Kris Hasskamp has been in office so long that it seems she will do just about anything to stay there. She answers questions just like she was a lawyer, always trying to spin it anyway you want to hear it. If The Dispatch would do a better job of reporting on her voting record we could all know what she's doing, but what I have seen, I sure don't like.
Concern for the poor
Michael Ciresi, the millionaire candidate for senator, claims he "has fought for the world's poorest people." His biggest claim to fame is his successful lawsuit in cahoots with Skip Humphrey that earned him hundreds of millions of dollars in settlement fees from the tobacco companies. Actually these companies get most of their money from the "poorest people" who smoke more on average and who can least afford higher costs. The government doesn't really want to kill the cigarette goose that lays golden tax eggs, they just want more eggs, and tobacco companies simply pass on costs to consumers.
Ciresi also won a case for UNOCAL, a company now notorious for allegedly using slaved labor in the fragile forest lands of Myanmar. Democratic Rep. Frank Pallone tells how Ciresi helped UNOCAL: "UNOCAL can be seen to have a monopoly on the blending process for reformulated gasoline." He also says: "Other refiners have cut back supply to avoid paying high prices for the license to these patents."
Compliance in many states with governmental regulations requiring use of reformulated gasoline (UNOCAL's monopoly) began on June 1. Many refineries earlier cut inventories trying to avoid paying too much for Ciresi's big oil victory. This created vast shortages, sparking recent price spikes, which is often the case when governments interfere with regulations on businesses. The higher selling prices are really just hidden tax increases.
Ciresi wants us to believe that when he wins settlements, only the large corporations have to pay, but higher gas and cigarette prices are paid by consumers and the only one who seems to always benefit is Michael " big bucks" Cire$i. No one doubts his ability as a trial lawyer to win huge settlements, but we must seriously question his concern for "the world's poorest people."
Candy at parades
I just want to express my appreciation to Jodie Tweed on her article in The Brainerd Dispatch June 28.
I drove one of our old cars in a car parade at Devil's Lake, N.D. Cars in front of me were throwing candy from their vehicle. Kids were darting out in front of my car to get the treats. I was so relieved when the parade was over and I said "never again will I go through that." The point of this letter, and Jodie's letter, is the safety of kids. Let's work together in this, before it's too late.
The people who still insist on throwing from their vehicle or float, I hope next year you will find walkers. It still happened in the Pequot July 4th parade. You know who you are, and so do the spectators!
Thank you, Jodie.
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