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Whether left or right, state or fed, this is an open letter to ALL elected politicians:

Increasingly, it appears this country, and the political system regardless of “side,” is struggling with integrity. For emphasis, you were elected by WE THE PEOPLE.

Since people behave according to personal philosophy, I wanted to share my philosophy, and what I believe are widely held and reasonable expectations.

I DID NOT vote for you to:

  • Lie to influence or justify anything, or cover your butt. A lie is a lie, and half-truth to deceive is the same thing.
  • Point fingers at “the other party.” Doing so simply confirms you are the problem.
  • Bow to party pressures on ANY decision.
  • Perform a highly questionable move, and justify it with “Well, it’s not illegal.” Just because something can be argued legal does not make it RIGHT. You were elected to fix and improve the law, especially in these kinds of areas.
  • Waste everyone’s time, and the public’s money, on insignificant issues such as which should be the state frog.

I voted for you:

  • To be as honest as you would be behind closed doors, NOT creating and propagating “spin” so as to hide from the public what is really going on.
  • To behave in a manner that is geared toward the benefit of the public, NOT your own personal benefit or party desire.
  • To find and make ways to compromise, NOT draw lines in the sand or pound stakes in the ground.
  • To step up and take ownership. You can’t otherwise take credit for any fix.
  • To weigh TRUE issues and FACTS, making decisions based on fact, instead of catering to special interest or greed. Facts aren’t all that appear on the Internet, or within the media. Paid staff should be able to verify facts, and you should be ready to use and defend them.
  • To do the RIGHT thing, which in many cases is really not that difficult to identify.

The legislative process is supposed to align the law with what is RIGHT. I believe that the MAJORITY of your votes came from people who expect you to improve the law to the benefit of the general public, rather than ensure the law is crafted and manipulated to benefit you, your buddies, and those who give you money.

Again, do the RIGHT thing. Be Honest. Have, and demonstrate true ethics and integrity. If you can’t do that, you have no business being in the position you are in. Whichever side of the fence you are on, if you have members who can’t live by these values, demonstrate the leadership behavior we advocate for children experiencing bullying, CALL THEM OUT!

I strongly encourage each and every constituent to take a VERY focused look at each one of you, and your behavior going forward, and to vote accordingly.

Barney Benkelman


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