My Point of View: Keep local representation, get new leaders at the state

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, October 25, 2022

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My Point of View by Aaron Farris

With less than two weeks until election day, the choice at the ballot box couldn’t be more clear. We know what Minnesota and the nation are capable of. We have the capability to be energy independent, have a thriving economy and keep our costs of living low. However, these past two years have shown who in leadership is (and isn’t) helping us be our best.

Aaron Farris

On the national level, we need some serious change. We need a Congress that’s ready to pass legislation correcting the failures of the Biden administration. We must elect leaders like Congressman Brad Finstad who know what’s really on the minds of voters this year. Those are, as Finstad puts it, “family pocketbook issues” like inflation, high gas prices, supply chain disruptions and plummeting 401(k)s.

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Congressman Finstad has only been in office since August, but he’s already been doing so much to build important relationships across the district, including right here in Albert Lea. Congressman Finstad understands Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District doesn’t belong to himself or any politician or political party. Congressman Finstad knows this seat belongs to you, and he’s shown he’s ready and willing to work with everyone for the betterment of us here in southern Minnesota.

Sen. Gene Dornink and Rep. Peggy Bennett have also shown they have what it takes to support our local communities and will never back down even when things aren’t easy. Sen. Dornink has voted for tax relief for Minnesotans, to re-open our DVS testing locations and against vaccine mandates and passports. Rep. Bennett has worked diligently to bring more health care professionals to rural communities, secure $2 million for the Shell Rock Water restoration program, and stop a 20-cent/gallon gas tax increase. On a local level, we’re incredibly fortunate to have such great members of our community working for us and representing us in St. Paul. Everyone should get out on Nov. 8 and keep it that way.

Unfortunately on a statewide level, we’re not as fortunate. Current leadership has irreversibly damaged our small businesses, attempted to raise taxes and has hitched Minnesota’s wagon to California’s radical and unrealistic energy policies. Worst of all, our current governor and attorney general have presided over the worst crime Minnesota has seen since the Twin Cities were labeled “Murderapolis.” Dr. Scott Jensen and Jim Schultz have a plan to reduce crime now. Our governor’s response to the Minneapolis riots triggered violent riots across the country and the world. There’s nothing wrong with people exercising their right to peacefully protest, but when those protests turn violent, that’s not acceptable. Our governor let Minneapolis burn, and it enabled violent rioters across the country to follow suit.

Dr. Scott Jensen knows what needs to be done to return safety to the streets of Minnesota. That starts with fostering an environment that supports and appreciates our law enforcement for everything they do to keep us safe. Dr. Jensen also plans to make carjacking a crime with a harsh penalty. Under our current governor, carjackings are up 28,133%. Yes, you read that right. 28,133%. Under Dr. Jensen’s proposal, criminals would serve two-,  four-, or six-year minimum sentences for this violent and increasingly common crime. As governor, Dr. Jensen would also prevent dangerous groups like the “Minnesota Freedom Fund” from bailing violent criminals (including murderers and rapists) out of jail. It’s also very important to have a governor who will appoint judges who will uphold sentences and end the ridiculous policy of “catch and release.” Catch and release only exhausts our officers, costs the state more money for repeated prosecution and defense costs, and lets dangerous criminals roam our streets.

It’s not good enough to just have a governor fighting the rampant crime in our state. We also need an AG who will back up these efforts. Our current AG has described Minneapolis police as “vicious,” “wolves in sheep’s clothing,” and an “occupying force.” Our current AG is also an avid supporter of violent extremist group Antifa and spoke favorably of convicted cop killer Assata Shakur. Shakur escaped prison, fled to Cuba, and our current AG opposed her extradition to the U.S. and prayed for her continued shelter in Cuba. Jim Schultz, just like Scott Jensen, knows what it takes to return safety to our streets, and they’re ready to get to work and get it done.

Possibly the worst failure of leadership was the $250 million pandemic fraud case regarding “Feeding Our Future,” which was supposed to provide meals to children during the pandemic. Multiple times, state leadership had the opportunity to stop this fraud, and they. Did. Nothing.

We have a great chance to keep our phenomenal local representation and get a new group of leaders at the state level on Nov. 8. Vote Republican up and down the ballot!

Aaron Farris is the vice chairman of the Freeborn County Republican Party and chairman of the Minnesota 1st Congressional District Republican Party.