The American-News welcomes letters of opinion from our readers.

The American-News welcomes letters of opinion from our readers. Letters regarding current local and national news items are encouraged. All letters are subject to editing for length and style. Letters containing potentially libelous or obscene statements will not be published. Letters must contain name, address and phone number for verification and in case of questions. E-mail letters to: Letters may also be mailed to:  Editor, Montevideo Publishing, P.O. Box 99, Montevideo, MN 56265

To think like a Veteran

How well do you know a veteran and the sacrifices made as he served our country and the world? Yes, our veterans have not only served the U.S.A., but the world as well. If you look at the hundreds of years we have been stewards of this part of the globe, it’s difficult to see the job we’ve done to establish a culture after outwatching so many others. We weren’t the first to be here. Do we deserve the riches we occupy?

How do we treat others as we occupy this space? We claim it as our country and have a great influence in the current world. America has much to be proud of.

How do we honor veterans who have established our control over the great land which we call home?

We just went through an off-year electorate process. We have a political dynasty —i.e. established and are passing that on. Among other freedoms, the military has established and passed that right on to us as citizens. Politicians didn’t give us those rights — it was veterans, through their faithful service. All we enjoy is brought to us by the might of our military and that comes as veteran commitment.

Many have served. Many have been injured and so many have died. There are those who are fortunate to have survived. Some have become disabled at their attempts to train and serve. So many have never been involved.

Please thank a veteran every chance you get so they know their efforts and sacrifices were appreciated.

—Dave Swenson


Stating the facts

In last week’s American News, Karen Lieser expressed her frustration with our election mentality as Americans. I agree with her frustration about all the negative ads on the State and Federal level as well as the local level. I have run clean campaigns over the last eight years. I have not said or printed anything which is not public information. My opponent has done the same to influence the voters to his side. Each candidate must present their case in the way must conducive to sway the voters. I use hard dollar figures versus the percentages my opponent used for his version of his record. I state my opinion on what I feel would be the best for the County as a whole. I was not, nor did I have any intent to be ‘Hurtful’ as she and my opponent have claimed.  I provided the information so the residents of the District can make an informed decision at the polls.

Public office is just that, public. Your pay, your record, your life becomes a part of the public community and can be scrutinized by the public.  It can be very difficult to not feel attacked when someone points out your short comings. Yes, I have had people not agree with things I have said and done in the past but those times all fall into the category of ‘Life’s Lessons.’ Our children, as well as, many adults need to learn from ‘Life’s Lessons’ and not blame someone else when things do not go their way or information they would like hidden becomes public knowledge. People need to be accountable for their actions. Being in a public office, carries much responsibility and visibility with it. I am sorry if you felt as though I attacked you during the campaign, I did not. I did point out areas I truly believe were wasteful when it comes to proper use of County tax payer dollars. I have sat in a meeting with the 5th District commissioner lasting only 17 minutes knowing he went back and was paid $100 for attending it when he had zero input in the meeting. How can someone justify taking $100 from the County for doing nothing? Is that being hurtful or am I being responsible to the constituents and doing my civic duty to expose it?

We are becoming a divided Country due to people not wanting to voice an opinion because someone may think it not politically correct. Society needs more people to step up and voice their opposition to how our elections have turned into a popularity contest where the mud-slinging and name calling have the greatest effect versus how they should be by using qualifications and experience to choose the best candidate. Being informed is the best defense to the scare tactics in the national media. If you don’t want the negative campaigns, you need to say no by checking the facts. Don’t let someone else tell you what the facts are unless they can give you a reference to check. All of my information I presented during the campaign is available from the County Auditor/Treasurer office.

This past Veteran’s Day, I was reminded of why I was in the military. The following words from a quote were on the screen at the Montevideo Veteran’s Day remembrance, “Duty, Honor, Country. Those words are the first words of this quote from Douglas MacArthur — “Duty, Honor, Country. Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be.”  

I sincerely hope the newly re-elected Commissioner honors his words to “Cutting Per Diem by $10-20,000 would be realistic.”

—Todd Hay