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State Fair Becomes Forum to Promote “Smart Voting”

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August 25, 2008

Falcon Heights, MN – The Minnesota State Fair is in full swing until Labor Day, and AARP Minnesota has taken its national "Divided We Fail" campaign to the fairgrounds to call attention to health care and social security issues.

Spokeswoman Shereen Remez says the campaign focuses on what voters call their biggest concerns.

"What we're trying to do is to make candidates, both presidential and congressional, spell out their approaches to fixing the health care system and ensuring financial security for all Americans. We want them to pledge to take action once they're elected."

Remez says she is struck by how many people, across all demographics, name health care as something they want candidates to address and fix.

"We feel all Americans should have access to affordable, quality health coverage. But, that's just not what we have today. Most Americans are one large health incident away from bankruptcy, whether they know it or not. That's not just low-income individuals; it's also the middle class."

Remez says the message to candidates is that voters aren’t interested in flashy TV ads full of attacks, or in simplistic solutions. They want substance and details and action.

"We're trying to create an atmosphere that will stop this partisan bickering and lead to a bipartisan solution to the problems. We're involved with both sides of the campaign in making sure these candidates both understand how Americans feel and commit to action once they’re elected."

She says voters also are concerned for the economy, and want the next government to establish a solvent, fair and reliable Social Security System that will be solvent for generations.

AARP doesn't endorse candidates, but wants voters to vote smart, and base their decisions on issues, not on appearances, ads, or attacks.

Jim Wishner/Don Mathisen, Public News Service - MN