Cline fell for “homeless veterans” hoax

In his eagerness to exploit fears about supposedly surging illegal immigration, Congressman Cline posted this on his Twitter account on May 13.

Shocking and disturbing if true. But for Cline and other Republicans who latched onto this report, there’s one problem: it isn’t true.

The Hill reported on May 19:

A sensational story about hotels in upstate New York throwing out homeless veterans to make room for migrants bused from New York City turned out to be false, according to a local news outlet.

New York state lawmaker Brian Maher (R) told The Times-Union the story was false after he had a conversation with Sharon Toney-Finch, the CEO of Orange County nonprofit Yerik Israel Toney Foundation.

Toney-Finch made the original claim about the homeless veterans thrown out of the hotel rooms, setting off a media frenzy this week that was scooped up by conservative outlets Fox News and the New York Post.

But under pressure from Maher to provide evidence, she unraveled emotionally and kept saying she wanted to help the veterans, according to the newspaper. But she failed to provide any evidence, such as bank statements, to the New York state lawmaker.

Maher also talked to the veterans who claimed they were thrown out of the Crossroads Hotel in the city of Newburgh.

At least one of the purported veterans said they were paid by Toney-Finch to lie about being thrown out, according to the Times-Union. And staff at Crossroads Hotel and two other hotels confirmed they never had dealings with the nonprofit or never housed any veterans.

Of course I don’t expect Cline to apologize for believing and spreading this phony story. But for his own sake he ought to delete this tweet to avoid further embarrassment.

Will Cline dishonor America’s heroes? (Updated)

On the anniversary of VE Day, Congressman Cline paid tribute to the Americans who fought and died to help defeat Nazi Germany eight decades ago.

But this same week Donald Trump– the man Cline called “our great president” (six months after he stopped being president) and whose endorsement he was proud to proclaim— is hosting supporters of the evil forces those brave Americans helped vanquish in Europe.

The Trump National Doral resort will host two antisemites who have promoted pro-Adolf Hitler propaganda and spread virulently antisemitic conspiracy theories. They will be speaking at an event in Miami alongside numerous Team Trump personalities, including Eric Trump, Lara Trump, and Devin Nunes. 

Trump Doral speaker Scott McKay, who has a streaming show on Rumble, has claimed that Jewish people orchestrated 9/11 and were responsible for the assassinations of Presidents Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, and William McKinley. He has also said that Jewish people routinely torture children and eat their hearts.

He has praised Hitler for supposedly trying to take down a Jewish banking system and said, “Hitler was actually fighting the same people that we’re trying to take down today.” 

Trump Doral speaker Charlie Ward, who also streams a show on Rumble, has shared posts praising Hitler for supposedly “warning us” about Judaism; claiming that “VIRUSES are Man (JEW) made”; and attacking the alleged Jewish media for supposedly lying about the Holocaust. 

Congressman Cline: Now that you know about this, it is incumbent on you to denounce Trump and everyone else involved clearly and forcefully. Otherwise you dishonor the heroes you claim to celebrate.

Update: After news of this broke, the antisemites have been barred from the event and Eric Trump won’t appear.

Cline schedules constituent meeting in Staunton

Congressman Cline will meet with constituents on Monday May 8 at noon in Staunton at Applebee’s, 139 Lee Jackson Highway. Register here.

According to Cline’s website: “Citizens of Staunton will be given priority regarding comments during Coffee with Your Congressman. One (1) ticket per registrant. Attendees will be responsible for any food and/or beverages purchased during the event. Signs and noisemakers are prohibited.”

And he’s proud of it

Here’s what Congressman Cline and 216 other House Republicans voted FOR when they voted YES on the GOP’s plan to force spending cuts of about $4.8 trillion in exchange for avoiding a default on the federal debt.

Shutting down at least two air traffic control towers in Virginia.

Jeopardizing outpatient medical care for 162,300 Virginia veterans.

Throwing up to 175,000 Virginians off food stamps and ending food assistance for another 25,000 through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.

Cutting or ending Pell Grants for 162,900 Virginia college students.

Eliminating Head Start for 3,600 Virginia children and child care for another 1,300 children.

Adding at least two months to wait times for Virginia seniors seeking assistance with Social Security and Medicare.

Denying opioid treatment for more than 600 Virginians.

Ending 180 days of rail inspections per year and 1,350 fewer miles of track inspected.

Kicking 13,400 Virginia families off rental assistance.

Unlike his Republican colleague Jen Kiggans from southeast Virginia, he doesn’t have the decency to feel queasy about what he did.

He’s proud of it.

Cline schedules constituent meeting in Augusta County

Congressman Cline will meet with constituents on Tuesday May 2 at 8:30 a.m. in Augusta County at Mrs. Rowe’s Family Restaurant & Catering, 74 Rowe Road, Staunton. Register here.

According to Cline’s website: “Citizens of Augusta County will be given priority regarding comments during Coffee with Your Congressman. One (1) ticket per registrant. Attendees will be responsible for any food and/or beverages purchased during the event. Signs and noisemakers are prohibited.”

Cline joins GOP’s farcical stunt

Could it be any more obvious that Republican-controlled House Judiciary Committee’s farcical hearing in New York City, purportedly investigating crime in Manhattan, was a stunt to retaliate against District Attorney Alvin Bragg for daring to bring charges against Donald Trump?

Congressman Cline, a member of the committee, was pleased to play along.

But as Democratic committee member Adam Schiff said:

[The Republicans] would have you believe it is mere coincidence that all of a sudden, and out of the blue, the chairman decided that the state of New York is a wonderful place to do a hearing. Not the chairman’s home state of Ohio, with its high rates of murder. But New York State. And of all the cities in New York, they would pick New York City. and of all the Boroughs in New York, they pick Manhattan. Apparently, Manhattan is just lovely this time of year.

What a remarkable coincidence — we are meant to believe. Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, we just happened to walk into this one.

Can we assume that the next hearing will be held in Chairman Jim Jordan’s district in Ohio?

Praise for Ben Cline

As the author of Cline Watch, I’ve been accused of being excessively negative about Congressman Cline.

Although I strive to be as factual as I can, I’ll admit to a fundamentally different political and ideological viewpoint from Cline’s.

However I do want to single him out for some rare approval.

The Roanoke Times reports:

Internet expansion continues to interconnect Botetourt County like never before, officials said Tuesday.

A combination of $5 million and counting in state grant money, and millions more in federal coronavirus relief funds, have enabled the county, and other localities in the region, to broaden availability of broadband internet access to thousands more homes.

Local, state, federal and business officials gathered at the Botetourt Center at Greenfield in Daleville on Tuesday to discuss those and future internet expansion efforts. U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said broadband is essential to helping communities succeed.

Democratic Senator Mark Warner was there for the occasion.

Congressman Cline was absent. That’s why I want to praise him.

Like every other Republican in Congress, Cline voted NO in 2021 on the American Rescue Plan Act, which has helped fund broadband expansion in Botetourt County (part of Cline’s district) and elsewhere in Virginia and the rest of the country. (Senators Warner and Kaine and all of Virginia’s Democratic House members voted YES.)

So unlike some of his Republican colleagues, Cline is not brazenly taking credit for the positive results of a federal program he opposed. At least not yet.

Well done, Congressman!

I think we know the answer

Congressman Cline was full of praise for Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s meeting with Taiwan’s president last week.

But last year, when Democratic then-speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan despite threats from China, Cline said:

“I am concerned that she created an international incident with what is essentially a farewell tour. [Republicans] will continue to stand strong for Taiwan. But we will do it in a way that doesn’t inflame tensions, and actually addresses the challenges facing that part of the world.”

Congressman Cline: Why did you have such different reactions to McCarthy’s meeting and Pelosi’s visit?

Cline schedules constituent meeting in Buena Vista

Congressman Cline will meet with constituents on Wednesday April 5 at 5:30 p.m. in Buena Vista at Todd’s Barbecue Restaurant, 1176 Magnolia Avenue. Register here.

According to Cline’s website: “Citizens of Buena Vista will be given priority regarding comments during Coffee with Your Congressman. One (1) ticket per registrant. Attendees will be responsible for any food and/or beverages purchased during the event. Signs and noisemakers are prohibited.”