From the Desk of the President (November, 2008)

This year we face one of the most important elections of our lives. For many of us it is the most important election of our lives. I have a very simple request of all of you. Please look beyond all the rhetoric that is floating around out there - newspapers, TV, YouTube, letters from concerned citizens - and pay close attention to the issues as listed on their respective web site. 

Barack Obama has voted 100% on our issues - issues that are bread and butter on our table, a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, health insurance for our families, an education for our children, safeguards for our pension and Social Security. John McCain has a 16% voting record for those same issues. 

Barack Obama has a plan for health insurance - to expand insurance and make if more accessible and affordable for working women and men across the county with a proviso that insurance cannot be denied for pre-existing conditions. John McCain has a plan for health insurance - he wants to tax the health insurance benefits that our employers pay - a benefit we have negotiated - and then give $5000.00 directly to the insurance companies with no oversight of how that money is spent. The average cost to each of us will be about $2800.00 in additional tax liability. 

Barack Obama has a plan for taxes - lower it for those who make less than $250,000.00 - around 95% of our population -  and raise it for those who earn more than $250,000.00 -including himself. John McCain's tax plan is to extend tax cuts for those who earn over $250,000.00 and for corporations who ship jobs overseas.  

Barack Obama promises to preserve Social Security, to not raise the retirement age, and to not cut benefits. John McCain wants to privatize Social Security and gamble our retirement security on the stock market.   

Barack Obama opposes privatization of our jobs and will create 5 million new jobs with his energy plan to drive down the cost of gas. John McCain stated that he felt, "the fundamentals of our economy are strong" after the loss of 600,000 jobs and the staggering losses of Wall Street. 

For me, the bottom line is this - who do I trust? Do I trust someone who started out as a community organizer, working hard to improve the lives of his neighbors or someone who calls himself a maverick - claiming that he has crossed party lines to promote bipartisan legislation yet has a 90% voting record on the Bush Administration's agenda? I look at the most recent statement from my deferred compensation program and the answer is clear. We cannot afford four more years of the politics that have run our country into the ground. If you are like me, you will look at those things that really matter - issues that afford me the ability to pay the rent, buy groceries, get to and from work and allow me to do the work that I was hired to do - safeguarding the residents of Hennepin County.

Jean Diederich