Letters to the editor for Oct. 26, 2012

 

Public  contract

 

To the Editor:

 

In Mr. Kuehn’s letter (Sept. 28) he encourages us to vote no on the marriage amendment because he doesn’t want churches to define marriage. He does not want what he calls “religious domination”.

 

But marriage, as both the church and secular thinkers such as Plato and Rufus have acknowledged for millennia, is a social institution that is older than the state and that even precedes the church herself.

 

The role of a just state is to recognize and support this older, prior social institution; not to attempt its redefinition. To remake marriage into something it isn’t to satisfy the desires of a few is to give in to the oppressive nature of all governments: the temptation to remanufacture reality.

 

Marriage may be an individual bond, but it is promoted by society because it also fulfills important societal functions. As a result, questions about the purpose and definition of marriage cannot be viewed as simply matters of “individual rights”.

 

Marriage has never been recognized as a private contract. It has always been a public contract made either before a minister in a church or before a judge at the local courthouse. Therefore, this contract requires third-party recognition of it.

 

For years, many have chosen not to get married and have chosen instead to either remain single or to just share a special private bond with another. Why are we talking about this issue in the first place if it weren’t because a few people who choose not to get legally married to just one other adult of the opposite sex (who’s not family) wants the government to require everyone to grant third-party recognition of some other kind of bond of their making?

 

Mr. Kuehn also assured us that churches are free to exclude gays from marriage.

 

But when Denmark – a decade ago – became the first nation to create “gay marriage”, churches in Denmark were assured that they were exempt from this new redefinition and were allowed to exclude gays.

 

However, this past spring, their parliament passed yet a new law that now requires churches to comply and if the priest refuses to perform the ceremony his bishop must assign a priest who will. Does Mr. Kuehn believe that this will never happen here?

 

Gwen Vagle
Andover

 

 

 

Editorial challenge

 

To the Editor:

 

Concerning your opinion editorial on the marriage amendment, I challenge your position that same sex marriage is a freedom issue.

 

Same sex marriage is a moral issue not a freedom issue as your article plays.

 

Consider the issue of incest. Why can’t we marry our brothers, sisters, mothers, or fathers. Society has found it to be an unnatural or unhealthy relationship and has therefore has made moral laws against. Your position on freedom would consider incest relationships a restriction of freedom also. I disagree, it’s a moral issue. Freedom to do whatever we want is a slippery slope.

 

When it comes to the definition of marriage, how can we define two relationships that are totally different, both physically and socially, the same? They are beyond comparable.

 

The bond between a man and a women can physically result in children and family responsibilities; the corner stone of society for centuries.

 

The bond between two adults of the same sex has no potential for procreation and natural family responsibilities. Adoption may be available but the natural responsibilities as mothers and fathers for children and family are absent. It is a different relationship based only on adults not children.

 

We should be trying to strengthen the bond of traditional marriage and family, not cheapen it through redefinition.

 

John Ottenstroer
Andover

 

 

 

Amendment marginalizes

 

To the Editor:

 

Recent publicity urging “Vote Yes” on the proposed marriage-ban amendment to the Minnesota Constitution emphasizes our responsibility to children, and represents a biblical view of marriage as “one man/one woman.”

 

The sometimes implied, sometimes declared assertion is that responsibility for children is vested rightly only in one man and one woman who are birth parents.

 

This assumption reinforces the blinders of church leaders who have often doubly victimized children-who-bear-children out of wedlock, especially those who are already victims of incest or rape by heterosexual relatives.

 

As an ordained pastor in the United Church of Christ, I know heterosexual couples who have formed their families by making adoption plans for such children. They are healthy, happy families.

 

I also know both lesbian and gay parents who share all the same issues of child-rearing as the rest of us.

 

Children of same-gender-loving parents are as loved and well cared for as children of opposite-gender-loving parents. These kids are raised to be who they are, not who some church decrees they must be in order to “get to Heaven.”

 

A recent letter in the StarTribune claimed that the “one man/one woman” model for marriage “has been the universal view of marriage since time immemorial.”

 

In fact, if we look closely at biblical patriarchs like Abraham, Jacob, Solomon and David, the more accurate phrase might be “one man and as many women as he can afford”!

 

Multiple wives and concubines and their collective children signified wealth and stature in ancient cultures. Wives and children were “possessions,” not prized individual contributors to society.

 

Scripture attributes no words to Jesus regarding homosexuality; not one. But the Gospels are replete with his maxims about society’s marginalized and oppressed, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free…” (Luke 4:18-19)

 

Furthermore, Jesus’ encounters with “foreigners” exhibits his propensity to side with them against rigid, rule-bound fellow Jews. Jesus’ message was – and is – “love one another as I have loved you.”

 

Is marginalizing people who are quite naturally different from oneself and forcing into the secular laws of the land their exclusion from society’s recognized relationships, really how Christians are to live out Jesus’ great commandment to “love one another”?

 

Not in my “Good Book.”

 

Rev. Sharon James Fazel
Co-pastor, First Congregational United Church of Christ of Anoka

 

 

 

 

 

Editorial board wrong

 

To the Editor:

 

This is in response to the editorial from the ECM Editorial Board titled “Marriage amendment would suppress freedom” (Oct. 5).

 

While they agree with the fact that “Children do best when they are raised by a mother and a father…” they also suggest that “…children will thrive in environments in which they are loved by two parents, regardless of the gender make-up of those parents.” This simply is not true.

 

University of Texas Professor Mark Regnerus did a study on homosexual parenting. His excellent research was published in the well-respected academic journal, “Social Science Research.”

 

The Regnerus study is the largest of its kind to date (just under 3,000 interviews of 18- to 39-year-olds), and is the most thorough and comprehensive study ever done on this topic.

 

Here are some of his findings that reveal greater child endangerment in same-sex households than households headed by a mom and a dad:

 

• Parental pedophilia:  23 percent of children with a lesbian mother reported having been touched sexually by a parent or adult, compared with 2 percent of those raised by biological parents.

 

•Higher number of rape cases: 31 percent of children raised by a lesbian mother and 25 percent raised by a homosexual male report that they were forced to have sex against their will, compared to 8 percent from intact families.

 

• Suicidal tendencies are shocking: 24 percent of children raised by homosexual men and 12 percent of children raised by lesbian mothers admitted to having recently contemplated suicide, compared to 5 percent of those raised by biological parents or even a single parent.

 

This study proves that children are better off when raised by their biological mom and dad.

 

The ECM Editorial Board is wrong. Children raised in homes where homosexuality or other same-sex behaviors are present face increased risks.

 

The social experiment of legalizing same-sex unions will prove disastrous for kids and bring untold dysfunction and damage to children and society.

 

Vote “yes” on the Marriage Protection Amendment on Nov. 6 and help protect the children in Minnesota.

 

Bryan Lindquist
Ramsey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn about candidates

 

To the Editor:

 

Election Day, Nov. 6, is the time when every eligible voter in America should review candidate positions and ask important questions to know the candidates for whom they are voting.

 

Every registered voter has the right to evaluate the political candidates who are running for important offices locally and nationally.

 

This is a presidential election year as well as elections for state, county and many local offices. It is the responsibility of each voter to learn about the candidates before ballots are cast on Nov. 6.

 

Many issues need to be considered when we go to the polls.

 

The League of Women Voters has created a website, www.VOTE411 to help voters know the candidates running for office.

 

The candidates have been asked to answer several questions to help voters determine what his/her positions are on key issues.

 

These unedited answers are more beneficial than all the TV advertising blitzes.

 

This guide will be helpful to the voter in casting an informed vote, as well as information on polling place locations, about voting early and voting by absentee ballot in our state.

 

To use the voter website enter your address at www. VOTE411.org and follow the directions to create your personal ballot.

 

This personal sample ballot can be printed out and taken to the polls.

 

These last weeks before election day are an important time for all of us to take advantage of all of the opportunities to clarify the issues that candidates bring to the election.  Please remember to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

 

Lois Ballinger
League of Women Voters ABC

 

 

 

Experience, knowledge

 

To the Editor:

 

It’s been said that retired people who have worked for the city of Coon Rapids at one time or another are coming back to run the city.

 

How narrow minded can you be? Do you know that the best football coaches come from being a football player at one time or a goof baseball manager comes from a person who was an outstanding baseball player.

 

Who would known better than that what is good for the city of Coon Rapids than someone who at one time worked for the city.

 

Steve Wells’ 32 years as a police officer and chief is experience that has given him first-hand knowledge of what a city needs to function, grow and be safe.

 

He has worked with citizens through Alexandra House, YMCA Board, Youth First, Salvation Army, Rotary, also coaching and serving on the CRAA Board.

 

Steve’s involvement in our city goes well beyond that of being a police chief.

 

Thanks God, we have people who have worked for this great city of Coon Rapids and are now willing to come back and do what they can to keep it going as a city that people would like to live in.

 

I think that the that was use was inbreeding and compared this city and people to cattle. It was also said that it was like a fox guarding the chicken coop – what a let down.

 

We have a great obligation to keep the city of Coon Rapids a city that is respected and looked up to by other cities.

 

That’s why I hope come Nov. 6 that you join me in voting for Steve Wells as the councilmember at large for the city of Coon Rapids.

 

Jerry Wright
Coon Rapids

 

 

 

Unique as politician

 

To the Editor:

 

Jim Abeler, a giant of a man in a group of Lilliputians! I have known my representative Jim Abeler for many years, and over that time I have found him to be unique as a politician, a chiropractor, and a person.

 

He represents the citizens of his district and Minnesota wisely, compassionately and intelligently.

 

His accomplishments are too long to list, but we are fortunate to have him working for us in the Minnesota House of Representatives.

 

Jerry Dock
Anoka

 

 

 

Concerns for residents

 

To the Editor:

 

As a 40-year resident of Coon Rapids I have known Jerry Newton for most of that time.

 

There is no better public servant that has the concerns for the residents of House District 37A.

 

Jerry Newton served his country for 23 years in the United States Army, he was a small business owner running the family dairy store, he served on the Coon Rapids City Council where he was involved in economic development especially the Riverdale Shopping Complex.

 

He spent countless hours working on eliminating train whistles at railroad crossings in Coon Rapids, which was a benefit to those who are in earshot of the tracks running through the city. He worked with the railroad as well as federal officials to accomplish this feat.

 

He served the citizens of Anoka-Hennepin School District as a school board member as well as a state representative.

 

By electing Jerry Newton as State Representative from 37A you will get a well qualified individual to represent you in all aspects of state government. Vote Jerry Newton on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

 

Tom Dwyer
Coon Rapids

 

 

 

LeDoux is accountable

 

To the Editor:

 

I attended the League of Women’s Voters candidate forum for the Anoka County Commissioner at the Anoka Government Center. It is held in the very room from which the commissioner candidates have led or intend to lead our county.

 

Our Fifth District County Commissioner Carol LeDoux was there, prepared and ready to be accountable to the citizen taxpayers of her district and for that matter the entire county.

 

If one watches the video on local cable TV, you will notice that she was there, but you will not know that she was fully prepared, because Commissioner LeDoux, among others, was not allowed to speak even one word at her own forum.

 

That night the county board room was near full with citizen taxpayers, who spent their evening attempting to meet and hear from county commissioner candidates at the only League of Women Voters’ county commissioner general election candidate forum before the election.

 

An incumbent or challenger has absolutely no enforceable responsibility as a candidate to respect the public candidate forum process; not even with the courtesy of a response, to one of the most respected civic organizations in the history of the United States.

 

Commissioner Carol LeDoux was not allowed to speak because her opponent Scott Bromley made a choice to not attend and effectively control the information available in the very room from which he aspires to serve.

 

I believe if one or more of the candidates decline attendance at the forum, the rules should provide for a surrogate statement.

 

If a candidate is so uninspired and unaccountable that they refuse to respond or send a surrogate with a statement in response to the notice of the debate, then the candidate who is present ought be provided the entire time allotted for both or all candidates for that race. Period.

 

I expect candidates would find a way to clear their schedule and stand for election and meet their duty to dignity and public discourse in our democracy.

 

I ran for election to the Anoka County Board in 2008 with my heart and soul. I was ready and very able. I met thousands of wonderful people and would not change that experience for the world.

 

Incumbent Commissioner Scott LeDoux won that election. In 2010 I ran again for election to the open seat Anoka County Board when Scott resigned due to his health. Carol LeDoux won that election. They were not my adversaries, nor was I theirs.

 

My Commissioner Carol LeDoux attended her League of Women Voters candidate forum. She was prepared to be held accountable for her decisions and priorities, her positions and her votes as our incumbent county commissioner. Her opponent Scott Bromley did not attend.

 

So, with that I seriously ask the kind and loyal supporters who trusted me and the values and priorities we shared when I ran for election with their precious vote, to stand with me again; this time in full support of our incumbent Anoka County Commissioner Carol LeDoux.

 

Becky Fink
Coon Rapids, former candidate for Anoka County Commissioner District 5

 

 

 

Photo ID not needed

 

To the Editor:

 

If I’ve ever seen a solution in search of a problem, it’s the proposed “photo ID” constitutional amendment that will be on your ballot this November.

 

I’ve been an election judge for more than 20 years and also a public official. In all of that time not once has a question come up regarding voters’ eligibility that couldn’t be cleared up promptly and properly at the polls.

 

In a time when Coon Rapids and Anoka County budgets are extremely tight, why are we imposing new costs on government?

 

More costs come about because the amendment is more complicated than requiring a government-issued photo ID of voters.

 

It requires a new system of provisional balloting and may result in counties having to purchase new computers to comply with new requirements.

 

I don’t know if Anoka County has estimated costs, but the counties that have indicate between $500,000 and several million for more election judges, extra training and new equipment.

 

One rural county which now votes by mail is afraid that would be eliminated under the language of the amendment which would mean establishing unnecessary polling places.

 

These costs are for a system that is unnecessary, irrelevant and downright mean spirited. Again, at a time when local government aid has been cut, and cities and counties are struggling financially, we should not have to take on these costs and headaches  imposed upon us

 

I urge you to vote “no” on Nov. 6.

 

Lonni McCauley
Coon Rapids

 

 

 

Yes vote is important

 

To the Editor:

 

On Nov. 6 voters will be asked to decide whether our state constitution should define marriage as “one man and one woman.” There are many important reasons why we should vote “yes.” Here is one.

 

This issue is not just about affirming love between two people of the same sex. It is about removing sexual boundaries from the definition of marriage.

 

The Creating Change conference (February 2011) held at the Minneapolis Hilton Hotel made this perfectly clear. Here 2,000 gay activists gathered to attend workshops addressing homosexuality and discussions on sexual freedom, including how to be “…positive about all relationships — monogamous, polyamorous, or anything else.”

 

Polyamory means “many loves” and is an array of sexual combinations between various groups of individuals.

 

Polyamorists claim to practice “harmonious love and intimacy between multiple poly partners.”  These include one woman and two men; heterosexual group marriages; groups in which some or all members are bisexual; lesbian groups etc. The “polyamory” banner is already being carried in the gay pride parades.

 

Gay marriage sets the table for polyamory because once the definition has been changed, there is no way to stop and draw the line. Other groups are poised to demand the right to redefine marriage even further.

 

Liberal columnist Michael Kinsley writes, “(The) solution is to end the institution of marriage, or rather, the solution is to end the institution of government monopoly on marriage. And yes, if three people want to get married, or one person wants to marry herself, and someone else wants to conduct a ceremony and declare them married, let ‘em.”

 

If the state must recognize a marriage of two men simply because they love one another, then what basis is there to deny marriage to any group? Why should sexual love between two people be more worthy of state sanction than love between three? Or four? Once marriage is no longer confined to a man and a woman, it is increasingly impossible to exclude virtually any relationship.

 

Stanley Kurtz, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, summed it up this way:  “Marriage will be transformed into a variety of relationship contracts, linking two, three or more individuals (however weakly or temporarily) in every conceivable combination of male and female…the bottom of this slope is visible from where we now stand.”

 

The legalization of homosexual marriage is for gay activists merely a stepping-stone on the road to eliminating all societal restrictions on marriage and sexuality. This will lead to terrible consequences. Vote “yes” on the Marriage Protection Amendment Nov. 6 and keep marriage between one man and one woman.

 

Gwen Moore
Coon Rapids

 

 

 

Voted no on tax levy cut

 

To the Editor:

 

As a resident of Andover, I am alarmed to understand that our current Anoka County Commissioner is now Dan Erhart. Commissioner Erhart was the lone commissioner to vote against the first tax levy cut in over 40 years at a county board meeting.

 

How out of touch can a person be to think that raising taxes on people who are already over taxed, losing jobs and homes, struggling to stay afloat, is a recipe for anything but disaster.

 

Thankfully, regardless of the redistricting, we can make a change. In a few short weeks, we have the opportunity to vote for Scott Schulte, a known conservative.

 

I know I will be supporting Scott because he has shown that he knows how to cut a budget in tough economic times, while protecting critical services without increasing taxes. Although we didn’t have a choice in how the county was redistricted, we certainly have the opportunity to vote in a commissioner who more appropriately represents the conservative values of Andover.

 

Roy Wicklund
Andover

 

 

 

Embarrassed by officials

 

To the Editor:

 

Michele Bachmann says that the president and members of congress are un-American. She says that a fellow congressman and members of the state department are sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood. Leaders in her own party denounce her positions and yet the GOP in the Sixth District nominates her again.

 

Tom Hackbarth is stopped by police with a hand gun near Planned Parenthood in Saint Paul and in response to one of his constituents, he managed to tie Castro and Hitler into the budget tussle. His party strips him of his committee chairmanship and yet the GOP in District 31 nominates him again.

 

Aren’t you tired of being embarrassed by your elected officials?

 

Mel Aaneurd
Ham Lake

 

 

 

Johnson best choice for Senate

 

To the Editor:

 

We need to elect Alice Johnson to the Minnesota Senate on Nov. 6.

 

When she served in the Minnesota House, 1987 to 2000, our economy in Minnesota was strong and healthy. Many thousands of new jobs were created. Unemployment during that time was only around 3 percent to just above 5 percent at most. The last couple of years our unemployment rate has been around 6 percent or even higher.

 

We need to return to the healthy political climate of those former years and put an end to the partisan bickering and posturing in St. Paul.

 

We need legislators like Alice Johnson who can and will work with Gov. Dayton to make Minnesota’s economy healthy and strong again. Gridlock and government shut-downs accomplish nothing.

 

We need people in the legislature who work across the partisan divide to get things done for all our families, not just for some. We need Alice Johnson in the Minnesota Senate.

 

Sincerely,
Phil Gotsch
Spring Lake Park

 

 

 

West should be re-elected

 

To the Editor:

 

This election year, so much focus is on the national candidates. It can be hard to find information about our local candidates – clusters of political signs and doorstep leaflets don’t reveal enough.

 

That’s why I’d like to share my experience with Robyn West, Anoka County’s Third District Commissioner. She is up for re-election against challenger, Dan Sanders.

 

I’ve been a resident of eastern Blaine for over 10 years. I’ve seen responsible change in the county board’s direction, and Robyn West has been a huge part of that change.

 

Her voting record and actions as commissioner have been consistent and clear: fiscal responsibility to taxpayers, transparency in local government and balanced, compassionate response to the needs of local businesses, residents and struggling communities.

 

I live near the Blaine airport and when area residents organized against proposed airport expansion, Robyn stood by our side. When concerned citizens questioned a Vikings stadium proposal in our district, Robyn committed to and acted upon their views.

 

When the Northern Lights Rail project was proposed, Robyn voted against the spending of taxpayer dollars for an unjustified development.

 

At a time when county officials were abusing meal and per diem allowances, Robyn helped limit the use of county credit cards.

 

It once was impossible to get board meeting agendas, minutes, voting records, but now, through the efforts of Robyn West, board information is quickly accessible online at the county website.

 

And in the face of challenging economic times, Robyn, under the lead of Chairperson Rhonda Sivarajah, helped streamline the county budget and actually decreased county tax levies for the past two years. That’s a feat that has not been accomplished in almost 40 years.

 

Most importantly, my direct experience with Robyn West has shown me that she is the definition of representative – she is accessible, she listens to the people she represents, and she acts upon the voices of her constituents.

 

I am not on her lists of donors. I am not a business owner with financial interests in local developments. I am not a lobbyist or member of some organization with a political agenda.

 

I’m simply a person that lives in Blaine. When I have emailed a concern to Robyn, I have always got an answer. When I have called to discuss an issue, she not only called back, but then followed through with her promises.

 

But that has been my experience. I encourage Third District residents to take 15 minutes to find out which candidate will best represent the people of eastern Blaine.

 

Accomplishments, qualifications, donors and super Pac listings, campaign rule infractions, and candidate affiliations are but a click away on the Internet.

 

Once you do, I’m certain that you’ll come to the same conclusion as I have: Robyn West is worth your vote.

 

Kathy Jackanich
Blaine

 

 

 

West works to make things better

 

To the Editor:

 

I have known Commissioner Robyn West since she first came on the County Board in 2007.

 

Since she has been on the board, she has never worked for personal benefit or self-interest. She works for friends and neighbors to make things better in Anoka County.

 

I saw her at many veterans events over the years and enjoyed her  message when she addressed the Morningside Gardens Memorial Day event in 2011.

 

She has always been available when I called. Robyn called me to let me know about the Vietnam Memorial Wall at the Anoka County Airport and actually came to my house and chauffeured me to the event.

 

If you have ever met her, you see that she has a fresh and positive personality that appeals to everyone she meets.

 

Robyn has no pretense and is the kind of person to keep as our county commissioner.

 

She also heard that I was admitted to the VA Medical Center this past summer and came down to visit me. That is a county commissioner that has gone above and beyond the call of duty.

 

Please cast your vote for Robyn West as Anoka County Commissioner.

 

Most sincerely yours

 

Stan Kowalski

 

Blaine

 

 

 

Do not post signs without permission

 

To the Editor:

 

Early Sunday morning, while enjoying my coffee, I looked out the window and noticed this huge political sign in my yard. I turned to my wife and asked, “When did that go up?” She said, “Yesterday, who is Dan Sanders?” I said, “I don’t know.”

 

As a homeowner in Blaine and located on the corner a very busy road, I tend to see a high volume of “door knocking.”

 

Door knocking is another phrase for campaigning door-to-door. So, over the years, incumbent County Commissioner Robyn West and Minnesota House Rep. Tim Sanders have come by the door and talked to me about some of their action items.

 

It has been very pleasing to know that politicians like West and Tim Sanders care enough about their position and community to reach out their constituents at a personal level.

 

You can imagine how disturbed I was with local politician Dan Sanders when I saw his sign posted in my yard.

 

Dan Sanders did not come to my door and talk about his ideas. Dan simply stuck his sign in my yard and without permission.

 

Moreover, there are many other Dan Sanders signs posted on Radisson Road – I wonder if this is more than an isolated event?

 

I hope others remove their signs that are posted in this fashion, so we can show our politicians that their seat in office needs to be about our views and not their needs.

 

Joel Kunza
Blaine

 

 

 

West a politician making a difference

 

To the Editor:

 

Do you know that since Robyn West has been on the Anoka County Board, commissioners and staff can no longer pay for their lunches with the county credit card?

 

Since Robyn has served on the board, county commissioners and staff travel policies have been tightened, regional rail budgets have been cut by 65 percent, tax levies have been lowered by 7.43 percent and the Standard and Poors rating has increased from good to strong.

 

Since Robyn has been on the board, technology-based systems have been implemented to make human services more efficient, which saves money.

 

The innovative design-build process was implemented for reconstruction of County Road 14, which saved money.

 

County spending and cost-saving measures were put into place, which saves money. And, there is more transparency in county government.

 

Now that’s a politician who makes a difference. I don’t know about you, but I want her to stay on the board. I want commissioners who realize county money is the people’s money.

 

Please vote for Robyn West for county commissioner.

 

Shell Peterson
Blaine

 

 

 

No longer marriage

 

To the Editor:

 

This is in response to your Oct. 5 editorial, “Marriage amendment would suppress freedom”.

 

You state that the Marriage Protection Amendment would “limit the freedom of same-sex couples to marry.” Yes, that is correct.

 

Everyone already has the same freedom to marry — someone of the opposite sex! If we change that combination, it is no longer marriage. This has been the definition of marriage for over 5,000 years of recorded history, worldwide.

 

In this country, people can pretty much do what they want: live together, say personal vows, conduct their own ceremonies — but the state has no vested interest in those unions.

 

Marriage is not a universal right; it has always been about procreation and protecting children — children who need a mother and a father. This is why the state has always regulated marriage and has never given the right to marry to just anyone.

 

It regulates marriage in many ways besides denying men the right to marry men, and women the right to marry women.

 

Roughly half of all states prohibit first cousins from marrying and all prohibit marriage of closer blood relatives (even if the individuals being married are sterile).

 

In all states, it is illegal to attempt to marry more than one person, or even to pass off more than one person as one’s spouse.

 

Some states restrict the marriage of people suffering from syphilis or other sexual diseases. All of these groups are denied the “freedom” to marry.

 

If marriage is changed to legitimize same-sex couples, others will request that the state legitimize their sexual preferences as well.

 

Just look at what the “vote no” signs say — “Don’t limit the freedom to marry.” No limits? Which limits would you remove? What is best for children and society?

 

For the sake of the children, be sure to vote “yes” on the Marriage Protection Amendment.

 

George Anderson
Champlin

 

 

 

Hard work in the city 

 

To the Editor:

 

As a Ramsey resident, I feel it necessary to commend the current city council for their “visible” hard work in the city.

 

A simple look around will show you that Ramsey is one of the few cities in Anoka County and possibly the state, that has investment and construction under way.

 

Consider the new VA Clinic, Allina Clinic, Residence at the COR, McDonalds, two Convenience stores, upgraded Bunker Lake Boulevard, upgraded Highway 5, current upgrading of Armstrong Boulevard for the eventual grade separated overpass at Highway 10 and finally the Ramsey Rail Station.

 

Currently up for election is the Mayor, Ward 2, Ward 4 and At Large city council positions. Ward 4 and the at large seats are open with excellent candidates both in Marine Sergeant Wayne Buchholz, and current chairperson of the Charter Commissioner, Attorney Joe Field.

 

The Mayor and Ward 2 council seats have candidates up for re-election, Mayor Bob Ramsey and Councilmember Colin McGlone (chairperson of the Housing and Redevelopment Authority), both of whom have worked tirelessly to turn the project around and close on projects currently under construction and bring taxbase, jobs and development to the city of Ramsey.

 

Some are currently advocating for….. “if it ain’t broke fix it.” On the other hand a more reasonable approach would be to believe the progress that we can clearly see and support these candidates that have implemented a vision that has in the face of a downturn economy, attracted over $50 million in private investment to our small town.

 

Some are advocating pushing through a change to our charter, in order to overturn a vote recently taken two years ago to retain an administrator form of government as opposed to a manager form of government.

 

This measure was defeated two years ago as it was seen as taking power from the people and giving it an un-elected bureaucrat.

 

Despite the overwhelming opposition, current candidates are promoting yet again what the people have clearly spoken on. I feel the opposition is clearly out of touch.

 

The challenging mayoral candidate is confused in believing that we should not be investing time, energy and resources in the cities largest investment…the COR, where infrastructure investment has already been made, but rather diversify to other parts of the city.

 

Anyone that understands tax base should understand that tax base anywhere in the city is still tax base, regardless of where it is.

 

Conventional wisdom would say to focus on areas that already have hard infrastructure, as opposed to spending millions to drag sewer and water to northern sectors of Ramsey that clearly have not survived in the past and will struggle unless millions more of public resources are invested to artificially subsidize their survivability. Again, clearly out of touch.

 

Please join me in supporting Mayor Ramsey, Councilmember McGlone, Joe Field and Wayne Buchholz. They all have Ramsey’s best interest in mind.

 

Jeri Bates
Ramsey

 

 

 

Claims were misleading

 

To the Editor:

 

What is going on? I read the claims about Commissioner LeDoux stated in letters authored by Mr. Paul Friederichs and Mr. Robert M.A. Johnson that were misleading about a candidate and could sway an election in favor of the opponent.

 

Here is some important information about these letters and Mr. Scott Bromley, Carol LeDoux’s opponent for Anoka County Fifth District Commissioner.

 

Mr. Friederichs is Mr. Bromley’s neighbor. Another neighbor did have a sign that was mutilated along with every LeDoux sign along Foley Boulevard between 127th Avenue and Egret.

 

Not only were the ripped down, they were slit in half. This is documented with pictures on Facebook. This incident is the reason Carol LeDoux placed the stickers on her signs that Mr. Friederichs’ complains about.

 

Mr. Johnson served as county attorney with Commissioner LeDoux for only two months before he retired.

 

He has little personal knowledge of Carol LeDoux’s skills and abilities.

 

Someone who has actually worked with her over the past two years, as I have, has a much better perspective on her work and ethics.

 

She is intelligent, works hard and isn’t afraid to voice her opinion, even if you differ with it.

 

Mr. Bromley is a sometime voter. According to public records, Mr. Bromley did not vote in any election between 2000 and 2010.

 

Do we want someone in office that doesn’t care enough about the political process to vote?

 

Sandra DeLaForest,
District 5, Coon Rapids.

 

 

 

Listening to constituents

 

To the Editor:

 

Our community deserves healthy engagement from our city leaders. This fall, let’s make sure we elect people that are committed to listening to the constituents of Coon Rapids on a wide range of community affairs.

 

If we accept anything less by those we elect to represent us, our community at large suffers as a much smaller constituency gains favor.

 

Case and point: The prepay ordinance. This mandate was and is widely opposed by the majority of people and stations, yet one gasoline station (Mobil on Hanson Boulevard) was able to persuade some unengaged council members on prepay.

 

This station has now instituted a special rewards card that only works with their new pumps, allowing it to avoid the very mandate they lobbied for.

 

The cost of implementing the “exception” could be very expensive for other stations and frustrating for customers.

 

We can’t all make every council meeting, nor should we be expected to, but when issues arise, or when a big project is being considered, it should be incumbent on the individual councilmembers to ensure they are voting in line with the people of their ward and our city in making the decisions that affect all of us.

 

I believe Chad Newman is a man that will deliver this kind of representation for the people of Ward 1.

 

He believes that government, especially city government, is best run with an engaged and informed constituency to draw from and relate to.

 

In contrast I have experienced waning response from my sitting councilwoman who has not reached out to me in eight years.

 

Simply put, lack of engagement equals poor governance and we have a great opportunity to elect someone of substance that will provide a full level of civic engagement.

 

Brad Greskowiak
Coon Rapids

 

 

 

Candidate forum

 

To the Editor:

 

I realized I stated I would no longer write a letter to the editor but I would like to answer Mr.  Aaneurd’s letter to the editor, “Disturbing trend,” Oct. 19.

 

When my family moved to Andover I attended a League of Women Voters candidate forum because I wanted to ask the candidates if they believe building permits are worth the paper they are printed on and if the city should be accountable if they approve work that does not meet code.

 

As many people are aware the septic system installed in 2003 on our property was inspected by the city of Andover and the system did not have a drainfield.

 

Within the last year I found out our deck does not meet code. The deck was built prior to a permit being pulled.

 

The city of Andover found out about it, fined the homeowner and moved on. I dug up one of the posts to the footing and it is not attached to the footing. I would bet a dollar the other posts are in the same condition.

 

How do I know if the footings are deep enough? Finally our new roof does not have kickout flashing and you guessed it, it passed the inspection and  permit was pulled.

 

If any of the candidates running for Andover City Council want to call me and answer that question you may get my vote.

 

Now the reason I, as a previous and future candidate for office, did not/would not attend a League of Women Voters forum.

 

The reason is because my question was given to the city administrator, Jim Dickinson prior to being asked and it was given back to me without being read to the candidates.

 

Why did my question have to get approval from city staff? City staff has no business screening questions especially in a city where voters are voting for candidates at-large.

 

Thank you for your time.

 

Eric Kohnke
Andover

 

 

 

Best choice is Wells

 

To the Editor:

 

Together we’ve served Coon Rapids in a variety of ways; held elective offices, served on commissions and committees, worked hard to make Coon Rapids the city it is today.

 

When we learned that Steve Wells had decided to compete for a seat on the Coon Rapids City Council, we talked about his qualifications and decided our best choice was to support him.

 

We’ve known Steve for a long time. He’s knowledgeable about Coon Rapids government, always seems to demonstrate good judgment, is a problem solver and is a proven leader.

 

This is Steve’s first try at elective office; he’s not a run-for-anything office seeker but rather a guy who works hard for his community whether it’s through his service with the Emma B. Howe YMCA or volunteering with the Rotary club. Steve always adds his hand to help out.

 

We believe that Steve’s experience, knowledge and ethics make him just the person we need on the Coon Rapids City Council.

 

Dave and Lonni McCauley
Coon Rapids

 

 

 

Look does as he said

 

To the Editor:

 

I am writing in support of Matt Look for Anoka County Commissioner. Two years ago we elected Matt Look for a four-year term, however due to redistricting, that four-year term was reduced to two years. State law requires that if your district changes by more than 5 percent that a re-election is triggered.

 

When he first campaigned for this position, we knew that he would do as he said. He clearly stated that we he was going to cut taxes, reduce government and focus on “needs verses wants.”

 

The new county board cut taxes for the first time in 40 years, not only the first year, but again the second year. Never before has the county seen two years of consecutive tax cuts in its history.

 

He helped drive an early retirement that 97 employees took advantage of, saving the county $1.5 million a year, clearly reducing the size of government. The county is offering that again this year.

 

And finally, for the first time in county history, we will have a bond-free year, “no new debt.” The only way this was achievable was by cutting the wants and focusing on needs, Commissioner Look’s key campaign promise.

 

Now according to his re-election literature his efforts will be focused on improving the congestion on highways 10, 47 and 65.

 

This will take the federal government, the state and the county working together.

 

With what he has been able to get accomplished in just two short years, I have no doubt that he will be successful in bringing all entities together to get accomplished the transportation needs that we have in this county, while keeping an ever watchful eye on taxes and the well being of the people and businesses of Anoka County.

 

Please join me in support for Matt Look again, to represent District 1 (west of the Rum River, Ramsey, Nowthen, Oak Grove and St. Francis).

 

I am thankful for the hard work that he has done so far and look forward to the seeing these new goals accomplished.

 

Sincerely,
Grant Rademacher
Ramsey

 

 

 

No personal agenda

 

To the Editor:

 

After 12 years of mayors in Anoka serving their personal agendas, it’s time to elect a mayor with vast business, financial, and fund-raising experience – and no personal agenda!

 

Her name is Barbara Deeds Baldwin. Barbara isn’t ignoring the campaign. She had emergency surgery the middle of August then suffered complications.

 

Barbara is finally on the mend. The doctors and her caregiver have released her to go back to activities – and here she comes.

 

Why should you vote for Barbara? She leads by example. Barbara takes care of her neighbors. Do you have a senior citizen neighbor? Barbara does.  She mows her lawn, gathers her leaves, pulls up her garbage cans – things we should all do to help our neighbors.

 

Barbara volunteers for animal rescue organizations. Barbara works with college students in her spare time helping them study managerial accounting.

 

Barbara keeps up with every aspect of city, county, state and national government. Barbara serves on the Economic Development Commission.

 

As a controller in major firms, Barbara understands the financial end of operating a city like Anoka and would be beneficial to our council meetings and fund-raisers.

 

It’s time to elect a mayor with the background for the job and one who has led by example – Barbara Deeds Baldwin.

 

Kari Rapp
Anoka

 

 

 

Bromley is visionary

 

To the Editor:

 

Few people know Scott Bromley as well as I do. That’s because he is my big brother.

 

As I read the letter from our former County Attorney Bob Johnson last week, I thought that he was right.

 

Scott is a visionary, with two successful businesses right here in Anoka County: Bromley Printing and Anoka County Farms.

 

Those businesses have given him a lot of experience understanding budgets, the importance of customer service and having a vision for the future that will help Anoka County.

 

I thought I should write because there are some things most people might not know about Scott Bromley; the things that only family and close friends know.

 

First, Scott is a family man. We were raised to always be honest and a person of our word.

 

To always treat people the way we want to be treated,and if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

 

Second, Scott’s successful businesses didn’t come easy.  He’s an entrepreneur and like many hard working people in this county,

 

Scott had to work 80- and 90-hour weeks to make a go of it year after year.

 

There were many times when we thought he might not make it.

 

Through hard work, grit, talent and determination, he has overcome every obstacle in front of him. We would be fortunate as our next county commissioner.

 

Third, Scott will not back down from a challenge. Going back to when he was a little boy, Scott had an innate sense of right and wrong. If it was right, then you should find a way to get it done. If it was wrong, you should call it wrong and fight against it.

 

How many times have I seen him stand up and fight for what’s right in the face of people who are really trying to do something wrong?

 

The people of the county would be really lucky to have someone like Scott as their champion.

 

Fourth, Scott loves Coon Rapids, the community, the people, the potential.

 

He is currently a manager of the Coon Creek Watershed District and supports many local organizations such as Alexandra House, Lee Carlson Center for Mental Health & Well-Being, Vietnam Veterans Chapter 470, Coon Rapids Tee it Up for the Troops and the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office.

 

Scott was also awarded the Melvin Jones Fellowship award for dedicated humanitarian services by the Coon Rapids Lions and Lions Club International.

 

It is his love for his home town that drives Scott to run so hard to serve you as county commissioner.

 

There will be naysayers; people who support Scott’s opponents and competitors. They’ll point to things like who supports whom, campaign sign spots and other trivial things like that.

 

No one, however, can criticize Scott’s successes as a businessman, community leader and family man. If they do, then they simply don’t know Scott.

 

I wanted you to have this information about Scott before November 6.

 

Hopefully, you’ll consider voting for him. He’ll make as good a county commissioner as he has a big brother.

 

Kindest regards
Joan Bromley-Wolfe

 

 

 

Newton loyal advocate

 

To the Editor:

 

It is my pleasure to recommend to the voters of House District 37A that they return Jerry Newton to the Legislature to represent them. When elected, he would be the only resident of our city, the largest in the district and the region in the Legislature.

 

While on the Coon Rapids council, Jerry was instrumental in getting Riverdale developed and in locating the Vincent Metals and USF Holland here as well as having HOM Furniture establish its corporate headquarters in Coon Rapids.

 

As a legislator, Jerry helped enact the angel investor tax credit and the veterans business start-up  loan program. Jerry has served our city and this region as a city councilor, a school board member, a legislator and a citizen. I would sincerely urge voters in House District 37A to return our city resident and loyal advocate to the Minnesota House.

 

Yours truly,

 

Luanne Koskinen
Coon Rapids

 

 

 

Wells shows leadership

 

To the Editor:

 

Steve Wells, candidate for Coon Rapids City Council, has demonstrated his leadership and dedication as a Coon Rapids police officer and chief of police.

 

I and my husband Tony Palumbo, have known and respected Steve for a long time. He listens to people and always strives to find fair, common sense solutions.

 

His knowledge of Coon Rapids would be an asset in solving issues the city council must face. For these reasons, I wholeheartedly recommend Steve Wells for the council.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jill Brown
Blaine

 

 

 

Voting for Perovich

 

To the Editor:

 

I am voting for Peter Perovich in Senate District 35 this year because I find him a much better fit for this district and this state. Peter and his family have longtime roots here in Anoka and Ramsey, he grew up around the educational challenges facing the school district and as an adult has focused his attention on the modern challenges of balancing our environmental concerns, our love for our lakes, rivers and streams and the interests of the hunting and fishing communities throughout the state.

 

I see Peter Perovich as an “Abeler Democrat,” to coin a phrase; Peter would not be tied to party dogma, he would be open to collaboration with Republicans to legislate solutions to the gridlock that we face in St. Paul, and he would be willing to take hard votes based on his own fine principles, not just those of his party and his supporters.

 

Many of us union members in Anoka, Andover, Ramsey and northern Coon Rapids have endorsed Peter Perovich because of the positions his opponent, Branden Petersen, has taken against our collective bargaining rights in supporting a Right to Work amendment, against government and government workers, and especially against teachers.

 

We hear Branden Petersen railing against “bad teachers” and insisting on better performance evaluation processes. He sure has it out for these hard-working professionals.

 

I don’t understand Republicans like Petersen who want to get elected to serve, but whose real purpose is to tear away at the government itself, and the public employees who make our state and communities efficient and successful in these trying times.

 

I don’t understand Republicans like Petersen who voted to change the homestead credit in 2011. You might be lucky, and your property taxes didn’t go up. Anoka County and many of our communities are holding down their property tax collections, but not all communities can do so.

 

Throughout Minnesota, that Republican change shifted more of the property tax burden to homeowners and away from commercial properties. Homeowners in many communities have seen the same or higher taxes despite lower home valuations. Peter Perovich and a DFL legislature will work to restore the market value homestead credit.

 

I don’t understand Republicans like Petersen who voted in 2011 and again in 2012 against raising revenue, but to make the budget balance, shifted educational funding down the line, further hurting our schools and educational system.

 

Peter Perovich believes in investing in our schools now and not using any fancy budgeting gimmicks to balance our state budget on the backs of our schools.

 

Perovich is committed to reversing the short-sightedness of Branden Petersen and his Republican colleagues, and will work to legislate paying back our schools the monies they are owed.

 

I’ve watched both local debates between Peter Perovich and Branden Petersen, sponsored by the area mayors and the League of Women Voters.

 

Branden Petersen is ambitious. He’s a young man in a hurry, and Petersen is carrying a set of principles for our future that scare me. He called Minnesota a “sovereign state” in the Anoka debate.

 

Minnesota isn’t sovereign, but Republicans like Petersen have introduced legislation to make us sovereign – to enable us to reject federal legislation they don’t like, as they want to stymie as best they can, such programs as Obamacare, Medicaid, and laws protecting women’s reproductive rights.

 

Help stop this ambitious young man’s political career here and now, and elect Peter Perovich to the Minnesota Senate for District 35 on Nov. 6.

 

Wes Volkenant
Andover

 

 

 

Obstructive majority

 

To the Editor:

 

I just finished reading the Opinion/Letters segment (page 4A) of the Friday edition of the Coon Rapids Herald.

 

In reviewing DFLer Brian Barnes’ qualifications your words are “intelligent,” “articulate,” “knowledgeable” and “adeptly answers every question.” (my underline).

 

Aside from Erik Paulsen’s “extensive knowledge about the current federal financial situation” (of course, he was a part of it) and his support of the medical device industry, you stated “disappointment” in his attitude about the farm bill and SNAP, “seemed irritated” about the Affordable Care Act, and last, his references “to business, not to individuals… deserve at least equal billing.”

 

You then went on to endorse Representative Paulsen for another term.

 

I had to sit back in my chair and let that sink in for a moment. You had nothing seemingly bad to report about Brian Barnes, but you had some serious reservations about Representative Paulsen. This endorsement is for a member of the most obstructive Republican majority in the House of Representative in years. Really?

 

Lorraine Westerlund
Coon Rapids

 

 

 

Signs against daughter

 

To the Editor:

 

During the campaign season, most political signs are positive in that they encourage the reader to be for someone. But this season, for the first time, there are signs that are specifically against someone: our daughter.

 

You may have a sign against our daughter in your yard or have seen a sign against our daughter on your street. These signs say our daughter is less, that she deserves less, that her love matters less…and that the Minnesota Constitution needs to be changed as a permanent reminder. These signs pierce our hearts and hers.

 

The Catholic church has provided these signs for its members. We cannot imagine Jesus putting up a sign that puts down any of his children.

 

Please vote no. A no vote will not make our daughter’s marriage legal. It will not give her the respect, rights and privilege your heterosexual child has.

 

Our state law clearly stands against her marriage and it will still be in place no matter what the outcome of this vote.

 

But a no vote will lighten our daughter’s heart a bit. It will honor the golden rule of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” We would do the same for you and your child.

 

Rick and Naomi Peterson
Coon Rapids

 

 

 

Serious trouble

 

To the Editor:

 

Who is really pro-marriage? What has the left promoted? They gave birth to the sexual revolution in the 1960’s, feminism that trivialized marriage, abortion which makes casual sex easier and no-fault divorce that minimized the marriage contract.

 

They promoted casual sex in TV shows and movies and the weakening of porn laws which lead to an increase in pornography.

 

They have promoted so-called comprehensive sex education which breaks down modesty and social barriers in youth.

 

In the 1960’s the youth said that marriage is just a piece of paper, it’s love that makes sex right and today even love is optional, replaced by “coupling” and “friends with benefits.” What a legacy has been left for us.

 

Today in the Western world “living together” has increased significantly and traditional marriage is in serious trouble.

 

In Europe when same-sex marriage is introduced, traditional marriage rates decrease even more dramatically along with the problems associated with the breakdown of family life. Can the fragmentation of the nuclear family unit be a good thing?

 

The nuclear family is the foundation of a civilization. Defend it or our civilization will be at risk. Being pro-sexual freedom is not being pro-marriage.

 

Harlan Vall
Coon Rapids

 

 

 

Forward looking

 

To the Editor:

 

I was rather puzzled when a recent letter writer described Anoka County Commissioner Dan Erhart as “Dinosaur Dan.” The term dinosaur refers to slow, plodding creatures that became extinct due to their inability to look forward and change with the times.

 

That certainly does not describe Dan Erhart’s track record as an Anoka County Commissioner. He has been one of the most forward looking commissioners in the history of Anoka County.

 

It does, however, quite accurately describe four of our current county commissioners: Sivarajah, Look, West and Westerberg.

 

Thanks to this dinosaur-like quartet our county has become the laughing stock of the seven-county metro area. Their refusal to be even a little bit progressive has cost our county millions of dollars in federal funds.

 

Their placement of the inexperienced Commissioner Look on the important transportation groups in place of the highly experienced and respected Erhart is just another example of their backward decision making. This description could go on for pages, but you get the picture.

 

We absolutely need to re-elect Dan Erhart to our board of commissioners. He is the best man for the future of our county.

 

David L. Bonthuis
Anoka

 

 

 

Emphatic rebuttal

 

To the Editor:

 

As the longtime chairman of the local Republican party unit, I would expect Harlan Wyvell to be more informed on the record of local politicians.

 

Mr. Wyvell claims that Jerry Newton did not work across party lines and accomplished nothing as a legislator. The public record provides easy and emphatic rebuttal to that claim.

 

In his short time in the Legislature, Jerry Newton authored 43 bills, more than half of which had at least one Republican co-author. Jerry also signed on as co-author to 26 bills authored by Republicans.

 

As a result of his bipartisan work, every disabled veteran in Minnesota now has access to free public transportation, a worthy accomplishment.

 

Does Mr. Wyvell expect us to simply take him at his word when we can easily check the record?

 

If the partisan nature of letters is of such concern to Mr. Wyvell, I would expect him to sign his letter either as chairman of the local Republican party or as Mandy Benz’s campaign manager.

 

Or does he hope readers will treat his letter as if it were written by a neutral, nonpartisan citizen?

 

Ken Piepho
Coon Rapids

 

 

 

‘Honorable compromise’

 

To the Editor:

 

The reason I support Rep. Jim Abeler is because of his honesty and ability to work with other politicians no matter which party they represent. Jim calls it “honorable compromise.”

 

I just wish more lawmakers in St. Paul and Washington had his values.

 

James Rose
Anoka

 

 

 

Boelter for city council

 

To the Editor:

 

My friend and former captain, Ken Boelter is running for Coon Rapids city council in Ward 2. Ken is a conscientious, dedicated and intelligent leader. He was a pleasure to work for.

 

As captain, Ken always made decisions that keep the community and citizens needs in mind.

 

I believe he will continue that as a city councilman. I strongly recommend Ken for city council.

 

Thank you
Mark Seaton
Coon Rapids Fire Department captain

 

 

 

Economy and the election

 

To the Editor:

 

Economics and the presidential election. A number of things seem significant to me about the current discussion regarding who will be a better US president.

 

Romney was governor of Massachusetts for one term. He was so unpopular at the end of his first term he knew it would be foolish to run for a second term. This is an indication of a great leader?

 

Republican economic policies consist of cutting taxes and, they say, cutting deficits. If these policies are so effective why is George Bush in hiding during this campaign?

 

As president, Bush created the beginning of the current budget deficit by cutting taxes and waging two wars (one based on a totally false premise) that were paid for by borrowing. Maybe the contrast between what the Republicans say they will do and what they did when Bush was president is too embarrassing.

 

Romney says that continuing the tax cuts and cutting regulation will create jobs faster than they are currently being created. He fails to discuss the fact that in order to create jobs faster the demand for goods in the economy needs to rise faster. Keeping taxes low on the “well to do” does not increase the demand for goods. The “well to do” already are able to buy most of what they want.

 

Business owners do not hire because of low taxes, they hire (“create new jobs”) when there is more demand for goods and services. Demand has to come from the middle class.

 

Unfortunately, short of more government stimulus, the return of demand after a financial crisis is slow because there is no quick way for an average American to make their debts disappear (they can’t borrow the money from their parents because their parents also went through the financial crisis).

 

How can Mitt Romney’s claim to be a job creator square with his well-known position that GM and Chrysler should have been allowed to go bankrupt?

 

That would have caused the bankruptcy of many other companies that make parts used in the automotive business.

 

That would have put even more people out of work than we already had. If GM and Chrysler had gone through bankruptcy who would have brought them out of bankruptcy?

 

It is true that recovering from an economic crisis is not quick or easy. Selling false cures is not helpful. Believing in false cures is dangerous.

 

While I am thinking about economics let us look at tax policy and its proper roll in society.

 

We need taxes to pay for services the government can provide better than private enterprise.

 

Examples of this are defense, interstate highways, Social Security and Medicare.

 

When an economic crisis occurs the government can help make the recovery quicker and less painful through the wise use of projects that create or preserve jobs and by providing unemployment insurance.

 

When the economy is running well we should pay down our debt so that when the economy becomes bad we do not enter the next recession with a debt burden.

 

It is common sense. If you look at recent Republican economic policy you will see the reverse. When Clinton left office we had a budget surplus and we were paying down our national debt.

 

Bush came into office in a good economy, cut taxes, let deficits grow and left office in the middle of a major economic crisis with way more debt than we should have had.

 

This is the Republican legacy.

 

Mark Brakke
Coon Rapids

 

 

 

Exemplary devotion

 

To the Editor:

 

I have worked with Valerie Holthus for several years as a city commissioner as well as a teacher and in my opinion, I find her to be the best possible choice to serve on the Andover City Council.

 

Her devotion to the citizens of Andover is exemplary and can be shown in three main ways:

 

Devotion to her community: When the Andover Community Center /YMCA was first conceptualized, Val knew this community needed a place to meet and congregate in a healthy way and was appointed to the community center task force.

 

She organized the public relations portion of the capital campaign and spoke to various groups of all kinds to present the project, and helped acquire donations.

 

When the hockey rink at Hawkridge Park was planned to be demolished, she knew that the kids who skated there would have nowhere to play their pick-up games.

 

Val organized the kids and they spoke at both the Park and Recreation Commission and attended the council meeting.

 

The rink was saved, many of the kids earned scholarships, and one set the state record for goals scored. Without the rink, these kids would never have had the chance to reach their potential.

 

Devotion to her students: After the YMCA was up and running, money needed to be raised for scholarships to allow less fortunate community members to enjoy the benefits of the YMCA.

 

She organized the very first YMCA wine tasting fundraiser which earned her the Metropolitan Area Community Hero Award from the YMCA. YMCA staff wanted to present the award at one of Andover High School’s staff meetings.

 

Val refused and said the award should be presented in front of her homeroom students, to serve as an example, hoping that they would be community servants someday too.

 

Devotion to her family: Val is a very dedicated mother to a son and daughter. In the past, Val has enjoyed serving as a softball coach, hockey team manager, “taxi driver”, parent representative on school budget committee, varsity hockey .game scorekeeper and volunteers in countless other ways.

 

Tony Kowalewski
Andover

 

 

 

‘Sack the Pac’ paranoid

 

To the Editor:

 

As I picked up my mail recently, I noticed a set of neatly bundled, hand delivered political, campaign flyers from a group of candidates for Ramsey council and mayor. As I read through the various brochures I noticed a few candidates were using a “Sack the Pac” slogan.

 

The first thing I did was to get an understanding of who or what this PAC is. If you check the information that is easily available online, the “PAC” is a group named Citizens for Responsible Government and is funded primarily by Ramsey residents with a direct concern about what happens in the City of Ramsey.

 

In looking deeper at their filed financial statements it appears all this PAC is doing with its minimal funding is putting up signs in support of their candidates. I thought this is what American democracy was about.

 

As I investigated this more it appears to me that there seems to an unofficial PAC that is running this paranoid Sack the Pac campaign. Unofficial in the fact they have not registered as a political action committee nor filed public financial statements like Citizens for ResponsibIe Government have for everyone to review.

 

The campaigns of Colin McGlone, Bob Ramsey and Wayne Buckholz all are utilizing the same anti-pac logo and statements with their coordinated campaign information. If all of their political campaign information is seemingly so similar and coordinated, aren’t they acting as a PAC? Funny thing is the group who is looking to “Sack the Pac” are comprised of a sitting council member McGlone, the sitting Mayor Ramsey and a want-to-be council member Buckholtz, who supports the others and is in lock step with their political ideas. Check their websites for clear proof.

 

In reviewing the primary results there is another common denominator. McGlone and Buckholtz both came in a distant second in the primary election in August and are in serious danger of losing the general election. The mayor was lucky enough to receive a free pass to the November election by having only one opponent.

 

I guess that’s why they are trying to create this notion of a boogie man PAC. Apparently the “I’m losing this campaign” panic has set in and they feel this is their best shot to win. Paint this group of concerned Ramsey residents as evil and run against it. This way you don’t have to run on your record or what you really will do for the city of Ramsey as a member of the council or mayor.

 

As a side note, I just read that candidates Ramsey, Field, McGlone and Buckholtz also all declined to show up for a League of Women Voters event that was scheduled for Oct. 10.

 

So citizens of Ramsey will not get an opportunity to meet the candidates and ask questions about their vision for the city. Either they can’t defend their records and ideas or just have a great disrespect for the voters of Ramsey. If you can’t stand up and answer the tough questions from citizens of the city you want to represent then you should not be running for elective office.

 

Either way, I thank them for the campaign literature their PAC delivered to my house. I now know who should be sacked on Nov. 6. Colin McGlone and Bob Ramsey should be voted out of office and Wayne Buckholtz and Joe Field should not get anywhere near city hall as elected officials.

 

Steve Thurler
Ramsey

 

 

 

Supporting Erhart

 

To the Editor:

 

Everything I know about government has been shaped by my experiences growing up in Anoka County.

 

As a kid, I didn’t know the Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park was run by county government, or for that matter Bunker Beach or any of the other recreational facilities in the 11,000 acres of our park system. I just knew the parks and the wave pool were cool things in my backyard and I was proud of them.

 

As a kid, I didn’t know the 911 emergency system was run by county government. I didn’t know the county board made major investments to upgrade the communications system, ensuring our first responders had the information they needed to keep us safe, as well as themselves safe. I just trusted that the police and firelighters would come quickly if I needed them.

 

As a kid, I didn’t know it took vision and years of persistence to successfully fund and build Highway 610, the bridge interchange at Hansen and Highway 10, the growing transit system and a regional airport. I just knew that I could get to where I needed to go, that my parents could get to their jobs and that the shelves at the stores were always stocked with merchandise that arrived from far-away places.

 

As a kid, I didn’t know it was county government that helped my friends at school when a non-custodial parent didn’t support them… until the county made them step up and take responsibility.

 

As a 25-year-old, I now recognize all the ways county government is woven into my daily life. Furthermore, I realize it takes a special person to dedicate themselves to public service.

 

No one in our community embodies the traits of vision, dedication, persistence and collaboration better than Anoka County Commissioner Dan Erhart. Thanks to Dan Erhart’s efforts, my Anoka County is a great place to grow up, live, work and play.

 

I hope my generation can do half as good a job as Dan Erhart has done. I think we’re up to the task of keeping Anoka County moving forward on the path he helped establish – one with economic development opportunities and a bright future.

 

One of the reasons our future is bright is because of prudent financial decisions Dan Erhart and his colleagues have made. For my entire life, Anoka County has had one of the very lowest taxes per capita in the entire state. We rank about fifth place out of 87 counties for low taxes. That doesn’t happen by accident. It takes real leadership and vision, like what we get with Dan Erhart as our county commissioner.

 

It’s easy for me to write this letter and ask readers to support Dan Erhart for Anoka County Commissioner in Anoka, Coon Rapids and Andover. I’ve benefited from his leadership all my life – with the parks, the public safety system, the transportation network, lower taxes and more. I appreciate the work he has done for me and for the generations to come.

 

I ask you to please consider joining me in supporting Dan Erhart for Anoka County Commissioner – District 7 on Nov. 6.

 

Sincerely,
Emily Lee
Coon Rapids

 


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