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Urges politicial cooperation

April 1, 2012
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

To the editor:

My friends in the Democratic Party might be surprised to hear this, but I am going to miss Representative Horbach, who has decided not to seek office again. The Representative and I had different political views, but I admired the way he approached the job of legislating. Lance would always listen to both sides of the issue. He was never afflicted with an ego that saw himself as above others and always right. He may have had strong views on social issues like abortion and gay marriage, but those topics did not drive his work. He said once that he saw an important part of his job as helping his constituents reach solutions to their problems. Lance could and did work with Democrats so that the Iowa legislature could move forward.

I am concerned about the candidates being put forward by our Republican friends. For example, I have seen the effects of the Tea Party members elected to Congress. They have a great fervor, but they seem to be unable to work with those across the aisle. This has led to public criticisms calling our government "dysfunctional" and "paralyzed," having lost the ability to work together to compromise. Jane Jech helped form the Tea Party in Marshalltown. Also, she has pronounced anti-gay marriage and anti-abor-Lion views. I do not know if these social views are guiding her to seek public office, but I would prefer a candidate who did not allow social issues to be central. I would also prefer a candidate who can work with the opposing party and move our state forward. I can always admire the fervor of those in the Tea Party and those who oppose abortion. 1 can always respect their right to their views. However, I want legislators who can listen, keep social issues out of politics, and work cooperatively. In other words, I will vote for Democrats or Republicans who could be called "moderate" because I don't believe strong partisanship gets us anywhere. And the giory of our country is that each of us can decide what we prefer at the ballot box.

Finally, this is a plea for civility in politics. Recently, there have been two letters attacking Senator Steve Sodders as unethical. The writer of these letters has been observed using a county building to prepare work for her political party. Does this make her unethical? Most definitely not! I have the greatest respect for her as a historian, and I know her to be a good person. And the same is true of Senator Sodders.Who organizes his campaign stops, how many people at his stops, and what car he rides in snould not be determiners of his ethics either. There is not a person on this earth, myself included, who has not made a bad judgment, and that does not merit their being branded as unethical.

Instead of attacking each other's character, I would prefer that politicians and political activists discuss the issues facing our state and country. Such issue-centered discussions could help all of us be more informed voters, and that is vital for our state and country.

Anne Michael




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