Before I even begin my review of Senator Amy Klobuchar, I just want to say personally she gets demerits from me for making people come out to stand in the freezing cold (it was below freezing) and snow to hear her speech announcing her 2020 candidacy for President.
Who in the hell comes up with such a brilliant idea to put people’s lives at risk and waste valuable public safety resources to listen to her talk about what she might do or what she wishes to do? A very inconsiderate person does — that’s who! She could have made that announcement on Facebook live or did it on one of her media rounds. I’m a mother, a former campaign worker, and a decent human being. I would never consider putting people at risk for such nonsense, and I sure wouldn’t go out in the freezing cold to listen to her big herself up — not until the snow thawed. I was not impressed, and I lost some respect for her on that day.
In any event, this was my own personal rant before I give you the meat and potatoes of Senator Amy Klobuchar.
My General Analysis
State & Local Background
Senator Amy Klobuchar is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Chicago Law School. After law school, Klobuchar worked as a corporate lawyer as a partner at the Minnesota law firms Dorsey & Whitney and Gray Plant Mooty, where she specialized in “regulatory work in telecommunications law.” Please visit the law firm websites to get a feel of the types of clients they have represented and the types of cases they handle. Doing so will help you follow me on the journey to Congressional votes and bill sponsorship.
Before being elected to Congress in 2006, Klobuchar was a partner at two law firms in Minneapolis before being elected county attorney for Hennepin County in 1998, where she was responsible for all criminal prosecution in Minnesota’s most populous county. Amy was elected to serve as the prosecutor for Hennepin County, which includes Minneapolis and 45 suburbs. This is where things start to go downhill for her (see My Concerns).
During her eight years as County Attorney, Amy focused on the prosecution of violent and career criminals. She was a “tough on crime prosecutor,” which in my opinion disqualifies her in the same manner it disqualifies Senator Kamala Harris. You can’t possibly tough on crime without ruining some lives, which warrants her so-called progressive card being snatched from her. Selective progressiveness simply doesn’t fly with me. Changing after you’ve done harm is convenient.
For example, Minneapolis had a huge issue with crime in the late 90s around the time Klobuchar came into office. Drugs and murder were big issues threatening the region’s financial prosperity. At one point during the same period, the murder rate in Minneapolis exceeded that of New York City.
Crime decreased in the county during her tenure, earning her accolades from newspaper editorial boards and the federal government for her safe schools initiative, community prosecution efforts, and criminal justice reforms. During her tenure as a prosecutor, she went after a respected judge for fraud, putting him behind bars, and brought sexual assault charges against Kirby Puckett, one of the state’s biggest sports stars.
She was elected by her colleagues to serve as president of the Minnesota County Attorneys Association.
To check our Senator Klobuchar’s record on bills she’s sponsored and co-sponsored including those that have become law, please visit her archives at the Library of Congress (below):
Klobuchar has some good legislation she’s sponsored or co-sponsored, some of which has become law. For example, the Higher Education Mental Health Act of 2018 would have authorized the Secretary of Education to establish an Advisory Commission on Serving and Supporting Students with Mental Health Disabilities in Institutions of Higher Education. The Save Voters Act (2017–18) would have amends the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 to prohibit states from removing individuals from voting rolls on the basis of a change of address unless the state has obtained objective and reliable evidence of an individual’s change of residence. The Children’s Hospital GME Support Reauthorization Act of 2018 would have amended the Public Health Service Act to reauthorize the program of payments to children’s hospitals that operate graduate medical education programs. These bills were only introduced, none became law.
Other bills demonstrating attempts at legislation includes the Community Action Opioid Response Act of 2018, the Veterans Access to Care Act, the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, the Rural Emergency Acute Care Hospital Act, and the Land and Water Conservation Authorization and Funding Act of 2011.
Please use the link above to investigate the bills and legislation, resolutions, and amendments Senator Klobuchar either sponsored (709 bills total) or co-sponsored (2,768 bills total) during her time in Congress. Of the 2,880 bills introduced, a total of 125 became law. That’s pretty impressive I’d say.
I also want to add Senator Klobuchar does a lot for rural communities and farmers, which is nice. It demonstrates she takes care of her constituents and has some experience with rural issues and otherwise forgotten people. She also isn’t afraid to reach across the aisle to work with Republicans on a variety of legislation which was encouraging.
As I noted earlier, Klobuchar’s issues as a prosecutor will come back to haunt her if she’s attempting to appeal People of Color. For example, David Schultz, a law professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law in Saint Paul who studied law enforcement and race issues while Klobuchar was county attorney noted he believes Klobuchar had a blind side to racial disparity types of issues.
Schultz said, “There’s nothing to indicate to me that when Klobuchar was in office, she particularly was paying attention to these issues of racial disparities.” As Klobuchar worked to secure longer sentences for crimes which sent offenders to prisons, not jails, the county’s overall prison population grew. The African-American prison population grew during her time in office, but not at a proportionate rate.
Data highlights issues with Klobuchar’s policies. A study commissioned by her attorney’s office found that black youth made up a disproportionate share of the population of Hennepin County’s juvenile detention facility from 2002 to 2004 during the time she was the prosecutor.
Additionally, Klobuchar prosecuted more crimes as felonies (which means more people lost their right to vote, lost their ability to secure work, and were incarcerated longer for crimes that did not warrant such harsh prosecution).
Klobuchar as created the first felony charge in her area for failure to pay child support that the county had seen in 30 years. If you can’t pay child support at the time you’re charged, how will a felony charge on your criminal record help a parent get a job to catch up or pay off back child support payments? It won’t and it’s another one of those stupid ways politician/prosecutors are able to get the label of being tough on crime when an inability to support kids is a social, deeply complex issue that clearly her Ivy League education did not give her the ability to solve.
All Klobuchar did was increase the financial burden for taxpayers long-term and put ex-felons in situations where they are never done repaying their debt to society. They are forever punished. Moving along on the Klobuchar express.
Another demerit for Klobuchar is that she set up a task force she set up to combat graffiti and other “livability” related crimes which led to over 30 people, mostly minors, being charged with felonies, which typically carry multi-year prison sentences. It was extremely punitive punishment for people accused of minor offenses. Here is a perfect example where a prosecutor will give a black kid prison for graffiti, but give a white kid probation for a couple of rapes.
Klobuchar was a huge fan of the fake war on drugs the government can’t seem to win after 50+ years of efforts. In 2001, she was a leading supporter of a bill at the Minnesota state legislature to make drunk driving a felony offense. The bill became law. a Minneapolis Star Tribune analysis found that no Minnesota criminal justice policy change since 1992 had done more to grow the state’s prison population, which increased by 150 percent from that year to 2016. Again, this is another burden to taxpayers and prevents ex-felons from reentering their communities successfully due to the barriers with employment. Oh yeah — and that vote thing!
Klobuchar past doesn’t show she was progressive. It highlights she came in and made lives worse while increasing the burdens on taxpayers. To make amends, she did co-sponsor the useless First Step Act which does nothing to address real barriers to reentry. I digress.
Let’s not even talk about the race and criminal justice system issues in Minnesota. I’m questioning Senator Klobuchar’s ability to be culturally sensitive and inclusive with her time as a prosecutor, her background practicing corporate law, and her Ivy League education. She hasn’t spent much time helping people or working with diverse populations outside of locking them up. Don’t forget about the snowfall announcement.
There are also the allegations that Senator Klobuchar has been mean to her staff in Congress and has had trouble hiring campaign aides because of her history of mistreating staff. She also has a long history of complaints about her behavior which dates back to at least her time as the Hennepin County attorney in Minneapolis.
Oh yeah, there’s a bad public letter on the interwebs about how she’s treated her employees in the past to support allegations of being a bad boss.
The 2006 letter is from the president of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) local asking the union not to endorse Amy Klobuchar for US Senate because of her “shameful treatment of her employees.”
Where there is smoke there is fire. Senator Klobuchar has a bad boss #MeToo hank on her back, and it’s not a good look.
Some of her bills focus on her time in telecommunications and in the criminal justice system which is a little interesting. I’m always questioning votes and ties. For instance, she co-sponsored a bill just this term that would direct the Federal Communications Commission to establish the Office of Rural Broadband, and for other purposes. Remember she has a background in telecommunications law.
Strangely, a group of eight Democratic senators on Tuesday sent lengthy letters to the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice (DOJ) spelling out the reasons why they want regulators to reject the proposed $26 billion merger between T-Mobile and Sprint. Nearly all of those signing the letter have announced they are running for president or have formed an exploratory committee.
The majority of Senator Klobuchar’s campaign funding comes from attorneys and law firms. Her top contributors were her former employer Dorsey & Whitney and Delta Airlines. Her bills sponsored reflect campaign contributions received which was to be expected in our pay-to-play political environment. Visit Open Secrets to follow the money trail.
Klobuchar has sponsored a huge number of bills that were criminal justice system friendly. Bills include the Officer Safety Act of 2012, the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (which doesn’t include domestic terrorism carried out by White American terrorists— wink, wink), the Emergency Judicial Relief Act of 2011, and the Preserving United States Attorney Independence Act of 2007 which amends the federal judicial code to: (1) allow a person appointed as U.S. attorney to serve until the qualification of a U.S. attorney for such district appointed by the President, or the expiration of 120 days after appointment by the Attorney General, whichever is earlier; and (2) provide that, if an appointment so expires, the district court for such district may appoint a U.S. attorney to serve until the vacancy is filled.
Finally, her record on sponsoring or co-sponsoring of bills related to civil rights, especially for people for color, is trash which I pretty much expected as a former prosecutor from Minnesota. Her page is filled mostly with resolutions acknowledging and honoring holidays or groups. Bills sponsored or co-sponsored were limited to Fair and Equal Housing Act of 2017, the Equality Act, and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. Not much else along the way of ensuring the average citizen’s civil rights are protected in Minnesota or America for that matter.
I trust my gut she won’t have any interest in representing and serving all people fairly or equally. Her voting record is quite limited, and that’s a shame. I don’t see any impressive here to take a risk for. She’s your typical power junkie in a skirt.
Two thumbs down. Her background as a prosecutor and corporate law attorney in addition to her lack of background working to help all people be better. It’s always a deal breaker for me personally (sorry). You can’t be the devil with a trail of lives shattered then come back and pretend your a saint acknowledging the carnage you created along the way, especially if you’re a woman. I’m never voting for a prosecutor unless she is the only thing left on the ballot.
She can do a lot of things, I’m not sure why she picks running for President where you have to prove to the people why you’ll be the person to make their lives better.
Her background makes her candidacy less than desirable. Keep looking and keep learning your evils.
Visit her websites for more details:
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