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A view from the other side


Fri, Nov 14th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Over most of my adult life, I have been a faithful follower of politics with my own strong held opinions. I've grumbled at times in disgust with some policy decisions and/or personal actions of people serving in public office at various levels.

With my recent and first attempt to win public office, District 1 Fillmore County Commissioner, I had an opportunity, in a small way, to see politics from the other side. I've reflected on the ups and downs of seeking political office since my defeat on November 4.

I decided to run many months ago. Like many who make a decision to run for office, I consulted family and others that have held this office and those that are close to it.

The real learning process started when I started going door to door. This in itself is a difficult task for a beginner and a relatively introverted personality. It is like writing a story or an essay which requires the writer to reveal a part of herself or himself, giving up a modicum of privacy. It is for some the biggest hurdle to get over. Fortunately, I gained some cheerleaders who encouraged me along the way and I thank them.

The campaign process has given me a greater respect for those who put themselves out there and seek office. The candidate is in effect interviewing for the job each and every day of the campaign. I can well imagine that the higher the office the more intense each of these days will be.

This office happened to be a nonpartisan office. I was dismayed at the number of people who asked me what party I was with. Some of us tend to be a little lazy and prefer to vote party line rather than study an individual candidate and make a decision based on the person rather than party affiliation. In my opinion party labels, in selecting qualified people for public office, often contribute to voters making poor decisions when they enter the voting booth. All points of view need to be sought out to arrive at a fair result beneficial to the whole community. Compromise where possible is for the best.

A county elected official told me early on that running for a local office takes courage. At first, I disagreed, but now I think there is a degree of courage involved. Most run for office with good intentions and a desire to improve the workings of government. Unfortunately, some over time loose perspective and allow those good intentions to dissipate.

Many who would excel at public service do not run because of the rigors .....
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McCain can show how bipartisanship works

Fri, Nov 7th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

The election is now one for the history books. The pundits and party faithful of both sides are busy analyzing and rationalizing the results.

McCain was correct during the campaign - he is not George W. Bush. No matter who was elected chang ..... 
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Changing the Subject

Fri, Oct 31st, 2008
Posted in Commentary

The holidays are coming. I can tell by the weather and the fully stocked shelves of canned pumpkin. Here we will be again, driving to an event with all those relatives that we love and carrying our lists of topics not to mention. You know, John and ..... 
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A Christian looks at politics and government

Fri, Oct 31st, 2008
Posted in Commentary

When I listen to and look at today's political campaigns, the first thing that stands out in my mind is the question: "Doesn't anyone know the Golden Rule'? That way of assessing one's own words and actions isn't even exclusively Christian. The tene ..... 
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The things you love about Minnesota are on the ballot

Fri, Oct 24th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

On November 4, Minnesotans will have a chance to invest in a better life for future generations by voting for a proposed constitutional amendment to fund Minnesota's water quality, wildlife, cultural heritage and natural areas.

The Clean Wa ..... 
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Violence and the media

Fri, Oct 24th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

There's much to be said about violence, not only in October - which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month - but all year long. When I was asked to write an article about violence and its affect on children, I thought that I would focus on violence in ..... 
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Don't fall into the Palin trap

Fri, Oct 17th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

My family recently returned to Minnesota, the home of our birth, after nearly 13 years of dairy farming outside of Wasilla, Alaska. The straw that broke the camel's back - our Alaska Governor Sarah Palin!

It's a long story how we got to Alas ..... 
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Why do people vote against their own self-interest?

Fri, Oct 17th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

In 2004, Thomas Frank published "What's the Matter with Kansas". It was an attempt to explain why Kansas, once a bastion of cultural liberalism has become a fortress of conservatism, both culturally and economically. Reading the book, one can't help ..... 
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So, you're a Maverick

Fri, Oct 10th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

As we know all too well, Senator McCain and Governor Palin like to characterize themselves as mavericks. And, as many of you know, the first definition of a maverick is a calf that has strayed from its' herd. In other words, some poor little creatur ..... 
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