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October 8, 2010 / Candice

Chip Cravaack is Chisago County.

used with permission from the Cravaack campaign

I turned 18 on October 30th 1999, the 2000 presidential election was a few days away. Like any 18 year old senior in high school, voting may have been the last thing on my mind. I was probably thinking, “Yesss! I can totally buy cigarettes, lottery tickets, and blow my paycheck at the casino! Wooohooo!!” But I did vote that election. I only remember voting for George Bush and Jim Oberstar. (Hey, I was 18….sue me! I really just wanted the sticker because I think you got brownie points for voting. Or something…) I know why I voted for Bush, he wasn’t Gore. (Yes, that’s really why I voted for him.) It wasn’t until I sat down to write this that I remembered why I voted for Oberstar, his name was the only name I knew.

You see, the area in which I grew up, eastern Chisago county, is a small-big community. There’s a great small town feel to the “chain of towns” that make up the area. The thing is, the people here don’t care much for change. I mean, mention a power plant in the area to increase energy and decrease cost, there will be signs up so fast that say “NO POWER PLANT!!” Mention putting up a median on the highway that goes through town to make traffic a little safer, and you get “NO SPLIT PAIRS!!” signs in every business window that lines the highway. Mention Jim Oberstar, “Well, who else would we vote for? He’s like totally… OUR GUY, YO!” (For the record, no one speaks like that around here, unless they’re being silly or in middle school.)

We need a “new guy, Yo.” Is Chip Cravaack the guy I would hand pick to be my representative? Ideologically speaking, probably not. He’s new but from what I can tell, he’s much closer to me than Oberstar ever was. He’s not life-long D.C. insider, in fact, he’s a stay at home dad, retired Northwest airlines pilot and retired Navy captain. Do I have a soft spot for the guy because his kids go to the very same schools that I went to? Yes. Do I think it would be awesome to run into Chip at Brinks or Coffee Depot on a fine Saturday morning and have a quick little chat about the state of our economy over a cup of coffee? Of course. Am I giving away too much information about where I live? Probably.

These things don’t really matter to politics, but to my friends in the area who are looking for a way to connect with Chip Cravaack in a real way, this is where it’s at. Does Oberstar even know where Brinks is? Does he realize the real problems facing our school district? (2144. Thanks Mr. Wood!!) Does Oberstar ever drive down highway 8 into Taylors Falls just because it’s so beautiful descending down the hill on an October afternoon? Unlikely. Does Chip Cravaack? Definitely. Chip has probably filled his car with gas at Emily Joe’s, eaten breakfast at the Swedish Inn and talked to the people who matter. The only time Oberstar is ever around is when he’s campaigning. Spending over 35 years in D.C. really causes you to disconnect with the very people you’re representing.

If you really want someone in D.C. who really gets you and the things you’re dealing with daily, then Chip Cravaack is the guy you want. If you want more bike paths,higher taxes and more failed democratic policies shoved down your throat, by all means, vote for Oberstar. But I think it’s pretty clear who I want representing me.

Now, I just gotta work on having coffee with Chip…

Note: If you don’t live in the area and can’t vote for Chip, I strongly encourage you to donate. He really needs the push to get more ads on TV so he can get his message out there. Give what you can, if it’s $5 or $5,000, every penny counts!



Leave a Comment
  1. Mike / Oct 8 2010 11:56 am

    Well said. Especially the Oberstar disconnect part. And oh man what I’d give to be back in ol’ Chisago.

    • Candice / Oct 8 2010 11:58 am

      You live in Duluth right Mike? You’re still part of the 8th district. VOTE CHIP!! 🙂

  2. Mike / Oct 8 2010 12:24 pm

    Of course im voting for chip silly!

    • Candice / Oct 8 2010 12:25 pm

      Oh so you just want to live back in Chisago because it’s uber-awesome?! I don’t blame you.

      • Mike / Oct 8 2010 12:28 pm

        I just want to be closer to Taco Bell. It’d be quicker for me to drive to taco bell in forest Lake than it would be from my house in Duluth to the 1 Taco Bell in Duluth. Seriously though I briefly talked to Chip after a parade up here in Duluth, seemed like a pretty cool dude. I really have nothing against Obsretar either though, just think it is time for a fresh new face.

      • Candice / Oct 8 2010 12:53 pm

        There’s only one taco bell in Duluth?? THAT’s crazy!

        It’s definitely time for a fresh face, Oberstar has been in congress for over 35 years! That’s far too long!

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