Jim Graves represents best choice for change in Sixth District

There’s something definitely different waiting for Sixth District voters when they enter polling places Nov. 6.

This election cycle, there’s no independent candidate on the ballot with the potential to skew the final result.

That’s one of the challenges facing Rep. Michele Bachmann, three-term incumbent, as she squares off against Jim Graves, an independently wealthy businessman who’s casting himself as an alternative, pro-business candidate.

During an endorsement interview with five editors from ECM Publishers and the Sun Newspaper Group, Bachmann quickly addressed that consideration in her introduction.

Rep. Bachmann presented herself as a strong and independent advocate for the Sixth District. While panel members agreed improving the economy, generating jobs and health care were her top legislative priorities and were impressed with her overall drive and determination, we believe it’s time for a change in one of the state’s critical districts.

After spending an hour interviewing Bachmann and Graves, it’s our view that Graves’ highly focused business and economic acumen would better serve the district during a time when innovative approaches to job creation are needed.

Why should Sixth District voters trust a self-made millionaire? Well, in 1976, Graves launched a small business from his basement with only $2,000 in the bank. By 1979, he founded AmericInn, growing the hotel franchise into the Graves Hospitality Corp. The Graves 601 Hotel in Minneapolis is known worldwide for its service and attention to detail.

It’s our view Bachmann’s political posturing and failed presidential run have changed many voters’ perceptions of her. She’s also drawn sharp GOP rebukes on Capitol Hill for a distasteful witch-hunt against Muslims in the U.S. government.

Nevertheless, Rep. Bachmann deserves credit for punching through legislation to secure funding for the St. Croix River crossing near Stillwater, a new veterans’ clinic in Ramsey and funding that will help the St. Cloud Airport.

Bachmann called the bridge funding a “remarkable signature achievement” during her endorsement interview.

And in a refreshing change of pace, she also credited U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Al Franken and Gov. Mark Dayton for their bi-partisan support in getting the long-awaited $690 million bridge project off the drawing board.

However, being able to compromise at a higher level has been a problem for Bachmann throughout her third term. If re-elected, she will foster a continued period of gridlock.

Bachmann’s solution for the lethargic economy is repealing the Affordable Health Care Act and making changes to the Dodd-Frank financial regulation overhaul that she says is making it difficult for small community banks to do business. She also fears Bush-era tax cuts won’t be extended, driving up taxes paid by families in the district.

Bachmann said the Affordable Health Care Act should be scrapped. She wants legislators to start from scratch.

Graves wants to change medical care from a procedures-based model to outcome-based, making the system more transparent while focusing on preventative care. Bachmann, in typical fashion, has drawn a non-negotiable line.

Additionally, we’re not convinced Rep. Bachmann has finished her quest for a higher political calling.

Her Tea Party ties are stronger than ever, she remains a regular on the national conservative talk-show circuit and she still has a reputation for inflammatory, divisive rhetoric. Rep. Bachmann’s political passion is admirable and her ability to connect with constituents is impressive, but more often than not, she emphasizes self-propulsion in a narrow political arena rather than bipartisan solutions.

It’s our view Graves represents a new kind of candidate who can move the Sixth District forward. He’s a bipartisan moderate who understands the economic system’s finer points and has worked those points to continued success throughout a long business career.

We believe Graves can help improve the district’s troubled economy. We’re confident he can get future constituents engaged in discussions that will return people to work.

Graves is a proven business leader who believes in free markets; he comes from Republican roots. Graves represents the perfect fit for a new Sixth District, and is prepared to serve a conservative constituency.

–This editorial is a product of the ECM Editorial Board

  • Floyd Walker

    Thank you editorial board.

  • Molly Kauffman

    Thank you so much for issuing an editorial in favor of Mr. Graves over Mrs. Bachman. For 3 long terms the residents of the 6th have had to put up with her ludicrous accusations and desire for higher office rather than having her work for the people of the district. One project (the new river crossing) does not justify the rest of her time in Congress. Her lack of respect for the President and other Congress members is appalling. Your usual GOP leanings are apparently not enough to sway you on this particular race, and for that many in the district will be grateful. Thank you.

  • http://www.EricLangness.com Eric Langness

    Not surprising that the a left leaning editorial board found a way to stomp on Bachmann.

    You’ve failed to realize that she is a good representative of the 6th congressional district. It is a heavily conservative district. All but 1 state house and senate seat as example is held by Republicans. Representative Bachmann might not serve the 5th district in Minneapolis as well, but she does a great job giving a voice for those of us in the conservative majority of the 6th. Re-elect Michele Bachmann!

    • Kurt Hunter

      Not surprising that right-leaning, failed candidate Eric Langness would find fault with the endorsement of Jim Graves, even though the same paper he accuses of being “left-leaning” also endorsed Chip Cravaak in the 8th Distirct. Bachmann’s act has run extremely thin. She’s become an extreme embarrassment to the people of the 6th District and the State of Minnesota, and it’s time to elect someone who is sane, reasonable, and moderate. Bachmann has done absolutely nothing for the people of her district – nothing but run around the country on the taxpayer’s dime seeking other jobs. Jim Graves is a successful, hardworking businessman who will put the interests of his constituents above his own ambition. It’s time for a change.

      • http://www.EricLangness.com Eric Langness

        A KSTP poll put her 9 points up less than a week ago. She must be doing a great job in her district otherwise we wouldn’t reelect her year after year. Reelect Michele Bachmann!