Congressional candidate and Bronze Star winner Steve Sarvi picked up the endorsement of Minnesota’s Democratic party on Saturday. He will face incumbent Republican Congressman John Kline in the November election. Sarvi was an Army Sergeant serving in Iraq up until last year. Kline is a retired Marine Colonel. Kline has often used his military background as a shield in his past campaigns –accusing his opponents of disrespecting the uniform when they criticize him.
Kline is also known for launching well-funded attacks on his opponents, falsely inferring that they support legalizing meth, wanting to give social security dollars to illegal immigrants, and wanting to reinstate the draft.
It will be interesting this year to see how Kline attacks Sarvi without appearing to be attacking the military.
Sarvi’s military stories highlighted how ill equipped US troops were when they went into battle. “Let me tell you about the first humvee I got into in Iraq. I slammed the door and the window fell out of that truck. That’s the war we went to.”
Sarvi said Kline refuses to meet with constituents and “look them eye to eye”… a reference to Kline’s refusal to honor a promise to hold frequent face-to-face meetings with constituents after he was petitioned into holding one a year ago.
Instead, Kline has opted to hold “tele town hall meetings” where random constituents are called with no notice and asked to listen to Kline speak on the phone. No public records of the “tele town hall meetings” have been released and the media has not been allowed to monitor them, which has led to speculation that the questions are scripted or only hand picked questions are allowed.
Sarvi criticized Kline for taking large campaign donations from oil companies and then voting to give them subsidies while they are making world-record profits.
“This is not about gas taxes, this is about big oil profits. And John Kline has done everything in his power to protect those. In fact, when you get to go to the gas station next time take a look at that gas pump and you’re paying almost $4 a gallon…you’ll see the face of John Kline on that gas pump.
“He’s taken over a $110,000 from big oil and he rewards them with his votes and I think that’s wrong”.
Sarvi was energized after getting the unanimous endorsement from the DFL. The only other candidate, Peter Idusogie, dropped out of the race before the results of the first ballot were announced. Sarvi said he was going to celebrate, and then prepare for a battle with Kline.
“We are going to hit this trail hard. And you’re going to see what a Sergeant can do against a Colonel”.