Thank you, thank you for your fine work reporting on the misbehavior of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, and, more specifically, the brazen disregard of public trust and self-dealing by then-chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen (“Chair skipped line, got best NFL seats,” March 5). Here is another poignant example of the incredible arrogance and abuse of power that inevitably follows incumbency. Gov. Mark Dayton is re-elected, appoints political cronies to their favored (and always well-compensated) positions, blindly supports their performance despite evident impropriety, then scrambles to distance himself from what ensues.
And while Minnesota House State Government Finance Committee Chairwoman Sarah Anderson, R-Plymouth, is “mortified,” Gov. Dayton is simply “disappointed” and Kelm-Helgen “regrets.” These people just do not believe that rules and ethics apply to them. The enormity of the breach of public trust and cost to the taxpayers for the known behavior of public officials is one thing. Can you say “tip of the iceberg?” Throw the rascals out!
Richard Ducharme, Hopkins
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The correct and right thing for Kelm-Helgen to do is give up the seats that she was instrumental in obtaining for herself and her friends inappropriately. If she and her friends do not do so voluntarily, legal action should be taken to compel them to do so. She, as well as her friends, should relinquish the seats if they have an ounce of integrity left. Such misuse of public trust and unethical behavior (and — as stated in the March 5 article by Hamline University law and ethics professor David Schultz — which may be also illegal) is not acceptable. Such behavior also reflects on the governor, who appointed Kelm-Helgen to that position.
Andy Pakalns, St. Paul
TRUMP’S WIRETAPPING ALLEGATION
Agenda machine is maxed out, and we’re all the worse for wear
What is your purpose, President Trump? (“Trump claims that Obama tapped his phones, March 5). Why do you consistently tweet things that you know will ramp up people’s emotions and pit them against each other? Are you sewing the seeds of discord for a particular reason? Do you have a hidden agenda?
To use social media for the purpose of communicating is one thing. However, your constant tweeting of inflammatory comments when you have no proof to back them up or official charges to levy against someone provide a picture of someone not to be trusted with a suspect agenda. Your actions and methods are doing a disservice to this wonderful country we live in. Your actions really do make one wonder if you are qualified to hold this most honorable position as all those who have before you.
To those who serve in the House and Senate, please remember that your personal agenda is not why you were elected. You should be working together for the good of all Americans, rich or poor. Please don’t let us down — don’t let the travesty of “some” of the people currently serving in the White House break down a government and country that has for the most part been known to be a welcoming, wonderful place to live and thrive. Please use your conscience and intelligence to push back on some of the totally inappropriate actions going on day after day that are creating this sense of negativity. We all should have learned something from this most recent election. Your job is to do right by the American people, compromise and make progress for the betterment of all. I know you, we all, can do better.
Sharon Rakow, Blaine
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It appears that Trump is out to get the press to once again digress with his false accusations about Obama. Since he has not been able to deliver on “day one” his secret plans to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, his plan to save the inner cities, his repeal of the ACA, his getting Mexico to pay for the wall, nor is he making progress at bringing back millions of jobs to Americans, he once again is grabbing headlines in the manner he did for years previously with the false allegation that Obama was not born in America. He is working as hard as he can to divert attention away from an independent investigation into his and his associates’ ties with Russia. That investigation is a valuable mechanism we have to lay to rest Russia’s involvement in our most precious tenet of democracy: free and honest elections. Just as Trump has been reluctant to release his taxes, so is he reluctant to have an independent investigation to answer all the concerns that have been raised.
Jane S. Brodie, West St. Paul
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Based on a suggestion by a Democrat that there may be a transcript of Trump talking to Russians, Trump declares, “Obama tapped my phones!” It’s like we asked our teen if she’s doing drugs and she yells, “You read my journal!” We asked our husband if he’s having an affair and he says, “You’ve been looking at my texts!” The question doesn’t prove guilt, but the answer certainly does.
Lily Coyle, Bloomington
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Since the president has the entire intelligence apparatus of the U.S. at his disposal, it might be better to use those organizations for reliable information rather than Breitbart News. Especially given the explosive nature of this latest Twitter storm regarding wiretapping with no evidence whatsoever from the president at this point. Just a thought; Breitbart might have an ax to grind given its history of conspiracy theories.
Ron Bender, Richfield
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A main function of the right-wing media is to rile up the gullible masses. Conspiracy theories, half-truths, concocted stories and wishful thinking are the staple of the likes of Levin, Limbaugh, Breitbart, Newsmax, etc. They stir the pot of this creative garbage in order to dupe suckers and chumps, especially those with a predisposition to believe the criminal intent of the liberal elite. The stories reverberate through the media, including traditional media, and gain traction. As the latest election has shown, armed with this constituency, the far-right/alt-right candidates can actually get elected.
Poor Donald Trump. He doesn’t get it. He isn’t actually supposed to believe the stories; they only exist to get him elected and to support his agenda. And now that he is acting on them, he is surely exposing them as the garbage they are.
David Wagner, New Brighton
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It is time for a special prosecutor. We need someone who will be impartial to look into all the allegations being thrown out concerning Russian involvement into the election and now the Obama administration’s wiretapping.
A special prosecutor can delve into everything concerning the election — Russian influence, Trump administration contacts with Russia, Trump’s tax returns (which will tell us whether in fact he has ties financially to Russia), and if in fact the Obama administration did tap phones legally or illegally.
These accusations need to stop. We need a government that can focus on the real problems of this country. I, like a majority of Americans, are tired of waking up each morning to real and imagined conspiracies. The attorney general’s office and Congress need to do their job, regardless of their party, and call for a special prosecutor to show there is not meddling by any party and get to the bottom of this all.
Judy Haigh, Tonka Bay
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Making sense of the worrisome state of relations between America and Russia is not easy, to say the least. I recommend an analysis in the March 6 New Yorker: “Annals of diplomacy: Active Measures: What lay behind Russia’s interference in the 2016 election — and what lies ahead?” See http://bit.ly/2kUdLDE.
Willard B. Shapira, Roseville