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Abig disconnect 

The occupation of Iraq is deteriorating, gas prices are in the ozone, health care is increasingly unaffordable and the deficit is beyond the pale. Yet the issues getting addressed in Congress are flag burning, gay marriage and tax cuts for the upper 1 percent. Any wonder the approval ratings for Congress are even lower than those for President Bush?
click to enlarge Michael Roberts -  - West side -  - Retired railroad worker -  - Is there a disconnect between the issues Congress is - emphasizing and those important to most people's lives? - Politicians have their own agenda. They're out of - touch with the needs of everyday people. -  - What issues are most important to you? I'm a - veteran, so the war in Iraq is important. Also, the - economy  especially high gas prices. -  - Can Democrats regain control of the House this fall? - The way things are going now, they can. -  - Describe your ideal candidate. Someone more - aware of the have-nots. -  - Do the upcoming elections matter? They could - change the direction this country's going. We badly need - a change of direction.
  • Michael Roberts

    West side

    Retired railroad worker

    Is there a disconnect between the issues Congress is emphasizing and those important to most people's lives? Politicians have their own agenda. They're out of touch with the needs of everyday people.

    What issues are most important to you? I'm a veteran, so the war in Iraq is important. Also, the economy especially high gas prices.

    Can Democrats regain control of the House this fall? The way things are going now, they can.

    Describe your ideal candidate. Someone more aware of the have-nots.

    Do the upcoming elections matter? They could change the direction this country's going. We badly need a change of direction.

click to enlarge Lindall Lummis -  - Old Colorado City -  - Retired shop owner -  - Are politicians out of touch with the needs of - everyday people? What matters most to me is - national health insurance. Costs are off the charts. That's - more important than wasting money on Iraq, or things - like gay marriage, flag burning or school prayer. -  - Can Democrats gain control of the House this fall? - My fingers are crossed. I think people have had it - up to here with this administration. -  - Describe the ideal candidate. Someone more - attuned to the environment. Someone who cares more - about the middle class and less about the rich.
  • Lindall Lummis

    Old Colorado City

    Retired shop owner

    Are politicians out of touch with the needs of everyday people? What matters most to me is national health insurance. Costs are off the charts. That's more important than wasting money on Iraq, or things like gay marriage, flag burning or school prayer.

    Can Democrats gain control of the House this fall? My fingers are crossed. I think people have had it up to here with this administration.

    Describe the ideal candidate. Someone more attuned to the environment. Someone who cares more about the middle class and less about the rich.

click to enlarge Steve Fortinberry -  - Biloxi, Miss. -  - Chef -  - Do the hot-button political issues have anything to - do with people's real-life needs? No, but I think - [politicians] have our well-being at heart. -  - Rate the following issues in order of importance: - affordable health care, flag burning, minimum wage, - environmental protection, and gay marriage. Health - care is most important, minimum wage least important. -  - What's your key issue? Foreign policy, - definitely. If we don't watch out, we could be in World - War III. -  - Is it possible for the Democrats to gain the majority - this fall? We can only hope. -  - Describe your ideal candidate. Someone who - isn't willing to accept the status quo, who's willing to - make some waves.
  • Steve Fortinberry

    Biloxi, Miss.

    Chef

    Do the hot-button political issues have anything to do with people's real-life needs? No, but I think [politicians] have our well-being at heart.

    Rate the following issues in order of importance: affordable health care, flag burning, minimum wage, environmental protection, and gay marriage. Health care is most important, minimum wage least important.

    What's your key issue? Foreign policy, definitely. If we don't watch out, we could be in World War III.

    Is it possible for the Democrats to gain the majority this fall? We can only hope.

    Describe your ideal candidate. Someone who isn't willing to accept the status quo, who's willing to make some waves.

click to enlarge Matt Nykiel -  - Broadmoor Bluffs -  - College student -  - Is Congress addressing the issues most important to - the lives of everyday people? Way too much time is - being spent on things like flag burning and keeping - "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. -  - Describe the ideal candidate. Someone who - accepts different ideas and beliefs. Someone who cares - less about the rich and more about those in need. -  - Rate the following issues in terms of importance: - gay marriage, affordable health care, flag burning, - minimum wage. Affordable health care, minimum - wage, gay marriage, flag burning.
  • Matt Nykiel

    Broadmoor Bluffs

    College student

    Is Congress addressing the issues most important to the lives of everyday people? Way too much time is being spent on things like flag burning and keeping "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.

    Describe the ideal candidate. Someone who accepts different ideas and beliefs. Someone who cares less about the rich and more about those in need.

    Rate the following issues in terms of importance: gay marriage, affordable health care, flag burning, minimum wage. Affordable health care, minimum wage, gay marriage, flag burning.

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