He's not alone in GOP with attack on women


Republican insiders are desperate to throw Missouri Rep. Todd Akin under the bus, but the reality is this: Akin's misogyny is the Republican position. Paul Ryan co-sponsored a bill in Congress that would ban federal funding for abortions except in cases of "forcible" rape, which must mean the vice presidential candidate believes some rapes aren't "forced."

The GOP-Tea Party platform purportedly calls for an amendment to ban all abortions -- even in case of rape. And flip-flopper Mitt Romney's most recent view is that life begins at conception -- a stance that would also outlaw some forms of birth control.

Clearly, the Republican Party is run by extremists waging a war on women's rights. The GOP would prefer that independents not notice this dirty little secret until after the election. Let's stop them now before it's too late.


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I am a retired family law attorney, and in my 26 years of practice I represented many women who were raped. I cannot characterize a single one of these crimes as being "legitimate." Neither can any one of the victims.

Case in point: A frightened mother's 12-year old daughter was raped by a family member and the daughter became pregnant. The mother sought a judicial bypass, so that her daughter could obtain permission from a judge for an abortion for her daughter without the daughter's father's consent, as her father would not have allowed it. Current Minnesota law requires permission from both parents for a minor to obtain an abortion, unless extenuating circumstances exist.

The chilling fact is that it was the daughter's own father who raped and impregnated her.

What do you think should have happened?


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The view from Arizona is a little bit different


Just a bit of advice from someone who lives in Arizona ("A positive step for the nation's immigrants," editorial, Aug. 18). First, Minnesota is not bordering Mexico and certainly does not have the illegal population problem that exists here. I can see how this rubber stamp might make sense to someone so far removed from the fiscal responsibilities as Minnesota, but we here in Arizona have to pick up the tab. If your state is willing to carry the costs and hurdles of thousands of newly minted individuals who now qualify for state services, feel free to include us in your 2014 budget, I am sure Gov. Jan Brewer would revisit the issue and might lean a little more toward your point of view.


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Regulators fail to value the needs of consumers


It is with a great deal of concern that I read that Minnesota's insurance regulators have inflicted a penalty on four of the nation's most-respected life insurance companies for a most valuable death claim option, leading them to perhaps withhold or restrict new business initiatives in the state ("State slaps life insurance giants," Aug. 17 ).

As an independent insurance agent with a great deal of experience in dealing with people who need help with the complexities of investments, I must point out what's missing from the regulator's conclusions.

Their focus on big-business greed has blinded them to the needs of the newly widowed (and grieving) person who is the recipient of the life insurance funds and his or her almost total lack of experience with today's abysmal choices for investment.

When someone is suddenly endowed with a very large check from an insurance lump-sum death benefit, the "wolves" from the marketplace start to compete for the "prize" and there is no end to the offers. There are no guarantees, either. When you are 70 or 80 years old, don't you think guarantees are rather nice to have?

I have helped many clients who have found comfort in the fact that their insurance company does not pressure them to accept the awesome responsibility inherent in the inheritance but rather will let them leave the funds in a special account with a guaranteed rate of interest and the ability to draw on the money as needed -- in some cases even write checks as they would on a bank account.

Yet Minnesota chooses to fine the companies for offering this option. We need to regulate the regulators. I have been working in insurance in Minnesota since 1979 and have never had a criticism from anyone involved in these types of settlements.


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IFP made a mistake in axing executive director

I am extremely saddened at the news of Jane Minton's departure from IFP Minnesota ("Board dismisses longtime local indie film champion," Aug. 17).

I worked hand in hand with Jane for more than 20 years, and know no one with the passion, dedication, and support that she showed every filmmaker who stepped into her office.

I was on the IFP board when Jane was hired and, as the organization's first executive director, she was the person who realized the vision of filmmakers like David Burton Morris, Victoria Wozniak, Greg Cummings and many others who saw IFP's potential.

She built IFP Minnesota into perhaps the strongest chapter in the country, putting Minnesota movie-making on the map in the process.

Change happens -- but like Al Milgrom's untimely "demotion" from the U Film Society helm, the organization he founded and led for 40 years -- I don't understand this penchant for Minnesota boards to congratulate themselves for acting "responsibly" while losing sight of the people who made Minnesota filmmaking a viable industry.


The writer is former executive director of the Minnesota Film Board.