Ron Bieri, Minot
Well, the summer is not yet over and I'm already sick of the negative ads we see in the race for the Senate seat. And that includes Rick Berg's mom and the cranky ladies in the coffee shop, too.
Both sides are running these awful things and they tell us nothing about the views of the candidates. The best way for us to learn about those views is through debates that we can all see and/or hear. The House candidates have apparently agreed to six debates. Good for them. But Berg has only agreed to two in the Senate race. There should be at least six, and they should be held in the six largest cities in the state. That way issues that are important to different parts of the state can be discussed in the communities most affected by those issues. And we can also hear about those issues which are national in scope - and not just "Obamacare," which seems to be the only national issue that Berg and the coffee klatch care about.
We should all demand more in the way of debates between the Senate candidates and the major newspapers in the state should be writing editorials expecting the same. I haven't seen what the Forum, the Herald, the Tribune or other papers have said, but The Minot Daily News has been mum. Don't they want their readers to learn more from both Berg and Heitkamp? Or are they satisfied with the junk we're seeing on TV.
The biggest problem with the TV ads is not how misleading, inaccurate, inane or just plain stupid they are. The problem is that about all they tell us is who has more money to spend. We should not be deciding this race based on the ad budgets of the candidates or their political party. If we do, we're auctioning off the Senate seat to the highest bidder. And that, coffee ladies, is not the "North Dakota way." We need an election, not an auction.