OUR OPINION: Berg stands ready to work for change
Rick Berg, the 26-year Republican legislator from Fargo, is ready to represent North Dakota in the U.S. House of Representatives. He will bring a new and needed perspective to serving his state in Washington at a time when Congress has fallen to ...
Rick Berg, the 26-year Republican legislator from Fargo, is ready to represent North Dakota in the U.S. House of Representatives.
He will bring a new and needed perspective to serving his state in Washington at a time when Congress has fallen to the lowest esteem in recent history. Berg can be part of restoring the House's tarnished reputation by applying North Dakota conservative principles to federal legislation.
Incumbent Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., has done a credible job for his state and nation for nearly two decades, but he's stayed too long. On some of the biggest issues facing the nation and North Dakota, he's been beholden to House Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, rather than to the people back home.
He has demonstrated an independent streak on several fronts, but on major legislation that threatens to cost Americans millions of dollars -- health care reform -- he stumbled badly.
Berg's position on health care reform has been mischaracterized by the Pomeroy camp. The challenger sees some good in the massive reform law, such as the Frontier Amendment for increasing Medicare reimbursements in rural states and preventing insurance companies from refusing to insure pre-existing conditions.
But Berg's analysis of the total package has come to the same conclusions that most small- and medium-sized North Dakota businesses have: The bill is a private-insurance-plan killer that will force businesses to either drop employee plans or cause the plans to be so expensive as to put them out of reach for workers.
The overlay of projected additional costs will hurt businesses, workers and the nation's economy.
Pomeroy objects to grading his years of service only on his health care vote. But the projected negative impacts of the health care law could adversely affect everything else in the economy.
The law is so intrusive and wide-ranging that no segment of the economy will be immune from damage. As such, Pomeroy exercised poor judgment by going along with President Barack Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
He should have listened to the vast majority of North Dakotans who opposed the ill-conceived, ill-timed reform.
Berg's record in the North Dakota Legislature is not perfect, but after 26 years, no lawmaker's record would be. Nevertheless, during those years Berg demonstrated a consistent and correct conservative approach to public policy that not only has served his state well, but also can be transferred to federal lawmaking.
If Republicans win control of the House as expected, Berg will find himself in a strong position to make positive changes.
We salute Pomeroy's dedicated service, but he's lost touch with North Dakotans. It's time for change. Berg is the right agent of change. He should be elected to the U.S. House on Nov. 2.
Endorsements represent the views of Forum Communications, the Herald's parent company. The above endorsement was written by The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead.