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Vote on Election Day, November 6 (10/21/2012)
From: Jean Kalmes

I imagine most people are getting tired of all the repetition, ads, debates, negativity, and outright lying, or distortion of facts, whatever you choose to call it. It is happening on all levels of this election. I am over 80 and it is seems worse than any election I can remember. I also think this is the most important election of my life. Our citizens are not outstanding in using our voting privilege. In some countries people are fined if they do not vote, but is that truly freedom?

We have a national debt of $16,000,000,000,000, no budget for three years, and debt increasing. Minnesota is considering bonding to increase employment and to build and repair roads and bridges. That means the debt is shoved into the future.

There seems to be money for bike trails. Is recreation so important? It is included in one big omnibus bill which may not be entirely read.

In that huge booklet of bills on one page our federal gas tax is siphoned off for bike trails. I talked to a legislator who didnít know a thing about it. The funds go to the Department of Transportation (DOT) of each state and it is handed to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) of each region.

There are probably many instances of money sitting in funds. For example, the over $600,000 found by the board in Winona County to build the new addition to the government building without the public having a say in it. Tax funds had been supplied earlier so the board can brag that they didnít increase taxes. A new building does cost for upkeep.

I wrote to U.S. Congressman Walz about the use of the funds for bike paths for the minority who use bike trails. Bikes are not licensed, and little is charged for trail use. Walz did not reply. So it isnít just enough to vote; it is being as informed a voter as possible.

Politicians often talk about transparency, but there is little of it, and the media seem selective in what they investigate and reveal. All of the Winona County 2007 flood funds were not used, so now they are finding other ways to spend the $400,000. Should it not be returned??

The Winona County Board also relinquished their right to have a say in newly hired employees. Companies have a board of directors to help make decisions, not just sit and agree with the head administrators. We heard little from some of them until they are now seeking reelection.

It is time for some changes. I urge you to get informed and vote on Tuesday, November 6.



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