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Election comments – Round 2

By Staff | Oct 30, 2018

Depending on when you are reading this, the election is about a little over a week away.

I can hardly wait. Not for the election itself, but for it to be over.

I wrote a couple of weeks ago in this space about the nastiness of some of the election advertising, especially in the congressional races.

I would like to say it has gotten better. But instead, I think it has gotten worse. A lot worse. And from what I read about the election and hear about it on TV news, it must be bad all over the country.

The balance of power in the U.S. Congress must be hanging in the balance, and that balance is hanging by a thread.

Just like I wrote in that previous column, that national organizations are throwing a lot of money at the races that are close, or ones they think can be swung from red to blue, or vice versa.

Quite obviously our First Congressional District here in Minnesota is one of those. With the incumbent (Tim Walz) not running, and the fact that the last couple of elections have been very close, both parties seem sure they can win, and are determined to do so.

And they seem to think it can be done by negative advertising.

It was mainly television commercials, sometimes stacked one after another. Now it is also mailed out fliers. I have been getting one, two, even four each day in the mail. And the majority of them are negative, telling me how awful my life will be if the other guy is elected.

A friend of mine received two of those in the mail the other day. One had Dan Feehan’s photo on it, the other one had Jim Hagedorn. She assumed one was for Feehan and one was for Hagedorn. She was sort of correct.

The one with a Feehan photo was an anti-Feehan ad, and the one with Hagedorn on it was anti-Hagedorn. Interestingly enough, neither one said to vote for Feehan or for Hagedorn. They were just telling you who not to vote for.

I shudder to think how much money is being spent on all that negative advertising. It must be a mind-boggling number. Television advertising is not cheap. Especially when they run ad after ad after ad. And it costs a lot to produce those ads. Plus, I know it costs a lot to get those fliers printed on stiff paper and then to mail them out all over southern Minnesota. That is pretty expensive, especially when you send them out day after day after day.

A lot of good things could have been done with all that money.

I expect the race between Hagedorn and Feehan to be very, very close, and it will be interesting to see which candidate actually does win.

In fact, it will be interesting to see who wins in all the contested races we will see on the ballot on Nov. 6.

As I have written before, the incumbent always seems to have a big advantage. Unless, of course, he or she has done something stupid recently.

But in some cases, like our First District race between Hagedorn and Feehan, there is no incumbent.

Or take our Blue Earth Area School Board election. There are seven candidates running for four spots, and only two of the candidates are incumbents. That means there will be at least two new members on the BEA School Board.

This week the Register is doing some previewing of the candidates running in the contested races in Faribault County. We would like to do some information on all the candidates, even those who are running unopposed, but we have a lot of space and time constraints that preclude that.

In some of our small towns in Faribault County, everyone in town pretty much knows everyone else in town. So residents are often voting for candidates they have personally known for years.

And that, of course, can be good or bad.

On higher levels, for state and federal officials, it might take a little more study. We often do not have much of a personal relationship with those politicians. So I urge you to find out more about them, and not rely on these negative ads.

There are quite a few websites you can go to in order to see how each candidate stands on issues that concern you. Many are independent sites, and are not operated by any candidate or any political party.

They will give you some real background on all the candidates. Check them out for yourself.

I hope you vote. And vote informed.