Debate over ballot questions continues


Citizens are the only winners of the Minnesota Supreme Court's ruling on constitutional amendments in our great state ("Court ignores amendment flaws," editorial, Aug. 29). I recall with absolute horror the changes to the titles of the two amendments that are to be voted on. The changes were outrageous, confusing and clearly written to deny citizens an important vote.

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie exceeded his authority when he provided ballot questions on the proposed marriage and voter identification amendments different from those chosen by the Legislature. His actions were a threat to long-established democratic principles in this state.


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My American Express Costco membership card has my photo on it. The Minnesota Supreme Court's decision to retain the Legislature's amendment title, "Photo identification required for voting," means I could use it to vote, right? My father was a 30-year U.S. Navy veteran. His ID card had his photo on it, but not his address. He could have used it to vote if this amendment passes, right?

If only it were so simple.


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What are some of the consequences of the failure to protect marriage? In Massachusetts, where homosexual marriage has been legalized, there have been significant consequences for those who hold a different viewpoint. Town clerks who refused on moral grounds to marry same-sex couples have been fired. Religious charities have had to close their adoption services rather than be forced, against their principles, to place children with same-sex couples. Parents requesting notice of homosexual education days in public schools have been refused this courtesy and have therefore not been able to opt their children out of homosexual indoctrination in the schools. These situations came about because homosexual relationships have been declared equal to traditional heterosexual relationships by law. Vote "yes" to the Minnesota marriage amendment this November and protect marriage.


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Lori Sturdevant's propaganda piece for opponents of the marriage amendment, which described their State Fair booth as the political "epicenter" of the fair ("Amendment foes take political blue ribbon," Aug. 30), could not be further removed from reality.

While working the Minnesota for Marriage booth, I experienced thousands of fairgoers coming forward to enthusiastically sign the "VOTE YES" pledge, including a strong show of support across all demographics and particularly with young people. That's because the majority of Minnesotans understand, in their heart of hearts, that marriage is between one man and one woman and that kids need a mother and a father.

The truth is that marriage between one man and one woman is the "epicenter" of all society -- not just the State Fair. It's profoundly in the common good, and discussing its importance to society and to the well-being children is neither mean-spirited nor harmful to anyone.

Amendment opponents, aided and abetted by the media, try to create the impression that public opinion is shifting and that the momentum is on the side of amendment opponents. It is not.


The writer is grassroots director for Minnesota for Marriage.


Ryan's Medicare plan could lead to lost jobs


Thomas Geoghegan proposed many common problems with Rep. Paul Ryan's Medicare plan ("Health care is all Keynesian now," Aug. 27). If Medicare is cut, it will cause a huge amount of job losses and added costs to the elderly. I am a certified nursing assistant; a large majority of my organization's income resides in the Medicare that covers the residents during their stay. If Medicare is cut and put on a voucher program as Ryan proposes, Medicare-based nursing homes will be closed, and many qualified employees will lose their jobs. Although I agree that decisive changes to Medicare and Medicaid are needed, Ryan's plan isn't the solution.



Not all neighbors see it as a problem


I live across from the Coon Rapids Dog Park, just two houses down from the men who want to see the park closed because of noise ("Dog park a loud nuisance, neighbors say," Aug. 27). I realize that my honesty is not going to sit well with my two angry neighbors. However, after reading the Star Tribune article, I felt compelled to set the record straight. I don't hear noise 24/7 coming from the dog park. I hear people partying up on the nearby railroad tracks. I've never had a dog charge or startle my wife or me, either. I've seen an occasional unleashed dog run off, and I've seen a few relieve themselves outside the park from time to time.

I'm not going to call my neighbors liars, but in all honesty, some of the things they're alleging aren't happening two houses away. What I do see is several happy dog owners enjoying a facility the city created, as well as enduring an occasional jerk. Some complaints are legitimate, because some of the people using the park are incredibly rude, lazy and thoughtless. These things would annoy any normal homeowner.



Not everybody can get one, or needs one


Allow me to differ with the Star Tribune regarding higher education ("Discard outmoded notions of higher ed," editorial, Aug. 28). First of all, not everybody is college material, and some people are successful without going to college. My dad never went to college, yet became retail vice president of every Montgomery Ward store in the United States. I never went to college, either, but managed to be self-supporting all of my life and now enjoy a comfortable retirement. College is fine, but good, old-fashioned ingenuity and ambition are what make a person successful. If everyone had a college degree, who would work in jobs other than management?