Legislator paid the price for crossing his constituents. That’s as it should be.
REP. DAVID FITZSIMMONS
Held accountable — what’s wrong with that?
The Feb. 25 editorial (“For marriage vote, GOP exacts revenge”) — lamenting the fact that Republican state Rep. David FitzSimmons did not receive his party’s endorsement for re-election because of his vote in favor of same-sex marriage — states that the “FitzSimmons story also will reinforce claims that the state Republican Party is an association of social-issue purists, intolerant of deviation.” But the editorial also notes that Patrick Garofalo, also a Republican legislator who voted for gay marriage, won the endorsement for re-election in his district. So it doesn’t follow that the state Republican Party was even involved in the FitzSimmons race — more than likely, it was due solely to local politics. Moreover, I see nothing out of line in holding a representative accountable for how he votes. That’s part of how a democracy should function so we don’t have to periodically overthrow the government in order to clean house.
ROBERT SULLENTROP, Minneapolis
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I honor FitzSimmons for his courage in voting to support the right of all citizens to marry, and I lament his failure to be endorsed by the Republican Party.
The editorial said that he was “being vilified for accepting ‘gay money.’ ” If this allegedly tainted money came from Minnesota United, these funds should have been returned — not turned over to the Republican Party. Some say we Democrats need a robust Republican Party to temper our enthusiasm. I agree. But funds contributed for one purpose should not be turned over for an opposite purpose.
ROLAND FROYEN, Minneapolis
Already, government not for the people
State Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk was asked on the radio if the Legislature would take up Sunday liquor sales. He said no. I followed up with him in an e-mail, saying that polls indicate that people would like Sunday sales. His response to me was that “the liquor store business owners do not want it.” My response to that is: Who elected him — the people, or a small section of business owners?
I think if it were “the people,” we would also have non-Indian gaming.
SANDY KNOBEL, Brooklyn Park
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A Feb. 26 letter writer suggested that the Minnesota Poll on how the Legislature should deal with a potential state budget surplus was flawed because it gave respondents just two choices: spend it or give it back to the taxpayers. I agree with the letter writer’s contention that using the surplus to replenish the state’s “rainy-day fund” should have been an option.
But there should have been a fourth option: allowing respondents to support all of the above — contributing to the “rainy day fund” and increasing spending on badly needed priorities and getting some money back in the form of tax cuts or rebates.
I believe that had they been given that opportunity, a large number of respondents would have chosen it because it would strengthen the state (build up reserves), communities (universal pre-K and/or new bridges, anyone?) and the individual.
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.