My Point of View: Voters have a right to know about their elected officials

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, September 20, 2022

My Point of View by Joe Pacovsky

Several people objected to Jennifer Vogt-Erickson’s Aug. 24 Point of View. The Point of View must  have hit a raw spot. Jill Marin even felt compelled to write two letters to the editor with her objections. I have no objection to Sen. Dornink having 12 children. I do object to his attempts to control women’s health and to restrict their right to make their own medical decisions.

Joe Pacovsky

Elected officials have a right to their beliefs. Voters have a right to be informed of the beliefs of their  representatives when those public officials attempt to impose those beliefs on the rest of us. Our  elected representatives are free to have as many children as they choose and also home school those children if they so choose. Voters have a right to be informed of those choices so they can judge their representatives support for public education and our right to control our own bodies.  

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Sen. Dornink co-sponsored SF4403 and Rep. Bennett co-sponsored HF4744. This would have created  “education savings accounts.” This legislation is a ploy to defund public education and send taxpayer  money to private schools including religion-based schools. Its passage would result in higher property taxes to maintain the quality of our public schools.  

Both Rep. Peggy Bennett and Sen. Gene Dornink have co-sponsored abortion bans for women. Those  bans include an exception only for saving the mother’s life. This exception is worthless because the  mother and the medical personnel providing her care would still have to run the gauntlet of the zealots, who would challenge their medical decisions and subject them to continued legal jeopardy. 

The Republican Party through former President Trump and others has been courting extremist groups, including white nationalists. The Republican Party is riddled with election deniers who actively tried to overthrow the will of the people in the last election. The Republican Party is attracting adherents of  radical fundamentalist groups such as the Christian Patriarchy Movement, which includes various groups  including the Faith and Freedom Coalition and the Quiverfull movement. They are aligning themselves with Republicans with the aim of imposing their radical views on the rest of us, including their views on  the rights of women. 

Our elected representatives have a right to their beliefs but they have a responsibility to represent their constituents. They do not have the right to force those beliefs on the rest of us. They are elected to represent us. We have a right to be informed of their beliefs so we can make an informed decision when we vote. 

Joe Pacovsky is a member of the Freeborn County DFL Party from Hayward.