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Bills, Byberg, Westrom, Dutcher campaign at local GOP fundraiser

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MORRIS - U.S. Senate candidate Kurt Bills offered an economics lesson and his vision for changing Washington D.C. at a local fundraiser sponsored by the Stevens County Republicans on Saturday, Oct. 20 at the Old. No. 1 in Morris.

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Bills was joined at the fundraiser by the rest of the GOP ticket - U.S. House candidate Lee Byberg, Minnesota Senate candidate Torrey Westrom, and Minnesota House candidate Scott Dutcher.

Westrom, who is challenging DFL candidate John Schultz for the District 12 seat in the Minnesota Senate, used the opportunity to thank his supporters and distinguish himself from his opponent.

Westrom told supporters he and Schultz "could not offer the district more of a contrast."

Schultz, said Westrom, wants to raise taxes, believes in man-made global warming, and is strongly against both the photo ID and marriage amendments.

"My opponent has espoused his views very vocally that man-made global warming is conclusive science ... and therefore we need to change our policies in our state and nation to make sure that we can curb and change this man-made global warming that is becoming a phenomenon of the Democratic Party," said Westrom. "I haven't bought that subscription. I haven't bought that line of thinking."

Byberg shared the principles of his campaign, which include a commitment to a limited national government, free enterprise and the need for a moral code.

"After many years, our nation now is in fiscal and moral bankruptcy," said Byberg. "We gradually have been moving away from the principles that made America the greatest country of the world. Now the cumulative weight of all the taxes, all the regulation, is coming to a tipping point."

He said that his opponent, U.S. Representative Collin Peterson, talks like a moderate but votes for big government programs like cap and trade, President Barack Obama's health care program, and a farm bill that will turn the dairy industry into a government supply management system.

Bills, the evening's final speaker, energized the crowd with a critique of big government, big-government supporting corporations and his passion for economics.

Bills, a high school economics professor and representative in the Minnesota House, is challenging U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar. In his speech, he highlighted his work history as a dues-paying union member and co-author of a bill on right to work, a law that would prohibit union security agreement.

Bills argued that it's important to have citizen legislators in office rather than career politicians who fall into the "fatal conceit that a government plan can be better than the minds that are in this room."

"They think government programs are the answer to problems that have been caused by government programs," he said.

Bills also argued the best way to start solving the country's budget deficit is to actually pass a budget. He criticized Klobuchar's support of the national Budget Control Act, which he called a "fiscal cliff," and the fact that when politicians talk about making budget cuts, they are actually just talking about making cuts to the increase in government spending, or printing money to deal with deficit problems.

"I was taught at a young age going to church that I didn't covet what other people had. You shouldn't covet what other people have," said Bills. "If they got rich, they got rich. And if they got rich by working, great. But I don't want them to get rich by running to Washington D.C. for borrowed and printed money."

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Kim Ukura
Kim Ukura has served as the editor of the Morris Sun Tribune since August 2011. She graduated from the University of Minnesota, Morris in 2008 with degrees in English and journalism. She earned a master's degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2010. Prior to returning to Morris to work at the Sun Tribune, she worked in trade publishing. 
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