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It's not too late to take back control of federal government

On Tuesday, we will have some very difficult decisions to make: president, senator, U.S. representative, state representative, a constitutional amendment raising Minnesota's sales tax and more. This is a historic election, and we have the opportu...

On Tuesday, we will have some very difficult decisions to make: president, senator, U.S. representative, state representative, a constitutional amendment raising Minnesota's sales tax and more. This is a historic election, and we have the opportunity to change the face of politics forever.

Like many other Americans, I have lost faith in the federal government. The recent Wall Street bailout was the most tangible and far-reaching example of the corruption and ineptitude present at the federal level, and the fault lies with both political parties. The entire problem stems from the dot-com boom of the late 1990s. Then Fannie and Freddie continued to sidestep any attempt by the federal government to oversee their operations, aided by hefty political contributions to key Democrats in the House and Senate.

We must remember that the bailout act was initiated by President Bush, but it wasn't passed until the Democratic majority rewrote the bill and added more than $70 billion in pork. As responsible taxpayers and homeowners, we must not allow this kind of irresponsibility to continue without serious consequences by those who approved this bailout. As the citizens of this nation are forced to bail out the billionaires who caused this problem in the first place, and suffer the consequences with job losses in our communities, I don't think it's fair for any of the 263 representatives in D.C. who voted for this bill to have a job on Nov. 5.

It isn't too late to take back control of our federal government and finally end the corruption that's run rampant at that level. I would encourage everyone to clean house in D.C. and restore the pride and respect that once existed in this country.

As a candidate for state office, I would like to see all citizens of District 5B become more involved in the operations of state government. In the last 40 years, the Iron Range has been one of the state's DFL strongholds. But the DFL party of today has slowly transformed from a party of labor into a party of taxes and deficit spending, and our citizens are suffering because of it.

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As we prepare to pay our portion of the federal bailout, we cannot ignore the impact our elected officials in St. Paul have had on our children, our working class and our seniors through new taxes and a projected state budget deficit of nearly $4 billion.

As a small-business owner, I have personally seen the toll that tax increases and deficit spending have taken on the hardworking residents of this area. Without new leadership, I am positive Minnesota's financial woes will only escalate.

Another issue facing members of this district is what will happen to the steelworkers and their survivors, who have lost much of their pensions to corporate bankruptcy. Helping these workers has been a top priority of my candidacy, and I am the only candidate in this election who has a plan in place to help those who lost what they so rightfully deserved. By dedicating taconite tax money to establish a "pension recovery fund," individuals can expect to receive monthly payments from the tax proceeds in the fund. This will help our friends and neighbors, as well as our local economies.

Under DFL majority control in St. Paul, we have been forced down a path of new taxes and new spending. This year, my opponent, Rep. Tony Sertich, supported $17.6 billion in new taxes and plans to ask for an additional $2.5 billion in new spending during the 2009 legislative session. This is not the agenda we voted for or deserve. I am offering new leadership and a new direction for the Iron Range, including job creation, lower taxes and fiscal responsibility.

Today, I ask that district voters look past party affiliation and determine their vote by who has the best interest in mind of Minnesota and its residents.

And I urge everyone to please remember to vote Nov. 4.

John D. Larson of Hibbing is the Republican candidate for Minnesota House, District 5B.

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