Sometimes I wonder if being honest, clear-cut and concerned about the welfare of the general public is the best way to go these days, especially if you are involved in the political process? We have been blabbering lately about the hate campaigns that are dominating the political arena. Some are long-term efforts and others are designed to destroy a candidate with just days remaining in the campaign. The present fiasco in California was such an effort, stirring the pot about Arnold Schwarzenegger's apparent indiscretions some 30 years ago.

Oh yes, we can all graphically remember that tearful plea for support, "I DID NOT have sex with that woman Monica Lewinski,'" or so stated the then president of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton.

You know what, had he been allowed to campaign for a third term, the odds are he would have been re-elected! The general public just doesn't care and besides, the political party in power can do no wrong in the eyes of power brokers who will turn their heads and close their eyes every time to serve their own special interests.

Now some finger pointing from Minnesota DFL leaders accusing state Republican chair Ron Eibensteiner of election-law violations stemming from a "trumped up" grand jury indictment orchestrated in Mower County. It appears the charges are reflecting on a 2002 campaign contribution from the Florida American Bankers Insurance Company on behalf of Republican Tim Pawlenty. The company also reportedly contributed to DFL gubernatorial candidate Roger Moe. Both the Republican and DFL state offices forwarded the uncashed checks to individual national committees, which is perfectly legal. Apparently, Eibensteiner sent a follow-up thank you letter to the insurance company and that, says the DFL, is a no no. Again, the actual campaign contribution, on behalf of Gov. Tim Pawlenty, was never cashed but forwarded to national campaign offices, as was the DFL check. So what's the deal here? Is it a plan to embarrass Pawlenty using Eibensteiner as the goat? Why not, it makes the GOP look corrupt and the general public, is it being assumed, won't take the time to read the story which reflects on an insurance company that really didn't care which candidate won just so long as Independence Candidate Tim Penny was defeated. Oh well, telling the story straight and honest isn't the way it is done these days. The political energizers or "bad-mouths" are always looking for a juicy expose to muddy up the waters.

Locally, U. S. Senator Norm Coleman is taking some hits now, from the DFL hierarchy because he seems to be supporting a job opportunity for the Iron Range that makes so much sense, it would be absolutely terrible if Coleman got any credit for being a part of that positive effort to help keep good paying jobs on the Range. Now Coleman is perceived as the bad guy and the reason we know this is because the DFL reminds us every day that Republicans cannot be part of the political process in Minnesota, it's un-American.

Political campaigns today are denigrating and regressive in every sense of the word. The reason is simple enough, the Democratic big wigs are losing ground nationally and the only way they can retain their importance is to go on the offensive in any way, shape or form they can contrive.

Some of you are wondering why I'm not picking on the Republicans as well? The answer is as plain as the nose on my face, there aren't any active Republicans in all of northern Minnesota to pick on! Up in this area, you need the DFL endorsement to run for dogcatcher.

Unfortunately, that' the way it is. It's sickening and it's unfair to you and me.

Dick Palmer is the former editor and publisher of the Budgeteer News. He may be reached by telephone at 729-6470 or by

e-mail at rpalmer@duluth.com.