John Block Reports: Election Day 2016 & the Need for a Balanced Government

On October 27, 2016, OFW Law founding principal Richard L. Frank filled in for former USDA Secretary John R. Block on his weekly radio broadcast:

Tuesday, November 8, is Election Day.  A free and fair election is what separates the U.S. from many of our toughest competitors – for example, China, Russia, and Iran.  And – make no mistake – we will have a fair election.

Much is at stake and I, for one, prefer a split government with checks and balances.  When one party controls the White House, in my “better” world, the other party controls the Congress.

While far from a perfect candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton will get my vote as being the better of the two options.  Donald Trump has introduced some interesting and, at times, provocative ideas, but has in no way convinced me that he would be a steady or rational hand in the White House.

But, a Hillary Presidency basically represents a continuation of the past eight years and strengthens the need for Republicans to hold on to the Congress.  While for many Americans the past eight years have not been too bad, despite low farm prices, Hillary shouldn’t have free reign to continue the far left environmental policies of Barack Obama.  Hopefully, a President Clinton will support free trade and not bring back the anti-agriculture “death” tax.

The polls are razor thin right now for control of the Senate.  As of today, the Senate would be 50/50 with any deciding vote going to the Vice President or, under my scenario, Democrat Tim Kaine.  To maintain a divided government, along with its inherent checks and balances, if you vote in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, or Indiana, please consider reelecting your incumbent, or the Republican. That would leave the Senate in Republican hands.

Two final matters – I do hope the Lame Duck Senate confirms Judge Merrick Garland for the U.S. Supreme Court.  He is a common sense moderate.  And second, the Congress should invest in our children’s future and start rebuilding the nation’s airports, roads, bridges, and tunnels.

I believe Hillary will ably acquit herself.  I’m proud that we will elect a female.  However, I want to make sure that we trust and verify.  Keep the government balanced.

Until next week, I am Rick Frank sitting in for John Block from Washington, D.C.

John Block was Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1981-1985, where he played a key role in the development of the 1985 Farm Bill.  If you would like to review his radio shows going back more than 20 years, visit

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