Monday, October 23, 2006

VOTER WARNING : Gutknecht “Problems With Amnesty” mailing

On Saturday, I received the first piece of campaign literture from the Gutknecht For Congress committee. The front side photo depicts barb wire on top of a chain link fence with the question “If we grant illegals amnesty, who will pay?” The other side has three sentances warning of the potential drain on Social Security and jeopardizing Medicare with references to The New Ulm Journal and Washington Post newspapers.

I’m glad that Gutknecht is addressing Social Security and Medicare funding, but in three short sentences, he does not give the complete story.

The Washington Post story states : “In the long run, tax revenue generated by new workers would ease the baby-boom generation's burden on Social Security and offset virtually all the additional spending … [snip] … the report said legalized immigrants would represent "only a modest increase" in enrollment for child nutrition programs, food stamps and Medicaid. Caseloads would be 2 to 3 percent higher by 2016, the CBO said.

The real fight is not between Gutknecht and Walz, but instead between Gutknecht and President Bush, Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Norm Coleman and many other Republicans and Democrats.

Gil Gutknecht, Tom Tancredo and other extermists are hijacking the problem of border security, anti-terrorism and immigration by inciting fearmongering and promoting polarization based on ethnicity. The legislation offered by the Senate is considerably more comprehensive. It increases the number of H1-B visas for skilled workers from 65,000 to 115,000 annually, beginning in 2007. Immigrants with certain advanced degrees would not be subject to the caps, which could rise by 20 percent depending on labor market demands. This need has been recognized by many politicians such as Governor Tim Pawlenty. Additionally, the Senate bill would fund the hiring of a substantial number of border patrol agents … much more than the number authorized by the House bill ( ? Did anyone learn anything from attempting to liberate Iraq with too few troops to police the Iraq borders and maintain order ? ).

Last week on KTOE’s Talk of the Town radio program, Tim Walz expressed his frustration with Gutknecht’s antics. Walz wanted to discuss Social Security (an ISSUE that needs serious debate during this election) but instead had to re-educate voters and the media on his Immigration Proposals.

But not only was Walz upset, so was The New Ulm Journal which complained of having its reporting willfully manipulated. From their editorial :
It is discouraging for newspaper reporters who find a lengthy interview with a candidate boiled down and distorted to be used in an attack ad. A report from The Journal in July on Tim Walz, for instance, is the basis for a claim in a Gil Gutknecht ad that Walz favors amnesty for illegal aliens. The full story shows Walz would require illegal aliens to leave the country first before applying for citizenship.


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