HBO host Bill Maher is targeting U.S. Rep. John Kline as the Republican lawmaker he wants to oust from Congress in his "Flip a District" challenge.
The comedian and political satirist announced the "winning loser” during a live broadcast of HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" in Washington, D.C., on Friday.
“John Kline doesn’t say kooky things, but he votes just like the people who do,” Maher said.
Calling him the “champion of for-profit colleges,” Maher said he targeted Kline, chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, for voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act more than times and siding against gay marriage and a minimum wage increase.
In 2012, Maher donated $1 million to a political action committee devoted to President Obama’s re-election campaign. But the comedian could have a tough time unseating Kline, who's not a top Democratic target
Kline faces a rematch this year with former Democratic state Rep. Mike Obermueller.
“This news confirms what we’ve been hearing more and more of each day: folks in the [Second District] are tired of John Kline, and they’re ready to kick him out office,” Obermueller said in a statement. “People are fired up and are organizing across the district to remove him from a seat he’s become too comfortable in.”
Obermueller lost to Kline by eight points in 2012, but faces a much less favorable environment in a midterm election year when Kline is expected to coast to re-election.
Like Obermueller, Kline hopes to seize on the announcement as a rallying point. He’s aiming to raise $100,000 for television ads to counteract Maher’s campaign.
“As promised, Maher is turning his liberal guns on our districts and using his TV megaphone and million-dollar war chest to defeat me in November,” Kline wrote in an email to supporters.
“My opponent … is walking hand-in-hand with Maher and has practically named him his campaign manager, focusing on the #FlipADistrict campaign against me and doing whatever he can to pander to Maher and his extreme liberal friends.”
Viewers picked Kline as Maher's target, selecting him over three other House Republicans: Renee Ellmers of North Carolina, Blake Farenthold of Texas and Mike Coffman of Colorado.
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley will travel to Minnesota next month to fundraise for the DFL Party.
O'Malley, who is talked about as a possible 2016 presidential candidate, will be the keynote speaker at the party's Founder's Day dinner in October. The dinner is one of the party's major annual fundraising events.
"Like Gov. Dayton, Gov. O’Malley signed marriage equality and the DREAM Act into law and expanded renewable energy," DFL Party chair Ken Martin said in a statement. "Thanks to these two leaders, both states have a more progressive income tax, increased minimum wage and focus on growing the economy from the middle out."
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is up for re-election this year.
The fundraiser, which has ticket prices ranging from $75 to $10,000, is closed to the press.
WASHINGTON -- GOP Senate candidate Mike McFadden said Tuesday he favored a proposal introduced this week in the House that revokes passport and re-entry privileges for American citizens who fight overseas for Islamic militants.
The bill was introduced by Rep. Michele Bachmann Monday.
Bachmann's bill, dubbed the Terrorist Denaturalization and Passport Revocation Act, amends existing laws and rescinds re-entry privileges for people who join terrorist armies overseas. A companion measure was introduced by Texas Republican Sen. Cruz that goes a step further and allows the U.S. government to strip citizenship of any person joining military forces with countries at war with the United States.
McFadden's spokesman said he thinks Cruz's bill could be unconstitutional based on previous Supreme Court rulings on citizenship revocation.
McFadden said in a statement Tuesday: "It is necessary that we have policies and procedures in place to prevent this from occurring and to ensure that trained terrorists do not come back to the United States with the ability to launch terror attacks here at home."
McFadden is hoping to unseat Democratic Sen. Al Franken in November. Expecting a Franken response to the legislation in the next couple hours.
On the day Congress reconvenes, U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden’s campaign has reprised its criticism of inaction in Washington, particularly his Democratic oppnent Al Franken.
McFadden’s latest charge comes on the wake of a Star Tribune report that proceedings are underway to determine who is behind efforts to convince Minnesotans to fight in the Middle East. Federal authorities say upward of a dozen Somali men and three women from Minnesota have fled the country to fight alongside or aid extremists in the Middle East. The Republican investment banker hopes to unseat Franken.l
Last week, following the second beheading of an American journalist by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Franken called the Obama Administration’s lack of a strategy to take on ISIS “troubling” and asked Attorney General Eric Holder to focus Department of Justice resources on recruiting at home. McFadden said the efforts were too little, too late.
“As Senator, Al Franken has prioritized issues such as ‘net neutrality’ rather than concerns that extremists groups are recruiting from out of our own back yard. Our leaders need to have their priorities straight,” McFadden said in a statement. “This recruitment has been occurring for years, yet Sen. Franken has kept his head down and has only recently begun to address the situation.”
On the day Congress returns to session from its summer break, McFadden urged a bipartisan effort “to combat attempts by terror-related organizations to recruit young Americans to fight against freedom.”
In a statement, Franken spokeswoman Alexandra Fetissoff deflected McFadden’s criticism, saying Franken has spent years focusing on battling terrorism at home and abroad.
"We're delighted with Mr. McFadden's newfound concern with terrorism. We note that last year, he was the only candidate who hid from the press rather than state his position on Syria, and just a few months ago, actually fled from a voter who asked him his position on the PATRIOT Act.” She said. “Senator Franken has been working on these issues since his first FBI briefing on terrorist recruitment in our communities soon after joining the Senate in 2009."
WASHINGTON -- Minnesota radio and television station owner Stanley Hubbard has given more than $191,000 to federal party committees and candidates this election season -- something he told the Washington Post makes him poorer.
In cooperation with the Center for Responsive Politics, the Washington Post's story looks at a handful of large donors nationally benefiting from a Supreme Court decision, which ditched limits an individual could give to a candidates or party committee.
“My phone rings, rings, rings,” Hubbard told the Post. “It’s made me poorer, I’ll tell you that, but it’s made it possible for me do a better job as a citizen. It used to be kind of nice to say, ‘I’m maxed out,’ but I really believe that people running for office need to have support.”
Back in April, Hubbard predicted that he would use the high court's McCutcheon decision to his advantage.
Hubbard was in the news last month after Eighth District GOP candidate Stewart Mills bragged to supporters that his campaign got a television ad against him "yanked" by at least two television stations owned by Hubbard, who is a Mills supporter.
Mills contended the ad, which is spliced together, took his words out of context. Other stations continued to run the ad, which was paid for by the House Majority PAC.
Hubbard told the Star Tribune he had nothing to do with the decision to pull it from air.
"Our legal department received the complaint, and they inspected the ad, and felt that there were things in it that were out of context and not true. Tell the truth and you’ll have no trouble with us," Hubbard said last month. "Our stations do not get involved in politics, period.”