Republican Doug Wardlow’s comments at a recent Jason Lewis fundraiser that if he is elected attorney general he would fire “42 Democratic attorneys right off the bat and get Republican attorneys in there” (StarTribune.com, Oct. 12) is proof-positive that he is exactly the kind of hyperpartisan we do not need in that office. Furthermore, his presence at Lewis’ rally, and Lewis’ recent appearances with President Donald Trump, also show that U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis is not the “independent voice” he claims to be for Minnesota’s Second Congressional District. In fact, both of them are far to the right on the political spectrum.
As for the unsubstantiated charges of physical abuse which have been leveled at Democratic attorney general candidate Keith Ellison, what happened to the “presumption of innocence,” which the Republicans loudly touted with regard to Brett Kavanaugh’s elevation to the Supreme Court? Has it suddenly vanished? Ellison has denied the allegations and has asked for a congressional investigation into them. The fact the allegations surfaced just before the primary election is highly suspect in itself.
While I wish Lori Swanson had remained the AG, that ship has sailed. Minnesotans must ask themselves if they want to drastically change course and go the way of Kansas under Kris Kobach. That is what would happen with Wardlow. Stay the course with Ellison.
Joseph R. Humsey, Eagan
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If you go to Wardlow’s website (dougwardlowag.com) and click on Policies, or just scroll down on the home page, you will see seven photo images, each with a brief caption listing his policies.
The caption for one policy image, for example, is “Protect Minnesota Families,” and the accompanying image shows a mother, father and daughter smiling. The caption for another of the seven policies is “Stop Financial Scammers” with the image of a man’s hand stuffing money into a coat. There is nothing on the website that further explains what these policies are, or how they will be implemented.
Despite Mr. Wardlow’s statement that he will set politics aside, I find two of the policies very political and worrisome. One of them is captioned “Minnesota First,” which accompanies a photo of a political gathering that has a large red sign saying “Make MN Red.” The second one is captioned “Crack Down on Sanctuary Cities,” and the photo shows the skyline of downtown Minneapolis.
John Wilson, Minneapolis
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The gender-identity (GI) campaign seeks to impose imagined transgender rights on our culture and our schools, thus seeking to destroy constitutional rights guaranteed to all. Keith Ellison has led in those efforts, especially to deny rights of privacy and safety by petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court in the Gloucester County, Va., bathroom case to override Minnesota law by mandating access of males self-identifying as females to bathrooms/locker rooms designated for females and vice-versa.
The GI campaign convinced the Minnesota Department of Education to issue guidelines (“toolkit”), which, if adopted by school districts, would violate students’ constitutional privacy and free-speech rights. Doug Wardlow, on behalf of Alliance Defending Freedom, in an attempt to uphold Minnesota law, notified Minnesota school board members that (1) existing law does not give biological males who identify as females the right to access female facilities and (2) the state has no compelling interest in admitting members of the opposite sex into sex-separated facilities in that numerous less-restrictive alternatives exist to achieve goals that school districts may seek to promote. Wardlow also advised that the GI campaign’s attempts to compel a student to use pronouns that do not match another student’s biological sex require a statement about the nature of sex and identity that the student may find objectionable, a requirement prohibited by the First Amendment.
Voters must support Wardlow, and other candidates who will commit to enforce Minnesota law and defend the privacy, safety and free-speech rights of all Minnesotans, especially students.
James C. Johnson, Excelsior
AG RACE: KEITH ELLISON
Be consistent; there’s no middle ground on abuse allegations
It is hypocritical for anyone to simultaneously oppose Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court while supporting Keith Ellison’s campaign for Minnesota attorney general. Both men have been accused of committing violence against women. It makes no sense to believe Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations but dismiss Karen Monahan’s. One can’t pick and choose which women to trust. Either you believe all women, or you succumb to partisan bickering. This matter is not about Democrats vs. Republicans — it’s above it. Just because I like Ellison’s politics more than Kavanaugh’s doesn’t mean I have to discredit Monahan. It’s possible for Ellison to espouse progressive values while abusing women, just as it was possible for Kavanaugh to pretend to be a model student while abusing women. Now, I certainly don’t want Doug Wardlow to win, but I still can’t vote for Ellison. If Ellison wins, he should resign. Either you believe Ford and Monahan, or you support Kavanaugh and Ellison. There is no middle ground.
Isaac Mielke, St. Paul
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We the undersigned are writing to express our support for (and with the consent of) Karen Monahan, our disappointment in the DFL response to her allegations, and to state unequivocally that we believe women. We believe women when they allege hiring discrimination, workplace bias or wage theft. We believe women when they claim their kids’ schools are underfunded, or maternity leave and child care are difficult to access, or a pre-existing condition makes health insurance unaffordable. We also believe women who bravely step forward to allege sexual harassment, abuse or assault, and/or intimate partner violence. And, frankly, we feel let down by a political party we have all supported in meaningful ways and are asking elected leaders and party activists to do better.
Believing women is a simple principle. False reports are a statistical anomaly compared with total reports of these crimes — and we know rates of reporting these crimes are far from reflecting their entirety. The numbers demonstrate that men are more likely to be victims of abuse or assault, than to be falsely accused of it (source: RAINN.org). This issue is not political — it is deeply personal. We have been hurt and shocked to watch the same DFLers who have ignored Karen Monahan’s allegations rail against Brett Kavanaugh and Donald Trump and say “I believe Christine Blasey Ford.” When Democrats don’t believe women when one of our own is accused, a stunning lack of principle is displayed, and tremendous damage is done to their most critical voting block: women.
This letter was sent by Sara Freeman of Minneapolis and was signed by Freeman, Jamal Abdulahi, Bethany Bradley, Rachael Joseph, Parker Sera, Cindy Lou Ferris, Ricardo Khan, Jessica Khan, Amy Elizabeth Huerta, Christin Crabtree, Matt Beversdorf, Sarah Page, Emmanuel Duerson, Lianna Farber, Sandra Boone, Ryen Pedersen, Carol Gaxiola, Amanda Hart and Joe McLean.