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Richard Peterson, Moorhead, letter: Kennedy wrong on the line-item veto

At the Minnesota Senate candidate debate on Tuesday night (Oct. 10), Independence Party candidate Robert Fitzgerald brought up the explosive growth in "earmarks" on spending bills: members of Congress slipping pet projects (pork) into legislation...

At the Minnesota Senate candidate debate on Tuesday night (Oct. 10), Independence Party candidate Robert Fitzgerald brought up the explosive growth in "earmarks" on spending bills: members of Congress slipping pet projects (pork) into legislation. Republican Mark Kennedy responded by advocating that Congress allow the president to exercise "line-item veto" of individual expenditures.

A moment's thought will tell you that will lead to presidents using the tool to exert control over individual lawmakers, punishing members of the opposing party or rebellious members of his own. Strange talk from a congressman who has been talking up his "independence" and bipartisanship.

More troubling is that it sounds like an admission that Congress can't discipline itself - much like ex-congressman Mark Foley, R-Fla., who could not stop himself from pursuing male pages although he knew personally of the harm it could cause. Shouldn't members of the party that espouses personal responsibility be able to "Just Say 'No!' " as they advocate for others?

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Mikkel Pates set the standard for agricultural journalism during his 44-year career in the region, working for Agweek, The Forum and the Worthington Globe.