"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Monday, October 20th, 2014
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What Makes A Good Politician


Fri, Feb 5th, 2010
Posted in Commentary

Members of Congress play a central role in our lives. They shape our health-care system, make crucial decisions about the U.S. economy, and represent the hopes and interests of every American in Washington. Given this fact, I'm always surprised that relatively little attention is focused on examining closely whether someone serving in or running for Congress has the personal attributes it takes to be an effective member of the institution. If someone's behavior is shady or unsavory, that will make the news. But, the qualities and skills that set good politicians apart should draw more notice.

Chief among those qualities is honesty. The public may believe that politics is a dirty business, but effective members of Congress must be trustworthy. They understand that to work together over the course of years, they must level with their colleagues. The same is true in their dealings with constituents, who are on the lookout for hyperbole and misleading statements.

The best politicians also sustain an unusually high energy level and an ability to focus on the task at hand. They tend to have few hobbies, for the simple reason that public office is all-consuming; there's always another item on the to-do list.

Most good politicians are also ambitious, on fire with the wish to make something of themselves, and though many see this in personal terms, it usually means policy ambitions as well. They want to have a hand in contributing to the success of the nation and in finding ways of making life better for the people they represent.

While most politicians - good and indifferent - are adept at identifying and seizing on issues that will work to their own or their party's benefit, the better ones possess an additional skill: they know how to use the system to achieve results. They understand where in the federal bureaucracy to get help for a constituent, and they think creatively about how to use the congressional process and their colleagues' interests to advance a policy goal.

Perhaps just as important, they also understand the limits of their power - both what a legislator can realistically accomplish, and the fact that legislators might react to events but rarely can control them.

This ability to keep oneself in perspective is crucial to a politician. After years in office, it is supremely tempting to think of a legislative seat as an entitlement, as something held by right. It's not. Good politicians not only unders .....
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How To Be A Better Lover?

Fri, Feb 5th, 2010
Posted in Commentary

"Love your neighbor as yourself." Mathew 19:19 NIV

Many think of love as something that comes easy. Usually it is because people misunderstand the term "love." To be a really loving person can be challenging. Can you think of a command in th ..... 
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The Cause of the Recession

Fri, Jan 29th, 2010
Posted in Commentary

The root cause of our recession is very simple. Government and politicians created this mess. Not the market system, not greed, not a misalignment of the stars and planets, not even a conspiracy of big bankers, industrialists, or trivial Hollywood a ..... 
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One Moment Please

Fri, Jan 29th, 2010
Posted in Commentary

Publisher of the Fillmore County Journal, cell phone number 507-251-5297

With this issue of the Fillmore County Journal, officially the one year anniversary since my wife and I purchased the newspaper in 2009, we have received overwhelming fe ..... 
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When it comes to Atrazine, farmers & rural communities deserve a science-driven review

Fri, Jan 22nd, 2010
Posted in Commentary

During the past half-century, atrazine has become one of the most widely used herbicides in Minnesota and the rest of the Midwest. Unfortunately, it is also top of the list in another category: it is the most commonly detected pesticide in our state ..... 
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A glass half full for 2010, a way forward

Fri, Jan 15th, 2010
Posted in Commentary

As we begin a new year and a new decade, we should reflect on the past and move forward. It is hard to imagine what the next year could bring and impossible to imagine how the next ten years could impact our lives. We do have the tools to look back ..... 
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One moment, please... Social Media: The good, the bad and the ugly

Fri, Jan 8th, 2010
Posted in Commentary

Publisher of the Fillmore County Journal, cell phone number 507-251-5297

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Health care bills, Part one

Fri, Jan 8th, 2010
Posted in Commentary

Recently I wrote a commentary and submitted it to the editor that I now hope is not printed. Reading the Senate bills components caused fit of pique that required the catharsis of putting my displeasure down on paper. I was so worked up by the failu ..... 
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Food for thought

Thu, Dec 31st, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Someone called my name at Preston Foods and I turned to see my friend, Bonnie Haugen, who I first became acquainted with when I interviewed her for a Journal article in 2001. Although I hadn't seen her for a long time, visions of Springside Farm in ..... 
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