With the end of the party conventions and the selection of vice presidential running mates, the stage is set for America's voters to decide on their choice for our next president this fall. While some may repeat that old line about how the parties and politicians are all the same, it is hard to imagine a bigger difference in the candidates.

If you believe in lower taxes, less wasteful spending from a smaller government, a strong national defense and affordable energy prices, then you should vote for Sen. McCain. He has consistently voted for lower taxes and spending in his 27 years in Congress, taking principled stands against earmarks and corporate welfare. McCain has the knowledge and experience to be an excellent Commander in Chief, having spent 22 years in military. In addition to efforts to expand the development of alternative energy, he supports the exploration and drilling of our domestic oil and gas resources. Producing more oil and gas here in the U.S. is the only way to keep energy prices affordable, to reduce our dependence on foreign energy, to improve our balance of trade and strengthen our dollar, all while creating millions of American jobs.

His running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, has a much shorter resume, yet still filled with accomplishments. As mayor of Wasilla, chairing a public oil commission and as governor of Alaska, she has consistently and successfully fought to lower taxes, veto wasteful spending and expose corruption, even in her own party. She's no stranger to the military, as commander of Alaska's National Guard and mother of an Army infantryman. Coming from Alaska, she's naturally a big supporter of tapping America's vast energy resources.

However, if this fall you want to vote for change, for reform of corruption and lobbyists getting special deals from the government, and for an end to the hyper-partisanship that has become all to common in D.C. these days, well, you should still vote for McCain and Palin. While Sen. Obama has talked of change, it was McCain who championed the surge in Iraq, the success of which has brought us within sight of victory and redeployment. While Obama has talked of reform, it was McCain that authored and passed ethics and campaign reform. McCain has railed against and voted against earmarks and wasteful spending, while Obama has requested $740 million in earmarks in his first three years, including $1 million for his wife's employer. For all of Obama's talk of bi-partisanship, his voting record shows just the opposite; he has the most liberal voting record in the Senate, even more liberal than the Socialist senator from Vermont. McCain has made a career of reaching across the aisle to get things done, even when it's brought him sharp criticism from his own party.

The choice of running mates is telling. In picking Palin, McCain chose someone who shares his belief in battling corruption and cutting taxes, spending and waste. Obama picked Sen. Biden, who, in his 35 years in the Senate, has shown little interest in changing anything.

Both parties agree that the choice this November is about change. Your choice is whether you want a president who will actually make changes, or one who just talks about it.

Brett Malin


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