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Roger Haglund, Moorhead, Published August 11 2012

Who is buying election?

The election is months away, and already I hear people say they are tired of the political ads and just tune them out.

Many people will go to the polls with a few sound bites echoing in their brains from the most dominant ads but have little knowledge of the actual voting records of the candidates.

For example, how many people know that current laws give tax breaks to businesses that ship jobs out of the U.S.? How many people are aware that Senate Bill 3664 would have ended this tax break? How many of you approve of North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven’s vote against this bill and thus continuing tax breaks for outsourcing our jobs? How many will remember this when he runs for re-election? (Sens. Kent Conrad, Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken voted for a motion to bring the bill to a vote, but the motion needed 60 votes, so it didn’t pass.)

Many states (including Minnesota) have passed or are considering bills to prevent you from voting unless you have a photo ID. Yet the Citizens United court decision allows billionaires to buy an unlimited number of political ads without telling you who they are.

For example, it is estimated that the Koch brothers will spend more campaign money in 2012 than Sen. John McCain’s entire campaign did in 2008. Do you think they are running these ads for your benefit or theirs?

The Senate recently took up legislation that would have required disclosure of donations over $10,000. Again, Hoeven voted to continue the Republican filibuster and not allow a vote to require disclosure of donations.

How many of you believe Rick Berg’s mother when she says “Rick would never do anything to harm Social Security or Medicare”? How many of you know that Berg voted in favor of Rep. Paul Ryan’s, R-Wis., budget, which would end Medicare as we know it, replacing it with a voucher system for seniors to buy their own health coverage from insurance companies?

Berg’s mother also says that “Obamacare includes cuts to Medicare.” Again, this is totally false. There are no cuts to traditional Medicare benefits; in fact, Obamacare enhances Medicare benefits by adding an annual wellness check and improved drug coverage. However, Obamacare does cut government subsidies to insurance companies for the Medicare Advantage program that was created by the Bush administration.

Do you really think it makes any sense for our government to be giving your tax dollars to insurance companies to make them more competitive with Medicare? Apparently Berg thinks it does, since he criticizes the cuts.

It is the duty of every voter to become truly informed and involved in the upcoming election. There is great danger that this election will be bought by a few billionaires who will flood the media with their particular views and thus “buy” the votes they need to elect candidates who will do their bidding.