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Hear what they have to say, even if you disagree

October 7, 2015
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News

Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal is coming to Estherville's Hy-Vee Market Caf at 8:30 Saturday morning. I will be there to report on what he says and take photos. As a journalist, it's my job to not take sides on the things I report, and I won't. If you promise to keep my secret, I will tell you I disagree with nearly every policy point Gov. Jindal has made so far, and I'm highly unlikely to vote for him.

It occurs to me as a citizen that I should still hear him out, beyond my job of journaling his visit for everyone in the community. Hence, I will be there for this and any other candidate I'm assigned to cover with two hats: Amy the intrepid but human and fallible journalist, and Amy the citizen.

In this remote part of the state, we don't get as many presidential candidates, and I think that means we should work harder to ask questions of the ones who do make it here. If you dislike the leadership of our current executive branch team, it's even more vital, I feel, that you try to get out to see those who would take the country in a new direction.

If you more or less believe President Obama is doing the best job he can under the circumstances, I still feel with candidates from the other political parties, it's important to take a line from the '70s TV show "The Facts of Life."

"You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have"

Gov. Jindal appears to bring some smarts to the table. He's well educated and has the ability to see many sides of complex issues. At the debate, he put effort into sticking with the issues that matter to we the people instead of other issues.

To be honest, I'm not a fan of the general debate styles so far. "Governor, last week so-and-so said in a speech that you were a such-and-such who couldn't do this-and-that effectively. What is your response to that?" I felt it had them fighting with each other instead of addressing all of us.

This is a chance to experience a candidate tied for fifth place as of this afternoon in the huge GOP field while it's yet very early in the game. I'm a little fascinated because he's very close to my age.

If you cannot make it on Saturday morning (for a better reason than a desire to sleep in!), shoot me any questions for Gov. Jindal you would like to see answered in my article for Monday's paper. I will ask some of them if he has a few minutes for media after he meets citizens for one-on-ones and small groups as it appears he will Saturday morning. My email address is

I'd hope any candidate who stops by Estherville would address agriculture, energy, the economy and jobs, foreign policy, education, interpreting and following the Constitution, and related issues that affect our daily lives.

Gov. Jindal is focused on Iowa, and has set a goal of reaching all 99 counties. I think any candidate who does that is worth our attention. Many candidates focus on the half dozen largest cities in Iowa and forget that most of Iowa is small communities.

Here's a quick rundown on Jindal's stances based on :

Energy: he's not a fan of going to all green energy, perhaps because he leads a state with a major petroleum industry. He is in favor of the Keystone pipeline.

Foreign policy: "America needs to invest in a robust and cutting-edge fighting forcepeace through strength."

Economy: Gov. Jindal says he put the Louisiana government "on a diet" and will do the same thing in Washington, D.C.

Education: He favors choice and local control.

Other: not a fan of the Affordable Care Act, strengthened "Stand Your Ground" in Louisiana for gun freedom, has advocated for better care and reintegration for veterans.

Take all that as you will, and I hope you will exercise your right as a citizen to attend, hear and if so moved speak to Gov. Jindal Saturday morning, and to give the same consideration, as you're able, to other candidates who come to Emmet County.

Whew! I just read everything I wrote here and since you don't know me very well yet, I want to provide the insight that my mother was President of League of Women Voters for the state when I was growing up, and she may have slipped out in some of my words here. I stand by everything I said, but I'm not normally one who lectures on our patriotic duty.



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