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John Hougen, Bismarck, Published October 11 2012

Letter: Split the ticket in North Dakota

This session of Congress is considered by many to be the worst ever. Extreme partisanship routinely blocks congressional action. No one has been more partisan than Rep. Rick Berg, R-N.D., never showing the good sense and courage to put aside party to work for all the people he represents. I’ll vote against Berg; doing otherwise would make me a de facto contributor to Washington’s dysfunction.

Heidi Heitkamp, in contrast, has broken from her party on cap and trade, fracking, the Keystone pipeline and the balanced budget amendment. Independent thought is a leadership trait present in Heitkamp but absent in Berg.

Advertisements feature Berg in wheat fields talking tough about President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. Kurt Vonnegut said “We must be careful about what we pretend to be.” The tough-talking pretend Berg of the wheat field was absent when debating Heitkamp. Can Berg, unable to stand up to Heitkamp in person, be expected to stand up to Reid and Obama?

It was good to have Chris Christie as a guest in our state. He endorsed Berg, but Berg is no Chris Christie. A factor in Christie choosing not to run for president was Berg’s wing of the Republican Party wouldn’t support a moderate like Christie.

Berg’s legislative strategy was to hunker down in partisan bunkers. Christie gets things done by working with others.

I will do things the North Dakota way, splitting my ballot to vote for Gov. Jack Dalrymple, a real leader. He is a bright, articulate spokesman for all people of our state. The political and personal support he gave to the people of North Dakota during the flood on its own is enough to warrant his re-election.

Extreme partisanship isn’t working. This election should be about putting the best people in office regardless of party.