With that liberal record, you better hope

What a fallacious endorsement of Barack Obama for president (Star Tribune, Oct. 26)! Do you seriously recommend that we "hope" that Obama can bring a "bipartisan approach to addressing problems in Washington" when he boasts the most liberal voting record in the U.S. Senate and while Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are captains in the House and Senate?



I am writing to urge voters to elect John McCain as our next president. He has devoted his life to serving our country with honor. He has the experience, leadership skills and the character virtues necessary to keep America safe and strong. He is right on so many of the issues that affect us here in Minnesota -- tax relief, protection of the unborn, energy independence, and protection from the threat of terrorism.

DEB MCNally, Morris, Minn.


The Star Tribune is supporting Obama, hoping -- underline "hoping" -- that he can bring about reform and change as he said he would do in a speech that he gave at the Democratic National Convention in 2004.

The paper has listed a number of Obama shortcomings -- lack of experience, breaking his pledge to abide by federal campaign spending limits, his less-than-convincing use of a scalpel on the federal budget, his possible inability to fulfill promises he made on the campaign trail. Sen. McCain's shortcomings were also spelled out.

The above-listed "lacks" almost cancel out the reasons the Star Tribune gave for endorsing him for president.



Where has the Strib been the last six years?

After reading the Star Tribune's Oct. 26 endorsement of Norm Coleman for the U.S. Senate, one would think that Coleman has suddenly transformed himself into a bipartisan, independent-thinking, positive-campaigning politician.

However, Coleman's record shows that his first priority is to execute and support those actions that will best advance his political career.

He spoke of being a bipartisan senator six years ago when he first ran for the U.S. Senate, but instead was the one of the most partisan supporters of President Bush's policies. His current move toward the political center and his decision to drop his negative ads were only done to advance his reelection prospects.

Instead of a "transformed" candidate, all you're seeing is a slick politician who's been able to dupe a newspaper's editorial staff.



I was disappointed with your endorsement of Norm Coleman for reelection. Rather than concentrating on issues important to the majority of Minnesotans, the Star Tribune seemed more impressed that Coleman's reelection would enhance his seniority in a minority Republican senatorial hierarchy and provide a check on the Democratic majority.

Coleman is hardly the "moderate" you portray. You neglected to mention his support for the war in Iraq, financial deregulation, Bush judicial appointments and the social agenda of the religious right. Equal rights for all citizens, preventing the overturn of Roe vs. Wade and preventing the introduction of creationism and Intelligent Design into our public school curriculum are far more important than Coleman's position in the Republican hierarchy.



Downey is a better fit for today's Edina

Your Oct. 23 endorsement of Ron Erhardt for the House 41A seat was expected. We write to provide facts that should have been included in your editorial to provide a complete picture of the Edina political community. Keith Downey's commitment to Edina (raised here by a teacher and coach), his energy and his intelligence are what the city needs in these turbulent times.

More than two years ago -- long before the gas-tax battle, which is sadly overemphasized by your paper -- a group of leading Edina Republicans joined Keith Downey in his polite quest to succeed Erhardt. Leaders of that group have worked hard in Edina, and beyond, for years, chairing and working on campaigns for Roy Terwilliger, Dave Durenberger, Jim Ramstad, Geoff Michel, Erik Paulsen and Tim Pawlenty. We felt it was time to make way for the next generation of leaders, like Keith. We appreciate Ron's past service. We regret his commitment to caucus with the Democrats if elected.

Downey resoundingly won the endorsement, based on his hard work and his merits. He is an exceptional person and his willingness to commit to public service is greatly appreciated. We care about the future of Edina and our state. From that perspective there is no question that Edinans have one choice who will serve in the intelligent, fiscally conservative tradition that Edinans hold dear. That candidate is Keith Downey.


Gene Holderness, Edina;

cochairs, Keith Downey for Legislature


Hennepin County is lucky to have him

As chief public defender in Hennepin County for almost eight years, I can tell you that Chief Judge James Swenson is hard-working, thoughtful, patient and fair.

In his five months as chief judge he has shown true leadership by reaching out to all justice partners and the community in an effort to enhance the quality of justice in Hennepin County. He cares deeply about the people who must access the court system, understanding that a society must have a fair and impartial forum in which to resolve disputes.

Judge Swenson is also innovative and effective in his efforts to reform how the justice system serves the public. His experience and keen ability to analyze data make him an effective problem-solver. Hennepin County is fortunate to have Chief Judge James Swenson lead the court system through these difficult economic times, and he deserves our support.




Saturday's editorial incorrectly identified state Rep. Julie Bunn as a current member of the Macalester College faculty. She was on the college's faculty from 1992 until 2000.