Readers write (Aug. 17): St. Paul gangs, ALEC, gun rights, sex trafficking, ethanol

  • Updated: August 16, 2013 - 6:25 PM

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The solutions? Work, school and prison talk

The solutions to dealing with gang crime in St. Paul are obvious: A government agency, nonprofit, or other agency must find and subsidize work or even school for these young people, and a nonprofit should pay them to visit their friends and relatives in Stillwater prison and listen to inmates talk about why they should stay out of that place (“Scrambling for solutions to gang rage on East Side,” Aug. 15).


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Durbin’s inquiry is far from a witch hunt

Hooray for Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. (“ALEC haters’ witch hunt hits home,” Aug. 14). It’s about time someone held the Center of the American Experiment up to some scrutiny. Durbin is not conducting a witch hunt, as Mitch Pearlstein and Kim Crockett claim. He simply asked two questions, and they seem to be very intimidated by that. I wonder why. The questions are simple, and the answers, which they refused to provide, are equally simple.


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Pearlstein’s and Crockett’s defense of the American Legislative Exchange Council is both self-serving and disingenuous. Activities in the Center of the American Experiment depend on the success of ALEC, a conservative lobbying organization.

ALEC produces boilerplate legislation exported to “friendly” local state legislators on immigration restriction, voter suppression, permissive gun laws, women’s reproductive rights and other issues. ALEC’s activities include our own failed Minnesota constitutional amendment attempts on voter ID and same-sex-marriage restrictions.

Many of ALEC’s corporate sponsors don’t know how destructively their money is being used. Calling for awareness of ALEC’S activities is far from a witch hunt. It is a cry of alarm.

WILLIAM O. BEEMAN, Minneapolis

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Sex trafficker deserved a harsher penalty

The Hennepin County District Court sentencing hearing of Jeffrey John Latawiec on Aug. 9 marked a very sad day for women and children in Minnesota. Latawiec has an extensive criminal history of violence against women and children and, in this case, was convicted of the sex trafficking of a 17-year-old girl.

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