Friday, August 15, 2008

Two different worlds on utilities

The Pioneer Press ran a heart tugging story yesterday about a family facing tough financial times. Allison Everson took a chance and told her story, a story mirrored my countless numbers of Minnesotans facing tough financial times right now.
Allison does not blame her plight on foreign terrorists or illegal immigrants. She dismissed fear-mongering as a divisive smokescreen.

"Money has divided us as a country. Politics are there, but they are just a distraction to it,'' she wrote this week in her notebook. She reads this as Kadee shows me an impressive drawing of a cat she made for me.

"We all have our vices, our past, our weaknesses," Allison Evenson reads.

"Look at the way our democracy is. Al Franken. Norm Coleman. One against one. The ads I see today justify my point. They advertise the worst in the other in hopes, in order for themselves to feel better, seem better, in the public eye. But from what I have seen ... neither is better.

Neither is good in their intentions.

"Nobody is perfect," she reads to me. "Yet this is where we are as a country, not believing the good in one another. We need to come together, to stop being divided."

The venom for Allison and her family in the Pioneer Press comments pages is shocking.

The same outrage for a family who ended up getting their utilities shut off because of their inability to pay should mirror the outrage over a United States Senator who got a sweetheart deal on Washington DC housing and did not pay utilities for a year.

Even more disturbing, when Coleman paid for a years worth of utilities, he payed about $500, significantly less than the market rate.

Cushy deals for US Senators and families that struggle paycheck to paycheck in Minnesota.

I was truly shocked at the outrage and hateful rhetoric at the Pioneer Press comments page when I read them this morning.

Coleman ought to feel very lucky he's not seen the same outrage over his housing and utilities scandal...much less his "unconventional marriage".

1 comment:

eric zaetsch said...

I think you are not wholly correct in suggesting Al and Frannie Franken are unaware or indifferent to the plight of the working poor. Frannie Franken has been forthright about her early life experience, see, e.g., here.

I see no insincerity or posturing in it. None. It looks fully legit to me. I think that the nature of negative campaigning having recently proven successful is in the way of the Frankens getting a quite positive message out about real family issues and concerns. The press and others in the political process have hijacked the opportunity, but there is time between now and November. My perception is their hearts are behind what they express, both of them, Al and Frannie.