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Mitch Axness, Published June 06 2011

Berg’s brief record shows he’s not fit to represent ND

Rep. Rick Berg, R-N.D., has betrayed the responsibilities granted to him by the majority of North Dakota’s voters. In 2010, 54 percent of North Dakotans voted for Berg due to, I believe, anger at Washington, D.C., politics and the general state of the economy. Berg promised to “bring North Dakota values to Washington” and “do things the North Dakota way.” Now, after less than six months on the job, Berg has decided that the job he was elected to do is complete and it’s time to move on.

Berg’s announcement should be looked at as a sign of disrespect to all those who voted for him. After fewer than six months as North Dakota’s only representative, a time frame that most people wouldn’t be eligible for benefits at their job, he believes the voters of North Dakota should promote him. Why? What has he done for North Dakota? Furthermore, what would he bring to the U.S. Senate?

The only solid answers would come from his voting record in the House. He has betrayed the elderly, the disabled and the less fortunate by voting to change Medicaid into a block grant program. He has betrayed all North Dakotans under the age of 55 by voting to convert Medicare into a voucher system (whether he wants to admit to it or not). He has betrayed all North Dakota taxpayers by voting himself a $200,000 tax break while at the same time voting to force the soon-to-be seniors to pay up to $6,500 more per year for health insurance. He has betrayed Red River Valley sugar beet farmers by cutting their funding in a Republican Study Committee, and he has betrayed all of us by voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act. In fact, I’d say the only people he has represented in Washington are the for-profit insurance industry and the top 1 percent of this country (which, of course, he is a member of).

Now, after fewer than six months, he wants to spend the next year and a half raising funds and campaigning on our dime, not representing North Dakota as he was elected to do. When North Dakotans are hired for a job, they work until that job is done. That is not what Berg is doing.

For these reasons, he doesn’t deserve the support of the people of North Dakota, and he doesn’t deserve to be our representative or our senator.