Candidate’s View: We must fix campaign financing, change how we do politics

Bertha in Hibbing is well into her golden years and balancing her rent payments with an increasing price tag for the inhaler and medication she relies on to treat chronic bronchitis.

While the unemployment rate in St. Louis County sits below the national average at 3.4 percent, jobs across the Arrowhead are going unfilled. Businesses are pulling out all the stops to recruit and retain employees in a tight labor market. At the same time, there are people looking to start careers and support their families but don’t have the skills required to land those jobs.

And as the opioid epidemic continues devastating towns throughout the 8th Congressional District, there are still too few treatment options available and too few resources aimed at addressing the crisis.

These problems are going unsolved, and families are paying the price for inaction.

Why? Efforts to improve people’s lives are preempted by the people with the biggest checkbooks and elected leaders in their pockets. That’s not a coincidence. That’s how our campaign finance system is designed. There are no limitations on how much special interests can spend to get the results they want.

We need to fix that.

Despite broad, bipartisan support to reduce the cost of prescription drugs, Congress has failed to act. Medicare still can’t negotiate the best prices for our seniors, and lower-cost generic drugs are kept off the shelves because Big Pharma pays to shut out competition. People like Bertha deserve better.

Research shows the demand for employees with two-year degrees continues to grow. Businesses want people in their towns to be equipped with…

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