In response to the writer of the Nov. 3 letter “My face-to-face negotiation with Donald Trump impressed me”: You are using an admitted 20-minute anecdotal story to further a false narrative and your own politics. Those who have spent more time with Trump, including former “Apprentice” contestants, vendors and contractors his business has worked with, and other businesswomen, have attested to his greed, self-service and, in some cases, sexually predatory behavior. I trust their accounts over your brief encounter.
John Demgen, Minneapolis
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Does that Nov. 3 letter writer expect us to ignore months of evidence from out of the mouth of Trump himself of his misogynistic and racist views? And I submit that being president requires more than business experience, especially when that experience results in bankruptcies and unpaid bills, as Trump’s did. It requires knowledge of our Constitution, our history and our political system, as well as an ability to work with opponents, all of which Trump so clearly lacks.
On the Opinion Exchange page the same day, Stephen B. Young (“Trump plays the victim card for his ‘white tribe’ ”) attempts to link Trump to the political left. He alleges that Trump has adopted a strategy of claiming that American whites are “victims,” a tactic that Young attributes to the “left” (presumably political liberals/progressives). But the right wing does not get off so easily. The source of that tactic is the right wing, not the left. Many conservatives have subtly been encouraging whites, especially white males, to believe themselves the victims of “reverse discrimination” ever since ethnic minorities and women began to make some progress in achieving equal opportunity, and long before this election. Progressives simply want Americans to live up to their principles of liberty and equal opportunity for all. That requires recognizing and addressing real discrimination and its impact, something conservatives seem very reluctant to do.
Diane M. Ring, Minneapolis
STATE HOUSE DISTRICT 48A
Mary Shapiro should have had Editorial Board’s endorsement
Regarding the Star Tribune Editorial Board’s Nov. 2 endorsement of her opponent, it is my opinion that the newcomer who truly shines in state House District 48A is Mary Shapiro. Mary is also a 27-year resident of Minnetonka who knows her district well.
Her strength is valuable life experience, not political activism. She was not born to wealth and privilege, having been raised by a single mom whose husband was killed when Mary was 6. She worked her way through the University of Minnesota by working in a nursing home. She didn’t own a car until she was 30, relying on city buses for transportation to school and work. As a 35-year teacher in inner-city schools, she was a working mom with two daughters, one of whom has Down syndrome. For years, she volunteered to teach English as a second language to Somali students. At her church, she developed a drama program for young adults with disabilities. She has tremendous compassion for others.
With the persistent achievement gap in inner-city schools, Mary’s 35 years of experience in those very schools, plus a master’s degree in curriculum development, makes her insight on education issues invaluable.
She is certainly not a foe of public transit, but is concerned about the inflexibility and affordability of light rail.
Mary would be a voice for all of us. With her hands-on involvement in so many areas, her common sense would be an asset in meeting the many challenges facing the Legislature. Mary Shapiro would serve us well!
Marilyn Pitmon, Minnetonka
STATE HOUSE DISTRICT 54A
Jen Peterson deserved the nod
With all respect to the Editorial Board’s Nov. 3 endorsement, Jen Peterson is a better House candidate for my resident District 54A than is Keith Franke. For starters, Peterson has extensive knowledge of transportation issues by working on the Red Rock Corridor Commission that Franke is also on. Second, Peterson has greater knowledge of the area and in city administration, like Franke, as she works in South St. Paul public schools and is on the Cottage Grove City Council, along with managing a tight budget. But the difference is that Peterson has more knowledge than Franke in issues that should matter to most area residents of 54A. These includes housing, public education, senior issues, health care, income issues, union issues, women’s issues and social services.
So despite Franke’s own strengths and willingness to learn, Peterson is far more ready to be a representative, and I am proud to offer my time and effort into her campaign. I just hope voters feel the same way I do on Nov. 8.
William Cory Labovitch, South St. Paul
STATE SENATE DISTRICT 48
Hann’s fight is the right one
The Star Tribune Editorial Board completely misrepresented state Sen. David Hann’s views on the Southwest light rail in its Nov. 1 endorsement of his challenger. The board stated that “Hann’s position [on SWLRT] is out of sync with those of many residents in his Eden Prairie district.” As a constituent of his, I see him as fighting in the Senate to push for legislative action on the project. Normally we would call those “hearings.” The DFL majority only continues to allocate money to the “nonpartisan” Metropolitan Council to oversee the construction (the reason we cannot fund roads and bridges this year). As majority leader, Hann would push for hearings on pieces of legislation regarding the light rail project that would give Minnesotans a clear understanding of the various viewpoints.
Nathan Dull, Minnetonka
STATE HOUSE DISTRICT 52B
Better choice: Mary T’Kach
I laughed when I saw the Editorial Board’s Nov. 2 endorsement of Regina Barr in House District 52B because the board felt she would be most able to work across the aisle to get things done. That is not the impression I got from her push poll. Her message was that if she was elected, she could block the DFL agenda. Frankly, I want our legislators to get things done.
Barr’s opponent, Mary T’Kach, is a listener, then a doer. I’ve never seen a politician listen as carefully as Mary. She takes notes, considers the information, then speaks to the issue. She is not flashy, but she is thoughtful, smart and very good at coming up with solutions to problems.
In addition, I think Mary is right on the issues. I want the Affordable Care Act fixed, not repealed. I want Planned Parenthood as a viable health-care institution for thousands of Minnesota women. I want education to be affordable and effective for all Minnesotans. I want someone who believes in science and wants to keep Minnesota’s environment safe. I want someone who will help Minnesota’s economy by working on clean energy and transportation opportunities. Plus, I want someone who will be a voice for the little guy, the worker bees of the state, but is able to talk and reasonably consider and work with the powerful. Mary knows how government works and can get things done.
Minnesota could use more thoughtful leaders. Mary would be one of them.
Molly Miller, Inver Grove Heights
SECOND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
Don’t leave me, Paula Overby, out
In order to make informed choices about the editorial opinions of the Star Tribune, voters must be able to evaluate those opinions across the available choices. The Editorial Board’s Oct. 27 endorsement of Angie Craig in the Second Congressional District does not even include my policy positions or even a mention of my candidacy as an independent.
I, Paula Overby, have made it very clear that I support positions that add substantially to the policy debate for voters. I support single-payer health care; I oppose involvement in Middle Eastern wars; I want to provide a $200 tax credit for people who wish to contribute to political campaigns; I want Congress to take action to oppose the Citizens United decision; I want to provide significant consumer protection regarding predatory online practices and prescription drug pricing, and I want to ensure that all student debt is eliminated. I have received no PAC or super-PAC, committee or fund donations (in contrast to the other two candidates, who have received millions in such donations). These are among many other ways I offer a substantial contrast to the other two candidates — who seem locked in mortal televised combat to the detriment of citizens in the district.
In order to ensure equal treatment of all candidates, it would seem to be a requirement to at least mention their names and what they represent: One would think that since I could be the first transgender candidate in the U.S. Congress, this might at least be worthy of discussion.
Paula Overby, Eagan