Columnists didn’t portray the reality
The recent commentary on child-care worker unionization by Tom Horner and Tim Penny was, at best, deceptive (“Child care labor move is an overreach,” April 21). The pending legislation does not “create” a union. Rather, it simply allows the child-care providers to vote on whether or not they want union representation. What’s wrong with that? Child-care providers came to labor unions almost 10 years ago on their own looking to form a union. Shouldn’t they have the right to decide this issue on their own, like everyone else?
PATRICK GUERNSEY, St. Paul
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Last year, the courts made it clear that Gov. Mark Dayton couldn’t order a vote on child-care unionization. Instead, Ramsey County Judge Dale Lindman wrote, “The proper method to proceed is for the matter to be brought to the Legislature.”
As legislators, we are simply responding to caregivers interested in forming a union and that court decision. If there isn’t any interest in forming a union, as Penny and Horner suggest, then no one will sign an authorization card or vote in favor of creating one.
Since World War II, the share of the economy in goods production has fallen from 50 percent to less than 20 percent. Today, roughly 80 percent of Americans work a service-sector job — and collective-bargaining rights haven’t kept up.
This is legislation is about giving service-sector employees, such as child-care providers, the chance to vote on whether they want a union, like generations of workers before them.
State Rep. MICHAEL NELSON, Brooklyn Park
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Commentary made illogical comparisons
Equating the denial of global climate change to skepticism about genetically modified food, as Greg Breining did in an April 21 commentary (“What if it’s nice to mess with Mother Nature?”), is like claiming that watching television while your house burns around you is equivalent to teaching your kids not to play with matches.
RONALD MEAD, Minneapolis
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LITTLE EARTH TEEN
Thanks for celebrating his generous life
I would like to extend my thanks to columnist Jon Tevlin for writing such a heartwarming column about Trinidad Flores, 16, one of my many cousins, who died earlier this month after a heart transplant (“In love with life, tender teen was a driving spirit for Little Earth,” April 21).
MARY TURCIOS, St. Paul
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America needs to be more thoughtful
Is blowback part of the calculation when policymakers undertake a particular action in the world? It’s time to admit that U.S. policies can cause terrorism.
If it’s the safety and security of the American people that our government is worried about, then it should be concerned about our actions in the world and their repercussions. If blowback is part of the calculation, then what is the acceptable level our policymakers are willing to accept?
If it isn’t part of their calculation, then they are naive, irresponsible and possibly criminal.
BRUCE FISHER, St. Louis Park
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Why did Sack rain on his big day?
Thank you for your April 26 coverage of former President George W. Bush’s library. It was a day of honor. Why then, did you publish the Steve Sack cartoon bashing the former president? All previous and present presidents praised Bush. Why not leave it at that?
SANDRA J. WATERS, Burnsville
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Senator’s actions appeared contradictory
GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina voted against the Manchin-Toomey Background Check Amendment on guns, saying he was defending the Second Amendment. But then he tried to nullify the constitutional protections of the accused Boston bomber. Setting aside the galling hypocrisy, note that Graham violates his oath of office to uphold the U.S. Constitution when he pushes for a suspension of the civil liberties of an individual, no matter how terrible the crime of which he is accused.
LENORE MILLIBERGITY, Minneapolis
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What goes around, it seems, comes around
Sympathies to U.S. Rep. Bachmann, R-Minn. It’s certainly disturbing when people make conclusions based on unproven allegations and present those allegations as facts to the detriment of the innocent. It would be nice if everyone would quit doing that, wouldn’t it?
STEWART K. HANSON, Wayzata
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Scrutinize solar panel leaders’ gifts to DFL
In my opinion, corruption is the reason for the low esteem Americans have for their elected representatives. Now, the Star Tribune reports that some Minnesota Democrats have received substantial donations from executives, top operatives and their wives of solar-panel companies in the state (“Solar firm taps political allies,” April 25).
The Democrats have responded by placing a clause in the transportation bill that says any solar panels purchased for a government building must come from a Minnesota manufacturer. The message is clear: Send us money, and we will send it back in spades, on the backs of the taxpayer.
TIMOTHY LAW, Minnetonka
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.