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Editorial: As her stature rises, Klobuchar deserves 3rd term in Washington

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By ECM Editorial Board

As political history continues to be written in the United States, Minnesota figures like Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale and Eugene McCarthy will forever be remembered as pillars of the Democratic Party, both for their service to state and country.

In a year when nationwide a record 256 women are running for seats in the U.S. House and Senate, Minnesota can boast one of the nation’s most recognized female leaders, DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar. As her stature continues to grow as an effective and respected legislator, she has earned the endorsement of this editorial board for a third six-year term in the United States Senate.

On Tuesday, Nov. 6, Klobuchar will be opposed by Republican Jim Newberger, a state representative from Becker who is giving up a safe state House seat to challenge Klobuchar. For voters who favor a candidate with positions solidly on the right of the political spectrum and staunchly in lockstep with the Trump administration, Newberger is your candidate.

The issues of immigration, the 2017 tax bill and the escalating trade/tariff war with China offer a clear distinction between the two.

On tariffs, Newberger is supporting the efforts taken by the Trump administration; Klobuchar is calling for negotiated trade agreement that will produce a comprehensive tariff policy that includes the impacts on all areas affected by tariffs. Klobuchar points to her work in the final two years of the Obama administration to support the northern Minnesota mining industry as steel dumping on U.S. markets was addressed. She also recognizes there are issues with Canadian dairy trade policies but believes that Canada, Minnesota’s top trading partner, is in no way a national security risk to justify U.S. trade penalties.

Klobuchar is troubled that a bipartisan Senate bill to address immigration and provide some funding for border security stalled in the House. She favors federal funding for border patrol staffing and technology improvements as opposed to investments in a brick and mortar structure. Newberger is strongly in support of the full border wall as proposed by the president. Newberger would grant some form of permanent status for youth classified as part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program but not citizenship. Klobuchar supports a clear path to citizenship for DACA youth and a comprehensive policy that provides a way for law-abiding undocumented immigrants to join the ranks of Americans who pay taxes and fill vital needs in the workforce. It follows with Minnesota’s history as a story of immigrants.

On the 2017 $1.5 trillion tax cut, Newberger supports the legislation but is troubled by the estimated budget shortfall of another $1.3 trillion annually and its hit on the national debt over the next decade. He is optimistic that tax cuts will generate corporate reinvestment and job creation to fuel the economy. Klobuchar did not vote for the tax bill and says she is troubled by the projected increase in national debt, now in excess of $21 trillion. In cutting the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent, Klobuchar would have lessened the reduction and pumped the retained tax revenue to job-producing and badly needed nationwide infrastructure programs such as roads, bridges, and sewer and water systems.

The next Congress will be confronted with many problems. Can we have elected officials who will be as dedicated to solving problems as they are in defending party positions? We need a Senate that upholds its constitutional duty that is built on dialogue, reason and compromise and less on dogma, positioning and political manipulation. We believe Klobuchar has these principles and will work for Minnesota and the country. Her bipartisan efforts on secure elections, human trafficking, agriculture, rural broadband expansion and school security measures support this conclusion.

We respect Rep. Newberger for his work in the Legislature and believe he is of excellent character. He is to be commended for being a giving person both in his personal and professional life.

Sen. Klobuchar is also a person of integrity and brings to her work a commitment to all of us. As a former Hennepin County prosecutor, she carries a broad spectrum of experience to the Senate. She leads on many issues and is a proven communicator who can reach across political and social divides. She can be both bipartisan and nonpartisan when a solution, program or law is needed for the good of the country.

Coming from a state that has produced two vice presidents and senators who have led on key national issues, Klobuchar will continue to grow in national stature and importance. She has earned another term as Minnesota’s senior senator. Minnesota needs her and so does the country.