Monday, February 25, 2013

Congressman Kimble Introduces Freedom to Commute Bill

It was a rainy February morning in Oakdale.   Matilda Jenkins, a single mom doing her best to raise her four year old child, was late for work again and the bus still hadn't arrived.   Would this be the day her boss fired her?  Would this be the day she would have to tell her precious son that there was no money to pay the rent?

She crossed her fingers, prayed and waited.

Everyday, this all too familiar scene is repeated at bus stops and subway stations across the country.  In the most advanced and most prosperous country in the world, it doesn't have to be this way.

Transportation choice gives commuters alternatives to traditional public transportation. Why shouldn't commuters be given a voucher — public money — that they can spend on private transportation?

Rather than paying $1 or $2 every trip to be jostled on a hot and crowded bus, under my Freedom to Commute bill, the money would follow the commuter and allow him to take that $4 a day that he is paying for a bus or subway token and use it to buy a new car or a taxi fare.

Transit unions routinely block attempts to implement transportation choice, including a pilot program that I pushed in 2010 that would have helped more than 20,000 commuters transfer out of chronically late, overcrowded public transportation. The unions don't want the competition.

My bill passed the House, but fell 12 votes short in the Senate.. No other bill has come close to a floor vote. And many of the busses I identified in my legislation remain dilapidated and overcrowded. three. years. later.

My new Freedom to Commute bill takes a new approach to transportation choice that  I hope will temper opposition.

My bill would use money currently earmarked for services for children and the elderly to pay for 1,000 vouchers each year of up to $10,000. Commuters in districts with the most bus and subway stops would be eligible.

Opponents of transportation choice, say that such a program will take needed funding away from public transportation, making the system worse for those who will still be dependent on it because of age or infirmity.  There are no easy answers here.   Would you deny a commuter the right to better transportation simply because other people may be impacted by his decision?

Getting people off mass transit could be a boon to our infrastructure that could only help sales of both cars and gasoline.  My bill would help both low- and middle-income families who feel trapped on public transportation. Turmoil with mass transit cuts and union action has many commuters investigating other options.
Thousands of commuters don't have the financial capacity to buy a car or may look far too shady to get picked up by a taxi. They deserve a shot at a better ride, and they deserve it now.

Lawmakers: Don't let another three years slip away without implementing a transportation choice program, even a limited version like mine. It's a starting point. Don't let those who work in our city's continue to be held hostage by the transit unions.

Matilda Jenkins was one of the lucky ones.  While vacationing in Chicago, she was there when Oprah gave her entire audience new cars.  Unfortunately, many hundreds more continue their wait for the crowded bus and hope to keep their job for one more day.

It's time — beyond time — to say that commuters should no longer have to sit at the back of the bus or anywhere else on the bus for that matter.   It's time for transportation choice.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Jack KImble's Response to the State of the Union

Tonight, our country has come together once again to hear our President give the State of the Union address.  Make no mistake about it.  This is a historic night and following any Presidential election, the State of the Union is a celebration of the principles our country holds dear.

President was eloquent, as always, in putting forth his beliefs for what America should be.   I hope you will allow me a chance to speak for those beliefs that brought me into public service and guide the Republican Party to this day.  Tonight, we celebrate the birth of Republican President Abraham Lincoln, so this is a truly special night for our party.

Unlike both President Obama and Marco Rubio, my parents were both born in this country as were my grandparents, but America has always been a country of immigrants and the Kimbles have long ties to the immigrant community.  Whether it was my Uncle and grandfather helping Japanese businessmen sell their businesses so they wouldn't be burdened with property obligations during World War II or my father hiring hundreds of Mexican immigrants to work on his olive farm, the Kimbles have always been proud to welcome people to our great country.  This spirit of service was instilled in me from an early age.

We may not have been poor when I was growing up, but to call us wealthy would be a stretch.  We were barely over upper middle class, but that didn't stop my parents from proving all us kids with a great education, clean clothes, healthy food, and obedient servants.  We always felt we belonged regardless of the private school or country club function.  Now that we're more prosperous, I still like to look back on those simpler times.

As the President made clear this evening, we are now in a time of challenge.  Violence is rampant on our city streets and one need only turn on the news to see yet another attractive blonde college student abducted or hear about another senseless shooting.  As a Congressman and an American, I often wonder how many of these senseless acts could have been prevented if we had made guns available to more people to protect themselves.  Now is not the time to unilaterally disarm ourselves and leave evil doers in possession of all guns.  Instead, we must begin to train teachers, nurses, homeless people, and cab drivers so that our cities can be safe once and for all.

One of the great things about our country is the wide array of choices that we as Americans have.   That's true of the car we drive, the soda we drink, and even where we live.   If people are unhappy in a post climate change warm state, there is an abundance of land in states like Alaska and North Dakota whose climates will only improve as the Earth grows warmer.  Climate change can be a boon to America as we acquire even more waterfront property and it is something we need to embrace.

Tonight, President Obama talked about jobs.   He has ambitious plans to help put American back to work and my colleagues in Congress and myself look forward to working with him, but there is one segment of the population that he has left out.   Every year, Americans buy over $25 billion dollars worth of goods made by child workers and it should be American children making those goods.  I would like to work with the President to once and for all give universal employment rights to all Americans regardless of age.  Let's work together to eliminate onerous child work rules for business.

America seems poised on the precipice of international disaster.  In 2008, when President Obama first took office Iran was less than 6 months away from building an atomic bomb.  They are now four years closer to that goal.  I had hoped that the movie Red Dawn would have awoken Americans to the danger of a North Koren attack, but the White House remains asleep at the switch.   Now is the time for a decisive foreign policy.

We face a troubling time, with the most clueless in ineffectual tyrant in American history as our Commander in Chief, but all hope is not lost.  We remain the greatest country in the world and as we boldly go forward we have no reason to fear the future.  Instead, the future should fear us.   We are coming and we will achieve our destiny and be a shining beacon on the hill once again as we always have been.  Thank you for listening and God bless you and your family.   Stay free America.  Stay always free.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Profiles in Courageousness The PDF

I have been pushing the Kindle version of Profiles in Courageousness for awhile now and I think some people may have mistakenly believed they needed a Kindle to revel in my inspirational story.  I noticed this because when I compared my sales to J.K. Rowling, I am definitely trailing the Harry Potter books.  If you go to you can download the book in PDF format. 

I'm starting to get a bit arrogant about the quality of this book because two great authors have recently read my eBook and gave it rave reviews.

@SrWHOfficial called the book "Profiles is pretty damn funny."   You can find out about his great book here

@Brianadamsboone who writes a whole lot of awesome stuff called Profiles in Courageousness "Fucking Hilarious".   Check his website at www,

Now, I have no idea why they thought the book was a comedy and I certainly don't approve of such vulgar language, but the point is that they liked it.   I think if you visited this website, you will too.   Don't take my word for it though.  Check out the first chapter and see what you think:

If you like the first chapter head on over to Ebookit and pick up a copy

Chapter One
Andy Griffith is a Democrat?

It was the Corn Dog Festival in Hampton, in August, 2005, and the town's gray dilapidated water tower rose above the pastoral landscape looming like Olympus above the House of Spaghetti.   I breathed in a summer bouquet of corn dogs, elephant ears, and hard working Joes and Janes.   The corn dog is the most Republican of foods.   You take something delicious like a hot dog, but then you make it better by frying it and you put it on a stick so you can eat it while you work.   That’s why corn dogs sell so well in red states like Texas.
As I walked through the park, I could breathe in the fragrant bouquet that the great melting pot of the Golden State was cooking up on that afternoon.   Foot-long hot dogs and cotton candy.  Nachos and egg rolls.  The toothless banjo players on the rugged wooden stage and the carnies—always the carnies, those descendants of the cowboys of the old West finding their manifest destiny hitched to the back of an old truck with a 30 year old Tilt-a-Whirl.  
Inching through rivers of people like a salmon drawn to spawning grounds, I saw young, carefree teenagers and a young couple holding a small homely baby.   There were many older folks who had seen Hampton go from a small town of 3,800 in 1970 to its current size of nearly 14,500 today.   These were good, honest folk, the kind that America had been built on.
“Hey Jack!  You sure love a good corn dog.”
“Oh wow Jack!  You sure are ruggedly good looking in a suave and sophisticated way.”
“When are you going to get into politics Jack?  Isn’t it time you gave something back to the state?”
The sun was beginning to really beat down, and I wiped the sweat from my brow thinking back to the long days on the family’s olive farm when the heat of the sun could turn your skin to leather.  As I wound my way through the crowd, a high school dance troupe took the stage, and the music began to blare, much to the chagrin to the crowd of seniors who had been enjoying the banjo music.  I stopped by the Right to Life booth where they were selling homemade, fetus shaped, butter cookies.   I plunked down a dollar, and took one of the cookies.   As I ate it, I thought of how precious human life really is.
It also reminded me of how impatient I was with politics.   I was so tired of politicians raising my taxes to pump up social programs for the people of California when there were so many people who were never born.  Why wasn’t anybody doing anything for them?  Politics were tricky.  I was connected enough with grass roots conservatives that they all asked me when I was going to run for office, but I wasn’t connected enough with the state Republican Party that they’d ever endorse me for congress in the 54th District.  
A friendly volunteer from the Robert Engle Society poked his head out of his booth and beckoned over to me.  It had been over 40 years since my father had been one of the 12 founders of the group that helped lead the fight against world wide communism, fluoridation of drinking water, the infiltration of the civil rights movement by our country’s enemies, the domestication of cats, and the United Nations.   I had hated the way that political machines and their pals in the media had distorted things to make the group seem irrational.  I admired the brave volunteers who manned the booth knowing the jeering and heckling they would endure from liberal hippies who protested the society's goal of trying Bill Clinton for war crimes.  If men like these were crackpots because they wore tinfoil underneath their baseball caps or bottled their own urine, then maybe we were all crackpots.
I couldn’t help wonder if I was a little nuts for opening myself up to the same kind of criticism my dad had.   A run for public office would be difficult, and not all my views were popular with the liberal elite.   My father could have easily ignored the dangers of an emerging new world order and lived a happy and prosperous lifestyle.   His great-grandfather's invention of the Kimble Olive Pitter and our land holdings had made the Kimbles very wealthy.  However, the Kimbles had always been brought up on the grand tradition of service to others.  
It seemed that real public service, crafting policies that were good for business, had been derailed by politics and its infernal machines.   I wanted to help people, and I had an interest in government.  It was an interest that had first been awakened as a teenager by watching Ronald Reagan and the way he had stopped the Air Traffic Controllers from striking and had brought democracy to Central America.   Pursuing public service is what had brought me to Indiana to study at Notre Dame where I received both my BA and MBA.  
Most people starting out in politics have to start at the bottom.  I was lucky because with my father’s connections and financial support, I knew that the United States Congress could be within my reach.   California’s 54th District is rather unusual in that it has a small Hispanic voting population, but the majority of the district is white, wealthy, and over 60.   They had been served in the House by Jerry “Hoop” Hooper for a dozen years and like most of the district he was older, white, and wealthy.  He also wasn’t terribly influential in the House.   In a Republican district, he seemed to have no trouble voting with the Democrats.  I knew I could beat this guy.
And so, on that hot August night, I took the stage before an America cover band called Ventura Highway performed.  I faced the electorate, looked them square in the eye,  and I let them know that I would be running for Congress and needed their support.   A whole lot of things could have happened, and most of them were bad.  Then I saw a young woman who couldn’t have been more than 25 years old in a white floppy hat.  She tucked her corndog in the crook of her arm and began clapping.   Then, like a polio outbreak, the applause began to spread through the entire crowd.  
I began to stop and smile at the audience, and they returned my enthusiasm.   As the band behind me began to play the opening chords of "Sister Golden Hair," I felt like I was a rock star.   I had committed to the race and there was no backing out now.   I had developed a strategy that I thought would win in this district, but I needed to implement it well.  
I had done a little bit of research before entering the race, and I knew that although Jerry Hooper was a popular representative who did well in a hypothetical poll with any opponent, his support was neither deep nor committed.   I asked my childhood friend John E. Lee to run my campaign for me, but I made it very clear to him that I had some ideas of my own, and I would not be the type of politician that is handled.  That wasn’t for me.
John and I had become good friends in 5th grade when we both got our heads stuck in opposite sides of a bike rack when we dared each other to do it.   It was November, and the wind had a bite to it as we screamed for dear life out on the playground.   When the janitor finally sawed us loose, he called us “the braniac twins”. Somehow, the name just kind of stuck.  Nobody would ever pick on John though because he had a reputation for being mean, and if you got in a fight with him, you knew he would bite your nose or ear if he got a chance.   Oh yes, he loved to bite noses.
As an adult, John was not all that much taller than he was in 5th grade.   At only 5’9” his waist was always spilling out of his pants like toothpaste being squeezed out of a wrinkled up tube.  At 35 years old, he was bald and wore thick glasses, but what he lacked in looks, he made up for in loyalty and an attack dog ferocity which I needed if I was to bring up Hooper’s negatives.
As a fiscal conservative, Jerry had made a major miscalculation when he had argued against a wage increase for home health care workers to $6 an hour.   The move was very popular with many of the seniors who voted.  Unfortunately for him, the 54th District has a large number of absentee votes, and you can be sure that many of them were filled out by those very same nurses that he was putting down.
Nobody was more popular in my district than the actor Andy Griffith.   He didn’t live in the area or even the state, but Matlock reruns on syndication drew higher ratings than first run network programming.  One of the local stations had a Tuesday night lineup of Matlock at 5PM, a two-hour Matlock movie at 7PM, followed by another episode of Matlock at 9PM.  Jerry had been a bit too friendly with a group of people who were interested in turning that station into a WB affiliate.
            The crowning glory of my election strategy would be Andy Griffith’s endorsement.  My dad had a friend who played golf with Andy Griffith’s agent.   I knew that a picture with Andy Griffith and an endorsement would go quite far in getting me instant credibility with many of the seniors in my district.   I had found out when Andy Griffith would be coming to California, and I made plans to meet with him to see if I could get him to support my candidacy.
After spending 4 hours driving to Los Angeles and another 3 hours waiting for Griffith to arrive, I finally got to speak to him in the lobby of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.  Despite his advancing years, Andy Griffith moved with a spryness that belied just how close to death’s door he really was.  We shook hands, and I gave him my pitch.   I told him how I was pro-business and in favor of the types of wholesome family values that he had always advocated on his shows.   I promised him that I would help protect our country from terrorism and the liberal agenda.   He sat patiently as he listened to me speak, but then finally stopped me to say, “I’m sorry son, but I’m a Democrat.”
Needless to say, I stood there slack jawed in stunned silence.   John immediately lunged at Andy Griffith, but between me and Mr. Griffith’s assistant we were able to hold John back and hustle Andy Griffith out of the room.  I still remember everybody looking at the scene as I screamed frantically, “Cover your nose Mr. Griffith!  Cover your nose!”
I had learned a valuable lesson about doing proper research before hand.  It turns out that Andy Griffith was well known as a Democrat, and the folks in North Carolina had even unsuccessfully tried to convince him to run against Jesse Helms for Senator once.   Needless to say, I not only didn’t get an endorsement, but with John frothing at the mouth and trying to bite him, I didn’t get a picture with Andy Griffith that day either.   I had no better luck with Angela Lansbury whose grandfather it turns out was once the leader of the Labour Party in Britain.
Unfortunately, with the primary slated for October 4th, I had less than 2 months to campaign due to my late entry.   Head to head results showed that I trailed Hooper 55% - 41%.   I don’t think the founding fathers ever meant for getting elected to be so hard.   We tried to hammer Hooper on the issues, but we were only getting so far.   I tried to assure the voters that while Hooper had voted for the war in Iraq, that I was even more in favor of it, and while Hooper wanted to lower taxes, I wanted to get rid of them altogether, but I couldn’t seem to get much above 40%.   Then I like to believe Jesus intervened because what happened next was surely a miracle.
Jerry Hooper was living the American dream.  At 62, he was not only serving as a member of the United States House of Representatives, but he was financially well off from his family's mobility scooter business, and his daughter Karen was engaged to marry Al Giamoti, the son of an Italian immigrant who had graduated Stanford Law School and was doing very well in intellectual property law.  Little did Jerry know that his whole world would be crashing down around him.
It was during a late night strategy session when John first noticed that Al Giamoti sounded an awful lot like the Arab name al-Jamati.  At that moment all we had was the inkling of a seed of an idea, but perhaps we would be able to use this to our advantage.   The next day during a campaign stop, an older woman asked me if there was anything a liked about Congressman Hooper.   I told her I thought he was lacking as a Congressman, but was a great person and added that I was really impressed with him as a father.   I said I admired his open-mindedness that in the middle of our war on terror, he would not stand in the way of his daughter marrying Mister al-Jamati, which was a wonderful gesture of international peace and understanding.  I also pointed out that al-Jamati was not under federal investigation at this time.
Poor Hoop never saw it coming.   Al had dark Italian features, and to the voters of my district, he must have looked as Arab as they come.   We hired a telemarketing firm to call people and ask them questions about their opinion of the wedding designed to get them to wonder why Congressman Hooper’s daughter was marrying a Islamic extremist.  By the primary day, 7 out of 10 Republican voters in the 54th District believed that Al Giamoti was actually an Islamic scholar named Khalid al-Jamati who had ties to terrorist training camps in Afghanistan.   By the time Congressman Hooper distanced himself from his future son-in-law, it was too late.
Congressman Hooper was too old school to really compete with the strategy that John and I employed.   He kept trying to talk about his experience and service to the people of the district.  These are the sort of things that sound great on paper, but that voters haven’t really cared about since Gerald Ford was President.   When he claimed I was dangerously inexperienced, I bragged about my outsider status.   When he said my dad was behind my campaign, I claimed my dad was behind his campaign too.  He had no idea how to react to that one.
Push polling is a very controversial technique, but I’m not too proud to admit that we used it.   In push polling, you have one of your staff show up early at a polling place and dress like a worker for your opponent.   That worker then searches for somebody sympathetic looking who is voting for you.   He or she will engage your supporter in heated conversation before eventually pushing them.  If you can find a pregnant woman or a senior citizen, they make the best targets.   We learned that it’s generally best to avoid veterans, when one of the greatest generation knocked out one of our young interns who tried this.   The trick is to not push hard enough for them to press charges, but hard enough that everybody at the polling place that day will be talking about what a jerk you opponent’s campaign worker was.   This technique can really swing a close election.
We did everything we could to squeeze out every vote that election.  If our staffers found somebody driving obnoxiously or with loud music disturbing other drivers, my staffers were under instructions to follow that driver and when the car finally parked to put a Hooper bumper sticker on it.   That way, when the obnoxious driver cut somebody off, they’d see the Hooper bumper sticker.
When the smoke finally settled, I won a very hard fought 49% to 43% victory in that primary.   My next stop would be the general election where I would face a real liberal or at least a moderate named Bill Joyce.  Jerry Hooper called to congratulate me, but I’m sorry to say that the call was terse and not the gracious concession that I had hoped for from a man I always admired.
“Mr. Kimble, it’s me Jerry Hooper.  I’m calling to concede the primary,” he said.  I could tell from his tone that he wasn’t happy.
“Hey Jerry, I was expecting to hear from you.  Can you believe how well I’m doing?  Pretty wild isn’t it?” I said trying to cheer him up.
“It’s a Goddamned crime is what it is Jack.  I had thought better of the voters than this,” he said.
At first I laughed at his joke, but then pulled back as I realized he wasn’t joking.  There were a few moments of very awkward silence.
“Well, you won the Republican nomination.  I have no doubt the party will be happy to get behind you.   Good luck Mr. Kimble,” he said.
“Great Hoop.  I hope I can count on your support.  I’d love for you…”
Unfortunately, we were disconnected.   My staff and I had settled into the ball room at the Bristo Camino Holiday Inn to hear the election results come in.  When I announced that I had just got off the phone with Congressman Hooper, the room exploded into applause.   An election is hard work, and it meant so much to those people that all the time spent passing out leaflets, making phone calls, going door to door, slashing tires, going to rallies, and getting out the vote had not been in vain.  The wedding band that I had hired played Kool and the Gang’s song Celebration and we got down Republican style.   The energy in that room was pulsing.  You could literally feel it.   Together, we could change Washington.
There is an unfortunate footnote to the primary.   Karen Hooper and Al Giamoti stayed married for a little less than two years.   I felt bad for whatever small part the campaign might have played in their breakup.   I’m sure it can’t be easy for a couple of young people to build a life together when the bride’s father is forced to distance himself from his future son-in-law for fear of scandal.   I wish those two kids all the best.   Jerry seems to be doing well since his retirement from Congress.  He’s become a regular at a local bar called Schultz’s.  I’ve seen him around a few times and he seems much happier without the stress of politics in his life.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

How Groundhog Day Saved Christianity

Like many people this season I enjoyed the heartwarming story of how Christianity’s message was spread using the Christmas Carrol The Twelve Days of Christmas.  There are a lot of seemingly secular holidays and traditions in our society that have a Christian tradition behind them.  In the middle ages Christians throughout Europe were persecuted and in many countries the teaching of Christian doctrine was forbidden.  The Christians of the time being men and women of good faith looked for a way to pass the story of Christ’s resurrection down to their children.

The day which the Europeans called Candlemas Day was full of symbolism.  For those of you that need a refresher, on February 2nd the groundhog comes out of his burrow and looks around.  If he sees his shadow there will be 6 more weeks of winter.  If not there will be an early Spring.  This story was used to teach children of how Christ exited the tomb after 40 days.  Those 40 days are represented by the 6 weeks.  The shadow represents the shadow of sin.  Of course Spring represents the new life that Jesus calls us all to.

I suppose the obvious question is why a groundhog?  The groundhog was chosen because the European groundhog is considered a noble animal and the combination of white and gray fur can sometimes give the appearance of a robe like Jesus’s burial robes.  Also, the early Christians needed an animal that hibernated and the only two animals native to Europe that hibernate are the bear and the groundhog and you sure wouldn’t want to be waking up a bear for this.

For many centuries, European Christians used this holiday on February 2nd to keep their faith alive in the face of great persecution.  When the earliest settlers came to Pennsylvania they brought Candlemas with them.  Unfortunately, much like in our own times there was a battle over Candlemas between those for whom it was a sacred religious holiday and those who wanted to call it Groundhog Day and remove all religious significance from the day.  Sadly, Groundhog Day won that war and much of Candlemas’s religious significance was lost.   My goal is this year to remind everybody of the religious significance of Candlemas.

[On his special day please take a moment to thank the noble groundhog for how he kept our Christian tradition alive through centuries of persecution in Europe.  With the secular forces taking the religions out of so many of our holidays, maybe we can put the religion back into this one.  Please pass this on to any Christian friends who await the eternal light in this bleak and dreary time]