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Final thoughts from Ruth Smith

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012 11:54 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012 11:55 a.m. CDT

By Ruth Smith

Independent candidate for Iowa House

Just a few short weeks left before the election, just enough time for some final thoughts about American politics. In the past, my letters have strongly expressed my dissatisfaction with our current political system. Basically, the stronghold of political parties, the influence of money, and the lack of true representation, all of which leads to the destruction of our democracy.

Now, as an Independent candidate for the Iowa House, I want to hold myself accountable to you. It’s rather easy for me to be critical of the political system, but not responsible if I don’t offer an alternative, which better serves the people of Clarke, Decatur, Lucas and Wayne counties.

Because our democracy requires more than just talk from individual legislators, my alternative is not based on a load of promises. Instead, you can hold me accountable in the way I will think and behave as your representative.

First, and most importantly, I will be your representative, not a political party’s puppet or special interest group’s ally. When I speak to you, you will be confident that I am not loyal to anyone but you and others in the district.

Whether it’s an agricultural issue, an education issue, or a social issue — the people of the district will be my priority. And, in my opinion, we need strong representation for our grassroots agenda, not the “top-down” agenda from those outside our district.

Second, as your representative, I will earn your trust because I will personally visit your town every month throughout the calendar year, not just once or twice during the legislative session. You will know who your representative is. You will become comfortable in speaking with me about your frustrations. I hope you call me first when state government is out of touch or puts up unnecessary walls. In this way, you can start trusting state government again.

Third, even in the four-county area, there will be much diversity of opinions and perspectives about particular issues. As your representative, I will respectfully consider every angle, every point of view. As a critical thinker, I will include your perspective and try to find a balanced position, one that is acceptable to the majority of us. No one will be completely satisfied because thoughtful policy is about compromise and community.

Finally, as your representative, I will have lunch with both Republicans and Democrats. Because I have no special allegiance with either, I can have an allegiance with both. I will try to bridge the gap between the political parties, one day at a time. Eventually, as Iowans, we must start to think and act as one team, not two. Eventually, Iowa leadership must stop the fighting and begin to cooperate.

Please consider voting for better Iowa leadership. I am willing to start the change, but I need your help.

Call my cell 641-442-5261 for further information.

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