Friday, February 10, 2006

Pickin' Cherries v2006

. . . or, Kennedy voted against it, before he voted for it!

Wednesday the 'Echo Chamber' got all up in a tizzy over a claim Amy Klobuchar made in a recent debate. It started with MDE posting a copy/paste of the Kennedy Kamp's version entitled:
"Amy Klobuchar's Truth Problem
Launches False Attack on Kennedy's Pro-Law Enforcement Record"

KvM picks up on it and calls Amy misleading. Mitch uses the L word.

But what is the truth, and what exactly did Amy say. Here is the disputed quote:
"Congressman Ramstad in two votes in the last two years tried to increase the COPS funding, and you didn't join the other Republicans that voted for that. You voted against the increase."
Bottom line, it's a true statement. I could have scoured the net to find the votes myself, but why bother. The Klobuchar campaign wouldn't throw out something like that without having their house in order. I E-Mailed them and asked. Here is what they shared:
Kennedy Opposed $100 Million Increase to Put More COPS On the Street. In 2005, Kennedy voted against an amendment to increase funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, which helps police departments hire extra police officers or pay for overtime to keep more officers on the streets, by $100 million. The amendment also would have increased local justice assistance grants by $100 million, to be offset by a $200 million cut in NASA funding. [HR 2862, Vote #244, 6/14/05] Note: Rep. Ramstad was one of the 21 Republicans who voted for this funding.

Kennedy Opposed $106.9 Million Increase in COPS Funding. In 2004, Kennedy opposed a $106.9 million increase for law enforcement grants under COPS program. The Bush administration wanted to cut spending on the program from the current $482 million to $97 million. The amendment to increase funding was rejected 206-212. [HR 4754, Vote #330, 7/7/04; CQ Vote Report; Houston Chronicle, 2/3/04; New York Times, 5/25/04] Note: Rep. Ramstad was one of the 74 Republicans who voted for this funding.
I can understand the confusion. Kennedy did jump on board when it became politically appropriate for him. One might think that once he recognized that his likely opponent was going to be a prosecutor, he decided to do a little flip-pity flop. You remember the line "I voted for it, after I voted against it" ([Vote #248, 6/14/05; Vote #247, 6/14/05])

Those on the Right have set the standard for cherry picking votes. If they also want to draw the line regarding the definition of deception they better be careful. Once they set that bar, they should look within their own ranks, and see how it applies.

UPDATE: MN Publius and NorthStar Politics also point this out.

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