Kennedy displays political hipocracy
To the editor: The Perham Enterprise Bulletin, in its October 12 issue, gave substantial coverage to the U.S. Senate race between Amy Klobuchar and Mark Kennedy. Unfortunately, the coverage was a bit lazy. It is stated in one of the articles that...
To the editor:
The Perham Enterprise Bulletin, in its October 12 issue, gave substantial coverage to the U.S. Senate race between Amy Klobuchar and Mark Kennedy. Unfortunately, the coverage was a bit lazy.
It is stated in one of the articles that, "by most polls, the Kennedy-Klobuchar race will be tight to the bitter end". That assertion is patently false.
While it is possible that the race may tighten in the remaining few weeks, there is no poll that shows this race to be either a tight race or a tightening race. The Real Clear Politics polling average for the period ending October 4 shows Klobuchar with a 14% lead over Kennedy. That average is based on a Rasmussen poll, a Survey America poll, an MPR/St. Paul Pioneer Press/Mason Dixon poll, and a University of Minnesota poll -- all conducted between mid/late September and early October. Real Clear Politics sums it up by saying that "a quick glance at the polls the last 9 months shows Klobuchar pulling away". (In fact, the Minnesota Poll that came out on October 14 gives Klobuchar a 21% lead.) Even the Republican Senate Campaign Committee has decided to reduce its efforts -- financial and otherwise -- in behalf of Mark Kennedy. It has decided that it has the best chance of protecting its control of the U.S. Senate by investing its energies and money in other Senate races.
My point isn't that we should pin our political hopes, fears, and decisions on the polls. The influence of polling in our politics is worse than unfortunate. But, if polling results are to be the subject of newspaper reports, they should be reported accurately. The reporting should not be a regurgitation of the spin of the weaker candidate or his supporters.
You also quoted Mark Kennedy as saying that "Democrats are very good at muddying the waters". This accusation is from a candidate whose campaign is distorting the poll results and playing on the ignorance of voters. This from a candidate whose campaign has shifted into a desperate high-gear effort to drive up the negatives and distort the positions of his opponent, Amy Klobuchar.
Kennedy has criticized the plea bargaining done by the Hennepin County Attorney's office and claims that that reflects poorly on Amy Klobuchar. Kennedy does not mention that plea bargaining with virtually all criminal defendants is a practice used by all prosecutors, including the Perham City Attorney and the Otter Tail County Attorney. Plea bargaining's biggest practical advantage is that it saves the tax-payers money, especially those tax-payers who want to pay "no new taxes". (That political principle has real consequences!)
Kennedy says that Amy Klobuchar is "letting career criminals out of prison". This muddy accusation is grossly misleading and unfair. The timing of a prisoner's release from prison (or jail) depends much more -- probably exclusively in most cases -- on the judge's sentence, the parole board's release practices and procedures, credit-for-good-time-served policies, and the like than on the input of the prosecutor.
Kennedy lays the blame for increased crime in Minneapolis at the feet of hard-nosed prosecutor Amy Klobuchar. Does he really think that analyzing crime rates is as simple as that? If he does not recognize the complexity of forces (including under-funded law enforcement agencies) that explain crime rates, he is not only unsuited to serve in the U.S. Senate; but he is also unsuited to serve on his local city council or county board.
Kennedy asserts that Democrats are good at muddying the water in one breath; and then, in the very next breath, he muddies the water himself. This is an excellent example of the political hypocrisy that has turned so many away from politics. Such hypocrisy cannot be allowed to go unnoticed.
I, like many, would like to see more honesty, civility, and respect in politics on all sides of the political aisle, including my own. I would like to see more debate on the real issues affecting us all, including the increasingly high cost of health care, the increasingly high cost of a college education, and real estate taxes in Minnesota that have increased from 2002 to the present by 58%. Instead, we get the stuff that Kennedy complains about but does so well and with such ease. We cannot allow such tactics to work. We must demand better from our politicians. We must demand better from ourselves.