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Vicki Voldal Rosenau, Valley City, N.D., Published October 23 2012

Letter: Rick Berg’s campaign of shame

‘Shame” is a word I’ve always tried to avoid using; it is so toxic, so profoundly negative.

Unfortunately, the fact that we North Dakotans not only sent Rick Berg to Congress but are considering electing him to the formerly august U.S. Senate leaves me feeling ashamed of us, collectively.

While election season always brings out truth-stretching politicians, Berg’s current campaign achieves a new low in blatantly dishonest commercials.

That’s shameful.

Also shameful: Repeatedly, Berg has voted to prevent health care reform, privatize Social Security and to gut Medicare and Medicaid.

He has voted against tuition relief and Pell grants for college students, against teacher pay raises and mentorships, against domestic-violence shelters and insurance coverage, against women’s health care funding, women’s reproductive rights and reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, against National Public Radio funding, clean air standards and endangered species protection.

What has Berg voted for? His own self-interest, routinely. He has voted for legislation to increase profits for large companies, including some he helped found; for numerous bills to benefit landlords (like Goldmark) by banning rent controls and making it easier to evict tenants, keep security deposits and avoid some taxes.

He opposed ethics reform in North Dakota, and voted 12 times to raise his own pay.

Berg is a darling of ALEC, the secretive right-wing extremist group that creates model legislation to increase corporate profits without public scrutiny. ALEC works tirelessly to pass “stand your ground” gun laws, voter suppression bills, union-busting laws and other controversial legislation in all 50 states.

Shameful.

We working-class North Dakotans should have known better: Someone whose estimated net worth ranges from about $22 million to

$65 million isn’t likely to represent our interests. It’s a shame, but we can fix it in November.