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Lee Purrier, Park Rapids, Minn., Published August 31 2012

Letter: They reached across the aisles

With the country overflowing with issues that need to be addressed, we have a Senate that says “no” before discussions even start on any proposal put forth by the Obama administration and a House that puts forth plans they know will be killed in the Senate or vetoed by the president. The word “compromise” has taken the “my-way-or-the-highway” turn, which also kills any chance of getting any meaningful legislation passed. It’s possible the term “consensus,” rather than “compromise,” would soften the hard liners but maybe not.

Congress has its lowest ratings in decades simply because the public perceives the members as self-interested, owned by their big donors and lobbyists, who care nothing about advancing the state of the nation in favor of personal ideologies and greed.

All the public wants is for critical issues we face to be honestly defined, presented and prioritized, and for approaches to be defined and deliberations conducted until there is a consensus on the “best solution” for the conditions. Congresspeople are not stupid. They and their staffs we all pay dearly for could at least spend their working hours seeking solutions to problems for the public good instead of devising strategies to beat the opposing party over insignificant, ideological topics, irrelevant to competent governing.

Now is the time to elect congresspeople who have the knowledge and strength of character to represent their constituents and the country’s benefit over blind loyalty to political party and ideologies/economic policies already proved to be ineffective.

Your vote won’t matter unless we break the congressional gridlock – major legislation addressing our nation’s most critical needs cannot be passed by either party. Vote for those willing to erase the barriers and get their job done. Vote for Brita Sailer, Rick Nolan, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and President Barack Obama, all of whom have reached across the aisle in their political careers.