North Dakotans have been presented with two clearly different choices in the campaign for U.S. Senate. Rick Berg and Heidi Heitkamp offer dramatically opposing views for this state's future. Berg represents the better choice.
The Berg-Heitkamp race has been plagued by a blizzard of negative advertising, much of it paid for by independent out-of-state and out-of-touch groups. That has unfortunately muddled the issues for many voters, who, like us, have grown weary of being bombarded by misinformation from groups outside the state touting "the North Dakota way."
Berg has a long history in state politics, and has been a supporter of less government regulation in both the personal lives and business dealings of North Dakotans. He carried that philosophy with him to Washington, D.C., after he beat incumbent Democratic Rep. Earl Pomeroy two years ago. Berg believes he can continue to use that philosophy in the Senate, where he would join Sen. John Hoeven to form a strong team for North Dakota.
Heitkamp, too, has a clear vision for North Dakota and the rest of the country. But Heitkamp's view of a better America is rooted in an increasingly larger role for government, leading to her support of Obama's health care overhaul and Wall Street bailouts. Heitkamp's acceptance of campaign contributions from anti-fracking and anti-nuclear groups shows a lack of sound judgment on her part.
This race should not be about how much one candidate can bash the other; they've both already done plenty of that. Rather, this campaign should come down to which North Dakotan we believe can most effectively represent us in Washington at a time when our state's role in the national debate about energy, national defense and agriculture, among other topics, is growing at a steady pace.
Rick Berg is the better choice.