Like some of the candidates who just ran for office in the Minneapolis city election (“Three cheers for multiple choices,” Nov. 10), I support ranked-choice voting when it is applied to single-seat positions. However, RCV is more problematic where multiple seats are being filled — such as for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s at-large seats and the Board of Estimate and Taxation seats. Such voting could be more acceptable and understandable if the three seats were designated — No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3. Candidates would thus know whom they were running against, and voters would have the option of designating a first choice, second choice and third choice for each seat. If there is to be confidence in the election system, voters need to understand how winners are determined, and in the case of multiple-seat winners, it is nearly impossible to do so without extensive explanation. I urge the Minneapolis Charter Commission to initiate consideration of how this might be done.
Margit Berg, Minneapolis
Our ‘duty’ to vote? Only if we are also dutifully informed
A Nov. 10 letter writer stated: “It is your duty as a citizen to vote.” That is ludicrous! Radio and TV reporters will interview people on the street. Many people don’t have a clue what is going on — locally or nationally. A citizen should vote only if they have a reasonable understanding of the issues and candidates.
Dick Hansen, Edina
Social media saturates the local campaign landscape, too
No question — we know the Russians tried to influence the 2016 presidential election. We mustn’t be naive — the Minneapolis election also was heavily influenced by social media. We are in a new era of campaigning that extends far beyond door-knocking and yard signs.
If you are on social media, you have been constantly peppered with campaign ads for candidates during the past few weeks. Candidates buy “audience target” ads that radiate everywhere, even beyond their knowledge or control. Several candidates placed inadvertent ads in Breitbart — an association not viewed favorably in Minneapolis. A one-issue socialist candidate won the first-choice balloting in the Third Ward City Council race — supported by constant postings targeting Third Ward residents. Fortunately, ranked-choice voting eventually determined the outcome. A weekend opinion piece posted by a respected ex-mayor circulated widely and rapidly. It probably doomed a Park Board candidate. Social media serves a primary role as it transforms campaigning. Like it or not.
Alexander Adams, Minneapolis
A persuasive moment, as with sexual misconduct? Well …
Judging from the number of incidents recently reported and the comments regarding them, the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment revelations were truly a “watershed moment.” Now the question becomes, why haven’t we had a similar watershed moment concerning gun violence?
John Fredell, Minneapolis
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Great idea! Sue the manufacturers and dealers of the firearms used in these mass shootings! (“After another mass shooting, it’s time for class action,” Readers Write, Nov. 9.) Only one problem. Congress was a step ahead of us. Not long after the federal assault-weapons ban expired in September 2004, Congress, lobbied by the NRA and realizing the likelihood that mass shootings would occur and wrongful death suits would follow, passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which stripped victims of their right to sue these manufacturers and dealers. So, in a wicked irony, the victims of these mass shootings cannot sue the suppliers of these deadly weapons, but the perpetrators, in the event their weapon misfires or jams, can.
Elizabeth T. Cantrell, Burnsville
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The Nov. 9 letter writer forgot to mention another billion-dollar industry in her call for class action. A quick Google search showed that in 2016, there were more than 40,000 deaths caused by automobiles. It is time to take the auto industry to court and sue the industry for every penny it has. These multibillion-dollar companies advertise there death machines on national TV.
How many families have suffered due to someone being killed by or in an automobile?
Let’s not forget the motorcycle, ATV and snowmobile folks.
Let’s get the elderly and medicated people to court, also. Line up, lawyers; you will make millions.
The writer is an obvious gun hater, probably never used one. I am 65 and got, and still have, my first gun at 12. As I write this, my guns are downstairs as usual doing nothing.
You will never stop a person who is bent on killing. They will find a way. Do not paint all us gun owners with the some brush.
Barry Peterson, Prior Lake
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Why is it that when an AR-15-style rifle is used for good, as in the case of Stephen Willeford stopping the Texas gunman who killed 26, the weapon is simply referred to as “his rifle” (“Area resident hailed as hero for engaging Texas gunman,” Associated Press article on StarTribune.com, Nov. 7). But when the weapon is used for evil (“Act now, America, while the pain is fresh,” editorial, Oct. 3), it is referred to as being among “AR-15-style assault weapons.”
Why is the Star Tribune creating a public perception that “AR-15-style assault weapon” equals bad and “rifle” equals good when at the end of the day they are the same firearm? Is it to avoid the fact that the firearm didn’t make the action good or evil? The person using it did.
Marc Ohmann, Bloomington
Don’t be obtuse; state and local deductions should remain
I found D.J. Tice’s Nov. 5 column expressing ironic surprise at Gov. Mark Dayton’s dismay with possible loss of state and local tax (SALT) deductions purposely shortsighted. Although the direct benefits go to the higher earners, they are the people all of us depend upon to finance our state’s superior services and quality of life. The loss of SALT deductions would give more ammunition to lower the state taxes toward, say, Wisconsin or the Dakotas. Nobody likes to pay taxes, it always hurts to some degree, but how else do we pay for law enforcement, education, protection and enhancement of the environment, medical/social services, and roads and infrastructure? These are the measures that lead to high quality-of-life ratings, and why people put up with our taxes. We already send more money to Washington than we get back; this will make things worse. I think the Republicans are delighting in the fact that they would be sending blue-state money to red states.
If we value our quality of life here, we should let our Republican representatives know that the loss of SALT deductions would be a grave error.
David Brockway, Edina
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Recently President Trump tweeted: “How can you blame China for taking advantage of people that had no clue? I would’ve done the same.” I urge people to keep this tweet in the forefront of their minds when considering the proposed tax plans.
Scott Christenson, Minneapolis