Wasteful practices

Emily Bialkowski
Argus Managing Editor

I admit, I like politics. I like watching people come together with different ideas to hammer out problems and work for the common good.

It works… sometimes. At a recent Houston County Board meeting I saw good politics in action. People who enjoy Money Creek Haven Campground are asking for passage on golf carts from the camp to the township on Hwy. 26.

Representatives have come forward asking for an ordinance change, and residents have come forward to say it’s not a good idea. There are two sides, and there’s a county board that is entertaining all thoughts, including those of the county engineer and law enforcement. Perhaps a conclusion will be reached by the time this column is published.

Regardless of the outcome, it’s nice to see residents, professionals and the county board working together to come to the best conclusion. Yes, there are differentiating opinions, but discussion remains civil and all opinions have been welcome.

On the contrary, the Sept. 27 debate between Minnesota First District Congressman Tim Walz and his challenger Allen Quist was a glaring example of why people turn a deaf ear to politics.

The debate was unfocused and inflammatory in nature.

I believe the first bad sign was when Walz described some of Quist’s views as “extremist,” and Quist lurched into a speech about how that kind of language should not be acceptable within the debate’s structure.

The only enjoyable, insightful point came during the “lightning round” when the candidates were forced to answer questions with one or two words.

Some of the questions asked included:

What department or agency would you decrease funding to if you had to pick one?

Walz: Department of Transportation

Quist: Environmental Protection Agency

Would you be in favor of  increasing the Social Security eligibility age for younger Americans?

Quist: In the future

Walz: No

Sum up your economic philosophy:

Quist: Free enterprise works –  Socialism does not.

Walz: Provide opportunities for middle class Americans as we always have.

The lightning round was truly the only time I felt like I was listening to anything substantial, anything that actually addressed the many obstacles facing our country today.

It’s safe to report that Quist is very against government policies overstepping the private sector.

It’s safe to report that Walz believes in striking a balance between governance and private practice.

The best quotes of the debate, in my estimation were:

Walz: “He can’t do anything if he can’t get 217 other people to agree with him.”

Quist: “We need to remove impediments to small business, free enterprise and free markets.”

I found it humorous that after watching the debate I received an email from the Quist campaign that stated, “Quist dominates Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce debate.”

From my estimation, the debate was a perfect example of how some politicians waste time.


You can contact Emily Bialkowski at [email protected]