Passing amendment is only the first step
An Aug. 7 article on voter identification ("Fine print within photo ID proposal could loom large") identified just some of the problems hidden inside the Republican-pushed Hassle-the-Voter Amendment.
Here is another: If the amendment passes, there would be only a 174-day window between the start of the legislative session and the date the amendment would take effect. In that short period, bills to implement it would still need to be submitted in both houses, and hearings would need to be held. The bills would need to be passed and reconciled into a form that the governor could sign with a good conscience.
The multistep procedures for obtaining a valid ID would need to be designed and implemented. Nearly 3 million current voters would need to be notified, and those voters would need an adequate opportunity to obtain such an ID. All this before July 1, 2013, the earliest possible special election covered by the amendment.
There is currently no defined, government-issued photo ID valid in Minnesota. If the next Legislature is as unsuccessful as the last was in passing an ID bill that the governor can sign, there still may not be one. Think how much money we can save if there are no eligible voters and we can call off subsequent elections.
JULES GOLDSTEIN, ST LOUIS PARK
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Al Sharpton parrots the left's lingo on voter ID legislation -- voter suppression and voter disenfranchisement. He also labels such legislation as Jim Crow tactics.
Sharpton's transparency, though unintentional, serves to further reveal the left's anxiety about a potential loss of its franchise for manipulation of the American voting process.
Fortunately, the vast majority of Americans recognize voter ID legislation for what it is -- a quality-control measure.
GENE DELAUNE, NEW BRIGHTON
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Overpopulation keeps the target moving
Cargill CEO Greg Page's commentary ("The three operatives of global food policy," Aug. 8), wherein he poses the question "Can we feed a world on its way to 9 billion people?" and answers "yes" -- should at least be considered shortsighted. Currently, millions of people (many of them children) die each year from starvation and malnutrition. Does Page believe that, with an ever-increasing human population, those numbers are actually going to decrease? I think the more appropriate question would be, "Can we feed a world on its way to 15 billion people?" It will only be a matter of time before that circumstance becomes the reality. Unless the issue of overpopulation is seriously and effectively addressed in the near term, all of the advancement in technology and lofty idealism upon which Page's campaign is based simply will not prevent the catastrophic failure of the human species (as a whole), which now looms on our horizon.
STEVEN CONSTANTINE, LONSDALE, MINN.
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On spending, actual power, foreign policy
Historically, Democrats are in favor of a more equitable redistribution of wealth and power through social programs that require the "haves" to help the "have-nots." Republicans are in favor of allowing the "haves" to keep their riches because, in the end, they will manage their resources in such a way that more jobs will be created, which will eventually benefit the same population about which Democrats are concerned. When it comes to campaign finances, a consequence of this polarity is that Republican politicians typically have more friends with lots of money to spend on helping them get reelected.
An Aug. 8 letter suggested that Democrats' inability to match Republican spending on political campaigns is indicative of their greater inability to manage budgets in general. In an age when a Republican-leaning Supreme Court has determined that corporations are "people" where advertising is concerned, this smacks of doctoring the rules in your favor, then criticizing your opponents' efforts to match your advantage.
STEPHEN HARLAN-MARKS, ROBBINSDALE
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When comparing President Obama's and Mitt Romney's proposals for jobs and taxation, voters should realize that their plans would not be implemented into law unless the winner has a majority of his party in the House and a supermajority of 60 in the Senate. This is very unlikely; therefore, none of their ideas on the economy will be implemented.
GEORGE ALLAND, WOODBURY
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Charles Krauthammer makes much of Lech Walesa's "endorsement" of Romney, who went to Walesa's hometown of Gdansk seeking that blessing and Polish-American votes ("Romney's foreign travels: One gaffe, two triumphs," Aug. 4). But what Romney's quest really showed is how mired he is in Cold War thinking.
Walesa earned an honored place in history as a brave man of action, but he is not a respected leader or thinker about today's Poland or the wider world. When I was serving with the U.S. embassy in Warsaw in 1995, President Walesa lost a bid for a reelection because his campaign consisted mainly of commie-bashing. In periodic polling of Polish presidential preferences in the years since, Walesa has never scored higher than 2 percent. Most Poles have moved on, even if Romney and Krauthammer have not.
RICHARD VIRDEN, PLYMOUTH
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An Aug. 9 editorial misstated the number of terms that state Senate District 67 candidate Tom Dimond served on the St. Paul City Council. He served two terms.