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Who’s running our country?

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Published on Mon, Oct 25, 2010 by BY PAM STEVENS | MANAGING EDITOR

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Elections are stressful on everyone, especially those of us who have to listen to all of the rhetoric for months on end and watch our streets as they become littered with signs.

Nightly recorded phone calls are now the norm and long messages left on voice mailboxes are becoming almost ritualistic.
Somewhere in between ads for initiatives, referendums and candidates lies the truth and hopefully voters will remember that listening to the persuasive arguments and backbiting won’t give us all we need to know about the candidates.

In the “big” elections, name-dropping and celebrity endorsements are becoming the standard in campaigning.
According to Wikipedia, there are 37 seats up for grabs in the Senate and all 435 seats (excluding the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico) are up for re-election in the House.

This means it’s a critical year for our country. It also means that our paid representatives are taking our tax dollars while campaigning.

So, if President Obama and Vice-President Biden are touring the country in an effort to win seats in Congress and a majority of those seats are basically empty while they are campaigning, who exactly is running our country?

Campaigning seems to take a lot of time away from the country’s business while costing taxpayers millions of dollars in security, fueling Air Force One, Two and so on. Is this really a wise financial decision in an economy where the federal government’s spending is already out of control?

Asking cities to pay for extra security for campaigning is outrageous and needs to be stopped. These costs should be incurred by the candidate they are representing and not the taxpayers in the city they are visiting.

The City of Seattle is cutting budgets right and left and yet they were able to come up with the $150,000 to pay for security while President Obama was in town last week.

Wouldn’t keeping one or two people employed for the next year have made more sense?
It’s true that this type of campaigning happens all the time, but in the mess we are in economically, it would have been more impressive if the candidates had paid for these costs out of their campaign funds or if they would have forgone the “celebrity” visits altogether in the name of reigning in spending.

In less than a week we can all turn our televisions on without the threat of campaign ads and hopefully our streets will become littered with falling leaves instead of campaign signs.

Just remember to read up on the issues and the candidates and vote how your heart tells you to, not because you saw a sign or watched a commercial on TV and not because some “celebrity” called your house and left you a recorded message.

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