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On Bryce’s Mind

By Staff | Oct 14, 2012

It’s time again for “Who you’ve got this November”, only this time we’re going to talk about a different subject. (Also I’ve been kind of talking about Obama/Romney a bit too much lately.)

In a recent New York Times article, members of the GOP thought that North Dakota would be an easy seat in the Senate to grab when Kent Conrad announced he’s retiring. But two people are running for the Senate seat, however, and it’s a very competitive race. In the Republican corner there’s Rick Berg, whereas in the Democratic corner there’s Heidi Heitkamp. In 2010 Berg won a seat in Congress by beating out Earl Pomeroy. Heitkamp was a former ND attorney general who ran for governor in 2000, but lost out due to a battle with breast cancer.

This race is currently the most competitive race for a Senate seat North Dakota has seen since the late eighties. It’s not surprising though, considering the amount of attack ads out there. A person can’t watch TV or listen to the radio around these parts without hearing at least one instance of “Rick Berg has gone Washington”, or “Heidi Heitkamp supports Obamacare while Rick Berg has pledged to repeal Obamacare”, among other things. Recently political action committees have forked over a bunch of dead presidents to make and air ads. A Berg supporter released an ad saying something to the effect of Heitkamp being likeable, but wrong for North Dakota on the issues. Meanwhile, there have been ads attacking Berg for supposedly being part of a controversial company called Goldmark Property Management, and for inaction on the 2012 farm bill. (Berg denied that he was part of the inaction in a news release sent out before Congress left for its summer recess. He also denied being involved with Goldmark Property Management, a company that had tenant complaints, fire safety violations, and a C- rank from the Better Business Bureau on its record. He was part of the company, but left before it became Goldmark Property Management. He then formed Goldmark Schlossman Commercial Real Estate, which shared an address, building, employees and phone number with the infamous other company. The infamous other company also donated huge amounts of money to Berg’s campaign, according to a Salon.com article.)

How are Berg and Heitkamp similar and how do they differ? According to diffen.com, both Berg and Heitkamp are calling for the U.S. to be independent of foreign sources of energy, they support necessary cuts in the 2012 farm bill, they support the Balanced Budget Amendment, they support Medicare, but the similarities end there.

Berg wants to eliminate estate taxes, wants to drill for oil on federal lands and offshore, wants to make some cuts to crop insurance, wants economic sanctions against Iran, and doesn’t want to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. He opposes abortion, gay marriage, gun control, mandates forcing companies to insure contraceptives, and amnesty for illegal immigrants. He wants to make the US government be like ND, especially in the area of jobs.

Heitkamp wants taxes raised on people who earn over $1 million a year, wants troops out of Afghanistan, wants our country to invest in renewable energy, wants states individually to take up the issue of gay marriage, and, among other things, wants women to have access to birth control. She also wants voters to consider her as someone who will, once elected, vote independently rather than along partisan lines.

There will be more of these “Who you’ve got” things to come, considering there have been other candidates for public office (Cramer/Gulleson, Dalrymple/Taylor) who haven’t been discussed, before election day, which is November 6.

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