In Rossini’s opera “The Barber of Seville,” the crafty baritone Basilio sings “La Calunnia,” an aria that wickedly celebrates calumny, or slander. A rumor can begin as a gentle whisper that can spread quickly until the target of the calumny is swept away in a storm of suspicion. Truth has nothing to do with it, and ever-growing slander and rumor win the day.

FBI Director James Comey is a modern-day Basilio. He subtly hints that there may be some delicious scandal in the yet-unopened e-mails of Huma Abedin. His vague innuendo has driven Donald Trump and his courtiers to rave that this is a scandal greater than Watergate, and that Hillary Clinton should be quickly shamed, indicted and ultimately jailed. Once again, truth has nothing to do with it.

Let’s hope we learn the contents of those e-mails quickly, before unfounded rumors steal the election on Nov. 8.

Curt Oliver, Brooklyn Park

SECOND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Keep Jason Lewis in mind

After seeing negative ads run against Jason Lewis, it was with some apprehension that I agreed to host a meeting on our farm with him. However, after talking with Lewis about issues, it became apparent that the ads had taken a lot of material out of context. He does have some strong opinions, but did show a willingness to compromise. He has a vast knowledge of history and understands how government decisions affect the country and its people. His ideas on health care bear looking into, especially compared with what we have now. His opponent suggested delivering health care based on the Mayo Clinic model. Southeast Minnesota, where Mayo dominates, has probably the highest health care costs in the nation. Why would we want to impose that cost structure on the entire state or nation?

Let’s give Lewis a try.

David Buck, Goodhue, Minn.

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It’s strange that the Star Tribune Editorial Board’s endorsement refers to Angie Craig as a “fiscal moderate” (“Second District: Craig is best fit,” Oct. 28). Her website touts tons of new spending programs but no serious way to pay for them. As a millennial, my generation can’t afford any more reckless spending and debt, public or private. We need someone like Lewis, who is serious about cutting spending across the board to balance the budget so my generation and our children aren’t enslaved with debt. Think of our future; vote Jason Lewis.

Andrew Schmitz, New Prague, Minn.

THIRD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Terri Bonoff is a better fit

Terri Bonoff, the DFL-endorsed candidate for Congress in the Third District, represents our district’s ideology. She is pro-choice, for equal marriage rights, and for equal pay for equal work for women. She believes in the science of climate change and will fight for laws to protect our planet for future generations. She supports the Second Amendment and keeping us safe with criminal background checks and no sales to those on the no-fly list. The incumbent, Erik Paulsen — who was endorsed by the Editorial Board (“Third District: Paulsen earns nod”) — does not support any of those positions.

Bonoff tirelessly represented her district for 11 years as a socially progressive and fiscally moderate legislator, earning the endorsements of chambers of commerce over Republican opponents. Don’t be fooled by a slick marketing campaign funded with millions of dollars from out of state. Paulsen has kept his ideals to himself as he refused to publicly debate Bonoff, unless the audience paid to listen, until the final week of the campaign. Bonoff best represents the values of the Third District.

Stacy and Jon Gallop, Minnetonka

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Paulsen tries to appear like his predecessor, moderate Republican Jim Ramstad, but his voting record matches that of former U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann. She was too extreme for Minnesota. So is Paulsen. Challenger Terri Bonoff is a better fit for the Third District, which supported Barack Obama for president in both the 2008 and 2012 elections.

Beth Potter, Shorewood