Our faithful postal carrier delivered to my mailbox a card from our current representatives, Torkelson and Dahms. It still has me scratching my head. How could it be that way?
One of my "bedrock principles" states that I will always respect your intelligence. This mailer does not do that. It is both lazy and misleading.
It's lazy because it simply lists some stock Republican talking points, slogans you have heard from them for years. There is no sense that they are actually aware of any of the issues that face you in your daily life. Haven't they been talking to you and learning what you are dealing with?
It's misleading because it suggests they are doing something about the issues they list. In fact, there is no indication in the online record of the Minnesota House of Representatives that your current representative is doing anything to address any of these issues.
In fact, the record shows that in many cases, he is opposed to doing anything to address these issues. Consider each one that the mailer lists:
"Public Safety" – Republicans are making "crime" a big issue this year, when in fact Minnesota is about average for both violent and property crime in the United States, and our area is pretty safe, with good law enforcement – a good selling point for our economic development. But the fact is, there was a good chunk of money dedicated to increasing law enforcement in the deal that the Republicans backed away from last spring, and that money was left on the table unavailable. It's as if they are saying, crime is bad but it's OK that you don't get the extra money to fight it until next May.
"Inflation" – This is a serious and complex problem and they have no solution to suggest. One aspect driving rising prices might be price gouging by industries that are currently making record profits. There was a bill in the legislature authorizing an investigation into price gouging. Rep. Torkelson voted against it. It's as if they would rather have the issue than try to solve the problem – while we all continue to suffer.
"Tax Relief" – Social Security tax relief is in the deal that the Republicans left on the table. It's as if they think this is a serious issue but you don't need that this year, wait till next year.
"Economic Development" – At the height of the pandemic the legislature passed a Covid Recovery Bill that provided small business emergency loans. Torkelson voted against it.
"Agriculture" – Last year's Ag Bill provided drought relief, grants for farmers, aid to new farmers, soil health, broadband, and much more. Torkelson voted against it.
"K-12 Education" – Again, the money the Republicans left on the table last spring contained funds for education, especially to provide special ed and mental health programs, much needed NOW as kids are still recovering from the COVID emergencies. Apparently it's OK for this to wait till next year too. (This help is much needed NOW and they just left it sitting there unused.)
It's part of a pattern of laziness – his website content mostly dates from 2018 – and the expectation that you are not paying attention and will just "vote R."
I promise I will always respect your intelligence and your vote.