And raising them does the opposite. But that’s what the vested interests want.
The Star Tribune Editorial Board is rounding up a posse to drastically raise candidate filing fees — picking on Captain Jack Sparrow as an iconic emblem of last year’s flood of mayoral candidates (“Raise filing bar for political hobbyists,” July 14) — but the drive to put a toll booth on the road to democracy isn’t about any one candidate. It’s about the right of We the People to have real choices, including candidates who refuse to be controlled by money.
The Star Tribune spotlights the proposed $500 mayoral filing fee. Don’t let this distract you. Consider instead the City Council, which really runs things. The current filing fee is $20. It would be raised to more than 12 times as much — to $250.
Did anyone see a flood of candidates for a City Council seat last year? No. But Minneapolis special interests are thinking ahead to 2017 — and they’re worried. Keep in mind: Their “vision” for our future features a Kenilworth bike and park corridor trampled and overrun by swarms of bulldozers.
People are at a tipping point, ready to revolt against the domination of big money and special interests. By 2017, the time will be ripe for groups of concerned citizens to organize and file for the City Council as a team, telling everyone: “Any one of us would be better than the incumbent.”
That kind of ranked-choice-voting campaign can be organized and carried out with almost no money. Candidate teams can divide up a council district into sectors. The $20 City Council filing fee is a clear, open path for We the People to cut off the power of special interests and money right at the root. For this reason alone, the filing fee amendment must be defeated.
Bob (“Again”) Carney Jr., Minneapolis
The writer was a candidate for mayor of Minneapolis in 2013. He’s running this year for the Hennepin County Board.
Stadium food should match the occasion
As a certified sports dietitian, I am disappointed to see Target Field swing and miss with its All-Star Game menu: a lineup of foot-long hot dogs wrapped in bratwurst and a massive “Hangover Burger” piled high with eggs, bacon, cheese — and cholesterol. Let’s not celebrate the best of baseball with the worst of American gluttony.
The average American consumes more than 30 pounds of cheese and 180 pounds of meat every year, so it’s no wonder that diabetes, heart disease and obesity rates are skyrocketing. Instead of supersized processed-meat products, a celebration of top athletes should promote a menu filled with fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains. These plant-based options deliver the protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals athletes need — without the saturated fat and cholesterol.
Fortunately, in annual rankings for heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, Minnesota is an all-star, consistently ranking among the nation’s healthiest states. This week, with the world watching, it would be better if the state were leading the country on a path toward health by ditching the extreme hot dogs and focusing on the array of fresh fruits and vegetables that are abundant at this time of year.
Susan Levin, Washington, D.C.
The writer is director of nutrition education for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
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Let’s not forget that in the midst of the All-Star hoopla, 18,000 soccer players representing 1,060 teams from 19 foreign countries and 20-plus states just arrived in the Twin Cities for the 30th youth tournament playing this week at the National Sports Center in Blaine. Over the course of eight days, these youngsters will play approximately 2,500 games at the greatest youth field-sport facility in the United States.
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.