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Letter: Rhoades gets the job done

Dear Editor,

It seems to happen every campaign season -- poll after poll says that the voters hate negative campaigning, but we're certainly seeing the gloves come off at both the national and local level. The "gotcha" style of politics, including misrepresentations and inaccuracies and shading the truth, has been used against Rep. Kitty Rhoades before so it's no surprise this year.

All too often, it's not even the challenger, but rather political operatives in Madison who put such campaigns together miles away from the district where the voters will make the decision. It makes you wonder how those who are elected from opposing parties are going to be able to work together to solve some pretty big problems.

But when the dust settles, it is important that our elected officials from both parties work together, especially when we face the kind of problems which the current economic meltdown will bring to the next state budget cycle.

Last session, I watched with respect and admiration as the co-chairs of the Joint Finance Committee, Republican Kitty Rhoades and Democrat Russ Decker, moved the budget bill through their committee, which was split evenly with eight Republican and eight Democratic members.

Did they agree on most of the key issues? No -- they held dramatically different positions on most of them. But they made their arguments, took the votes and got the bill out of committee. And, when the Republican-controlled Assembly and the Democrat-controlled Senate passed very different budget bills, the two co-chairs went back to work on the Conference Committee, which worked into the fall to come up with a final version of the budget.

Kitty Rhoades can and does work with legislators from both parties. She does her homework and tackles problems with facts and practical discussions, not slogans and sound bites. The partisan bickering and press release wars have become a permanent part of the political landscape. We're fortunate to have a representative like Kitty Rhoades who can get the job done in such a highly charged atmosphere.