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Paid political letter: Dear Becker County Voters:

Ideas and opinions in this letter are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the stance of this paper. The author of this letter has paid for its placement.

Please do not make the mistake of voting for union-backed county commissioner candidates! This is a vote against yourself. The big picture: public unions are an inherent conflict-of-interest. This is a huge problem across the country with ever-expanding and bloating government. Government by nature grows without bound; we, as responsible voters, must keep the government in check. Commissioners with union ties will not do this. Closer to home, imagine a candidate for county commissioner, Pat. Pat seeks out the local union for endorsement (and money for campaigning) and gets it. Oh, by the way, hundreds of workers in the district belong to this union. After winning the election, who is Pat going to be representing during contract negotiations--the union worker or the voters? It probably won’t be the voters. The public’s best interest may be subverted.

Recently, thanks largely to the financial management of the county commissioners, Becker County’s credit rating was boosted from AA to AA-plus, which brings us several advantages. This is highly unusual for counties in outstate Minnesota. Becker County has gotten along very well without union influence. If we voters sanction the union presence in this election, what’s to stop the unions from taking over more of the campaigns in our city, school district, and county elections in the future? We need to pay attention now to the flow of union money into our local campaigns-the trickle could turn into a flood.

Two candidates who are not beholden to unions and will represent the best interests of the taxpayers of Becker County: Craig Hall and Ben Grimsley. Both are proven managers and have their priorities in the right places. As a taxpayer in Becker County, I urge voters in Districts 1 and 2 to give this thoughtful consideration.

Thank you.

Brian Ahlsten
Detroit Lakes, Minn.