Heights, Burnsville and Eagan. A member of the Republican Party, Kline serves as the Chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

Early life, education and career[edit]

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.[1] 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[edit]

Committee assignments[edit]

Political positions[edit]

Kline supported President Bush's plan to increase troop levels in Iraq in January, 2007.[2]

During Kline's 2008 bid for reelection he discussed his opposition to earmarks and his refusal to request them for his district.[3]

In 2006, Kline voted to maintain the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.[4] He voted for the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013.[5]

Kline has largely opposed restrictions on gun ownership.[6][7] He voted to repeal parts of the firearms ban for Washington, D.C.[8] He has described himself as "a collector of antique guns and a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment".[9]

Kline has stated, "Job creation is our nation's no. 1 challenge and Congress must make it our no. 1 priority."[10] Kline has spoken in support of education reform designed to encourage parent involvement and teacher accountability.[11] He is opposed to any tax increases and has stated that such strategies must be taken "off the table."[12] 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."[13]

Kline has generally supported raising interest rates on student loans as a way of reducing the budget deficit. In 2013 Kline proposed a bill that, among other adjustments, changed the rate on subsidized Stafford loans from 3.4% to 5.9%. The bill linked the rate of interest to the rate of US borrowing.[14]

Legislation[edit]

On April 1, 2014, Kline introduced the Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act (H.R. 10; 113th Congress), a bill that would amend and reauthorize both the Charter School Programs and the Credit Enhancement for Charter School Initiatives under Title V of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 through fiscal year 2020 and combine them into a single authorization.[15][16] This is intended to streamline and improve the grants process and increase the funding for these programs from $250 million to $300 million.[17] The bill passed in the House on May 7, 2014.[16]

Political campaigns[edit]

Kline made his first run for office in 1998, when he challenged 6th District Democratic incumbent Bill Luther and lost, taking 46% of the vote. He sought a rematch in 2000 and lost by only 5,400 votes, while George W. Bush narrowly carried the district.

After the 2000 census, Minnesota's congressional map was radically altered, though the number of districts was unchanged. The old 28-county 2nd District was dismantled, and a new 2nd District was created in the Twin Cities' southern suburbs. At the same time, the 6th District was pushed slightly north and made significantly more Republican than its predecessor. The remapping 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.[18] Kline gained considerable momentum from this, and ultimately won handily, taking 53% of the vote to Luther's 42%.

Kline then defeated Democratic Burnsville City Councilwoman Teresa Daly to win a second term in 2004 and former FBI Special agent and whistleblower Coleen Rowley, one of Time magazine's "Persons of the Year", with 56% of the vote in 2006. In 2008 Kline defeated former Watertown mayor Steve Sarvi and increased his margin of victory to over 57% of the vote.

Kline 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.[19]

Kline's reelection in 2012 made him the 40th U.S. Representative from Minnesota to win six House terms.[20]

Electoral history[edit]

2012

In the 2012 US House elections, Kline defeated Democrat Mike Obermueller by 8%.[21]

2010
2008
2008 Second Congressional District of Minnesota Elections
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John Kline 220,926 57.3%
Democratic Steve Sarvi 164,079 42.5%
N/A others 614 0.2%
2006
2006 Second Congressional District of Minnesota Elections
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John Kline 163,292 56%
Democratic Coleen Rowley 116,360 40%
Independence Doug Williams 10,802 4%
2004
2004 Second Congressional District of Minnesota Elections
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John Kline 206,313 57%
Democratic Teresa Daly 147,527 40%
Independence Doug Williams 11,822 3%
2002
2002 Second Congressional District of Minnesota Elections
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John Kline 152,533 53%
Democratic Bill Luther 121,072 42%
No New Taxes Party Sam Garst 12,408 5%
2000
2000 Sixth Congressional District of Minnesota Elections
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John Kline 48%
Democratic Bill Luther 50%
1998
1998 Sixth Congressional District of Minnesota Elections
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John Kline 46%
Democratic Bill Luther 50%

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Congressman John Kline – Representative of Minnesota". John Kline's Biography. United States House of Representatives. Retrieved December 22, 2006. [dead link]
  2. ^ Diaz, Kevin (January 8, 2007). "Minnesota delegation offers cool response". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on October 21, 2007. Retrieved January 9, 2007. 
  3. ^ Schmickle, Sharon. John Kline, Steve Sarvi clash over policies and tone of campaigns. Minn Post. October 20, 2008.
  4. ^ http://www.votesmart.org/issue_keyvote_detail.php?cs_id=8234&can_id=20311
  5. ^ http://www.votesmart.org/issue_keyvote_detail.php?cs_id=16184&can_id=20311
  6. ^ http://www.votesmart.org/issue_rating_detail.php?r_id=5197
  7. ^ http://www.votesmart.org/issue_rating_detail.php?r_id=4229
  8. ^ http://www.votesmart.org/issue_keyvote_detail.php?cs_id=22402&can_id=20311
  9. ^ http://www.votesmart.org/speech_detail.php?sc_id=604168&keyword=gun&phrase=&contain=
  10. ^ http://kline.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=175&sectiontree=23,24,175&itemid=1702
  11. ^ http://thehill.com/special-reports/education-september-2010/121463-education-is-a-jobs-issue
  12. ^ http://kline.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=175&parentid=24&sectiontree=23,24,175&itemid=1677
  13. ^ http://www.votesmart.org/speech_detail.php?sc_id=537402&keyword=&phrase=&contain=
  14. ^ Henry, Devin. "House to take up Kline bill on student-loan interest rates". MINNPOST. Retrieved 20 August 2013. 
  15. ^ "CBO - H.R. 10". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  16. ^ a b "H.R. 10 - All Actions". United States Congress. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  17. ^ Bidwell, Allie (9 May 2014). "House Steams Ahead on Charter School Expansion". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  18. ^ Scheck, Tom. Luther, Kline get heated in TV debate. Minnesota Public Radio, August 22, 2002.
  19. ^ Some Republicans are dumping donations given by Cunningham Accessed August 12, 2006
  20. ^ Ostermeier, Eric (July 18, 2013). "John Kline: Six Going on Seven?". Smart Politics. 
  21. ^ Anand, Priya. "With Michele Bachmann out, Democrats targetting John Kline". Politico. Retrieved 20 August 2013. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Mark Kennedy
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota's 2nd congressional district

2003–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
George Miller
California
Chairman of House Education and the Workforce Committee
2011–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Steve King
R-Iowa
United States Representatives by seniority
156th
Succeeded by
Mike Michaud
D-Maine