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article imageBill Maher targeting Rep. John Kline for 'Flip a District' defeat

By John Presta     Sep 13, 2014 in Politics
Washington - Rep. John Kline (R-MN) is the big winner in HBO's Real Time host Bill Maher's "Flip A District" contest. Maher will campaign in Kline's district, attempting to unseat him in the coming November midterm elections. Maher made the announcement from his show.
The other finalists in the "Flip A District" contest, in which viewers vote on a representative to unseat, are Reps. Blake Farenthold (R-TX), Mike Coffman (R-CO) and Renee Ellmers (R-NC). All were selected finalists.
Maher announced the contest last June and said then, "This year we’re going to be entering into the exciting world of outright meddling with the political process, as we attempt to 'Flip a District.' It’s simple," Maher explains.
"There are a lot of terrible, entrenched congressmen out there. Many don’t even have an opponent. We’re going to choose one of them, throw him into the national spotlight, and see if we can’t send him scuttling under the refrigerator on Election Night," said Maher.
In making the announcement, Maher said, "More than anyone else we could find, he embodies the easily-swayed whores and sellouts who keep this town running." Maher also labeled Kline as "The living embodiment of legislation for hire."
Maher pointed out that Kline voted against the Affordable Care Act not just once — 54 times — as well as voting down stem-cell research, opposing marriage equality, vehemently opposing raising the minimum wage, supporting last year’s federal government shutdown and was “bought and paid for” by for-profit colleges. Maher singled out Phoenix University, adding that 88 percent of students at the University of Phoenix, Kline’s biggest supporter, do not graduate.
“That’s a worse rate than Celebrity Rehab,” Maher said.
“As the powerful chairman of the Education Committee, Kline has done more to keep twentysomethings in their parents’ basements than anyone else alive," referring to online universities that support Kline.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Kline, who is running for re-election in his state’s 2nd congressional district, has received $28,000 in campaign contributions from Apollo Education Group, the university’s parent company. In total, Kline has received $250,849 from education groups.
Kline raises 92 percent of his campaign funds from outside his Congressional district.
“It’s about how Americans have had crummy, corrupt representation for so long they’ve just accepted these people hanging around,” he argued. “Except they don’t have to. They’re your representatives, not your relatives.”
Kline's opponents are Democratic Party candidate Mike Obermueller and Paula Overby, running as an independent candidate. Overby is looking to become the state’s first trans woman elected to Congress.
Aaron Blake of the Washington Post sees it a little differently and writes that Maher may have chosen the wrong person to target. "That's because Kline, quite simply, isn't a Democratic target." The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has not invested resources in defeating Kline. The Cook Political Report which tracks Congressional races, doesn't include Kline among the vulnerable.
This could change.
Blake may be right, but that could change and very likely will change in view of the circumstances.
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