Pomeroy has earned re-election to officeNorth Dakota’s lone congressman, Democrat Earl Pomeroy, has earned a ninth term in the U.S. House of Representatives. His record of service to his state and nation, and a temperament especially suited to North Dakota’s character, ideally qualify him to stay on the job.
North Dakota’s lone congressman, Democrat Earl Pomeroy, has earned a ninth term in the U.S. House of Representatives. His record of service to his state and nation, and a temperament especially suited to North Dakota’s character, ideally qualify him to stay on the job.
Pomeroy’s opponent, Republican Duane Sand, is an honorable man with a sincere desire to serve his state. But his narrow ideological bent and a tendency to misrepresent the incumbent’s record and political philosophy are out of step with the majority of North Dakotans. Pomeroy brings a host of strengths to the House, not the least of which is his experience as the state’s insurance commissioner. He’s recognized by his colleagues as an expert in health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid – areas that will be of monumental importance as the baby boomers retire. He’s been on the forefront of congressional efforts to change federal reimbursement formulas for rural hospitals. His “North Dakota model” would reward outcomes, that is, reimbursement based on merits, not on the current standard that penalizes good work.
He’s a leader in pushing for pension protections and other retirement income security – again, an area becoming more and more important.
Sand has tried to portray Pomeroy as being against energy development because the incumbent doesn’t want to give oil companies unfettered access to oil reserves off shore and in other places. It’s a bogus charge. Pomeroy counsels caution, accountability and attention to the environment for any energy development. North Dakotans overwhelmingly think the same way.
When Sand ran against Pomeroy in 2004 (Pomeroy won 60 percent of the vote), the challenger said North Dakota needed a congressman who was in the House majority, which was Republican at the time. Using the same argument, Pomeroy should be re-elected, since Democrats control the House now.
In addition to serving on the Ways and Means Committee, Pomeroy secured a spot on the Agriculture Committee, making him the only House member with positions on two key committees that deal with issues important to North Dakota. Indeed, one of the raps against him a couple of elections ago by a Republican opponent was that the incumbent was not on the ag panel. Well, he is now, and he was hip-deep in negotiations that resulted in a good farm bill.
The Sand campaign has resorted to using obscure procedural votes to mischaracterize Pomeroy ‘s positions on energy development and other issues. It’s a political tactic – a stunt, really – that is not uncommon in desperate campaigns. But it won’t fly because North Dakotans know their congressman puts their interests at the top of his agenda. He always has.
Most North Dakotans like, respect and trust Pomeroy, even when they disagree with him. They know that on the big issues – the things that matter most to his state – he’s with them without regard to politics. It’s what North Dakotans expect from their congressman. Pomeroy does the job well and deserves re-election.
(Major endorsement editorials represent the opinion of Forum Communications management and ownership)