This weekend we campaigned at the North Star Festival. North Star, Ohio, has a population of 100. That’s right, we continue to forgo political consultants, demographic studies… and head right for the place that has the best hot dogs — and discussions. While campaigning at the festival, I talked to a number of “average Joe’s,” if you will, with some good takes on stuff. At the Antique Car Cruise-In, one man and his wife (sitting next to an old refurbished Impala), said they had recently moved here from Minnesota. The husband said when Jesse Ventura was governor, there was a surplus. So what did Ventura do? He gave some of the money back to Minnesotans in the form of rebate checks. “Now the government of Minnesota has been shut down the past two weeks,” the man said, shaking his head… An old farmer from the area, calling on some common sense, said to me that the only answer to the astronomical Federal Debt is to “…tighten our belts and pay it off.” Along those same lines, I talked to a CPA who doubled as a Dave’s RV Softball Team shortstop in the marathon games here this weekend. He said his business didn’t do so well last year, so his family had to “ratchet down expenses.” Why wouldn’t that be any different for the Federal Government? He wondered… I also talked to a man who just graduated from the Agriculture Department at Ohio State University. We talked about the continuing demise of the small family farm and it’s rippling effect. For instance, in the “old days” kids growing up on the farm got all kinds of exercise. Now for many kids it’s a sedentary lifestyle that is leading to things like childhood obesity. This man said he’d just read where Ohio was 17th on the nationwide ‘obesity chart.’ Nothing to write home about… I also talked with a Korean War Veteran sitting by his antique vehicle. He said he was particualrly frosted by former President Bush’s decision to go into Iraq. “There weren’t any weapons of mass destruction,” he scoffed… Note: At one point I approached a man in a Cleveland Browns shirt. I told him our campaign promise was: “When we get to D.C., we’re going to paint (“Joe the Painter”) the Capitol Dome orange and brown and put a big face mask around it.” Liz says I gotta stop saying that. But it’s like an addiction, or something.