Letters to editor for Aug. 24, 2012

Leadership qualities

To the Editor:

This fall the voters of legislative District 37A have the opportunity to elect a leader to the House of Representatives.

Jerry Newton has proven leadership qualities as evidenced by his 23 years in the United States Army, rising to the rank of sergeant major, the Army’s highest enlisted rank.

While in the Army, in addition to service in Vietnam, Jerry was one of the highest-ranking enlisted personnel at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

He performed an extremely sensitive function while at NATO that is an indication of his integrity and a symbol of respect that he rightfully earned.

I have had the privilege of knowing former Representative Jerry Newton for over 20 years and have witnessed the outstanding qualities he brings to public service and any other endeavor in which he has been involved.

Specifically, he has been huge advocate for veterans wherever he has held a leadership position. It is through his efforts that disabled veterans have free access to public transportation throughout Minnesota, for which I am personally grateful. He is uniquely qualified to address veterans’ issues.

No other candidate has exhibited the creativity and drive to get things done for veterans, and the general public as well, than Jerry Newton.

Bruce Sanders
Coon Rapids, American Legion Post 334 finance officer


Divinely defined

To the Editor:

I would like to ask one basic fundamental question – when and by whom was defined marriage as between one man and one woman? Was it a sitting President of the United States? A CEO of a company? A retired pastor? How about a U.S. Supreme Court judge? No to all!! Marriage was defined by our Creator as a relationship between one man and one woman!

Second question – knowing that marriage was divinely defined by the Creator as being between one man and one woman – what human truly has the right to redefine something that was never defined by mankind to begin with?

This is based on the premise that as believers we believe that there is more to life then the short time on earth and we believe that what is presented in His word – the Bible – is very clear on how to live our life which includes the definition of marriage as the relationship between one man and one woman. It also is clear on who to love – God – with all our heart, our mind, our strength.

History has documented over the years there are times on earth when a certain small sector of mankind that believes they know better than God what is best for humankind.

That man is smarter than God?? In this case, words like equality and diversity are used to try to convince the moral majority what is being pursued by this small sector of people is more important than the moral guidelines written in the Bible.

When the Bible does not support this small sector of people’s cause then they want you to believe that it is OK to “alter” or “delete” certain segments in the Bible because humankind has developed and the Bible doctrine has grown old – it is outdated. Scary!!

This leads to my third question – what definition glorifies God and which definition glorifies man? Which one do you want to place your belief/faith/future/family in?

There is only one definition of marriage clearly defined in the Bible as between one man and one woman and that definition was given to us by our Creator.

The only relationship that will be ordained by our Heavenly Father is a relationship between one man and one woman!!

To all believers and all are welcomed, this November, we have the opportunity and the responsibility to vote yes on the marriage amendment to protect that definition of marriage as God intended – between one man and one woman!

Having the marriage amendment pass in November will protect the definition of marriage between one man and one woman from that small sector of society that want to redefine marriage to further their cause, a cause that has nothing to do with the health of family and what is best for children as God intended.

Bryan Lindquist


Editorial missed boat

To the Editor:

When someone doesn’t tell the full story, you need to call them out. Even when it is your local newspaper.

ECM Newspapers missed the boat with its early August editorial attacking the recent purse enhancement agreement between Canterbury Park and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.

It is important that people understand the facts behind this agreement, which most of the leaders of Minnesota’s horse groups strongly support.

The agreement does three things. Most importantly, it provides $75 million in purse increases over the next 10 years. It will more than double purses at Canterbury Park, bringing this track to top 25 status in the country.

Second, it creates a marketing partnership between the two groups, a partnership that is no different than any other sponsorships that other horse tracks have with groups like Pepsi or AT&T.

Finally, Canterbury Park will no longer support a Racino bill. After 15 years and millions of dollars spent to pass Racino at the Minnesota Legislature, is anyone surprised that Canterbury Park is ready to walk away from this endless and expensive battle? Is anyone surprised that the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community wants Canterbury Park to walk away?

The idea of using gambling revenues to increase horse purses is not new. Many states supplement purses with slot machines or card rooms like the card club at Running Aces.

The difference with this agreement is that it involves revenue from existing casinos, which means no new law or regulation was needed.

The Minnesota Racing Commission reviewed the agreement and determined that it would greatly improve Minnesota’s horse industry without affecting the integrity of Minnesota horse racing.

ECM’s main concern is that Running Aces was left behind. But Running Aces and Canterbury Park have never been close allies in the Racino debate, primarily because Canterbury Park has been focused on improving the horse industry, while Running Aces has been focused on improving its bottom line.

For several years, Running Aces refused to support Racino bills favored by Minnesota’s horse industry because the track’s private owners would not get enough of the take from the slot machines.

I have personally been involved in conversations with Running Aces about Racino legislation.

From the beginning, they have been honest with me — they are more interested in adding new casino games to Running Aces than improving harness racing. The problem is not leaving Running Aces behind, because they have always been running a different race.

By contrast, Canterbury Park has focused on improving the horse industry and jumped at the chance to more than double racing purses.

Under the agreement with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, not a dime of casino revenue goes into the pockets of Canterbury Park’s shareholders. All proceeds from this agreement will go to purses or improved marketing.

Frankly, I am not sure that Running Aces would accept this deal if it was offered to them today.

Running Aces has a decision to make. If its goal is Racino revenue for the bottom line of track owners, it should keep plowing ahead. After all, maybe 15 years has not been long enough to wait for Racinos.

But if our most important goal is to improve Minnesota’s horse industry, Running Aces needs a different approach. One that puts racing purses and investment in breeding first.

Jeff Hilger, president, Equine Development Coalition of Minnesota


Works across party lines

To the Editor:

This November the voters in Senate District 37A have an opportunity to help the Minnesota Legislature regain a focus on the future by electing Jerry Newton.

Jerry is a retired Army sergeant major, a retired local businessman and a former Anoka-Hennepin School Board member who has worked for our children for decades and will work across party lines to enhance education in our area.

In the Legislature, he also worked to eliminate excessive Minnesota Department of Education reporting requirements for special education and facilities management, allowing teachers to spend more time with students and less time on paperwork.

His focus on getting things done, rather than ideology, helped him win the Minnesota School Board Association’s legislator of the year award and the Association of Metropolitan School Districts’ Friend of Education award.

This fall, Minnesotans can choose to step back from the partisanship and dysfunction that has plagued the Legislature in recent years.

A vote for Jerry Newton is a vote to return to a government that is focused on the future and that is working for our children.

John and Mimi FitzSimons
Coon Rapids

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