In response to questions on her marital status and the Power Line website's speculation of immigration fraud, historic legislative candidate Ilhan Omar said these questions represented "[Donald] Trump-style misogyny, racism, anti-immigration rhetoric and Islamophobic division." ("Omar denies marriage report," Aug. 16.) No, Ilhan, they don't. They are reasonable questions, which have nothing to do with race or religion — oh, and which we're still waiting on an answer for, by the way.

While it undoubtedly exists, the whole "misogyny/racist/Islamophobe" shoutdown every time someone questions a Muslim on something has run its course. You're in the public eye, attempting to become an elected official now, Ilhan. Time to start acting like it.

Oh, wait, maybe the female presidential candidate is your role model, in which case you are right on track to being an elected official in her mold.

John G. Morgan, Burnsville

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As November approaches, I hope every well-informed Minnesota voter will be as fortunate as those in District 60B and have ready access to a "marriage report" on each of their legislative candidates. A well-researched beginning, Power Line website! Only 80-plus days to complete this critical work!

Judith Monson, St. Paul

Why the Goldman speeches are moot but the tax reports matter

Has it occurred to those like the Aug. 16 letter writer berating Hillary Clinton because "she never released the transcripts of her speeches to Goldman Sachs" that these speeches had audiences, not all of them Clinton supporters, and none of them sworn to secrecy, so if there were anything like a smoking gun in them, it would have been leaked long ago.

I imagine the transcripts would show the speeches to be platitudinous and smarmy, as these things tend to be.

John Sherman, Moorhead, Minn.

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I must be some kinda chump, at least according to the Aug. 16 letter writer who said he tries to do whatever he legally can to minimize his taxes. I wouldn't claim to know what's legal when it comes to the tax code, so I leave it up to the wizards at TurboTax to wave their magic wands over my income and keep me out of jail. I guess I just feel OK about contributing to our nation's common good.

Letter Writer Guy doesn't care about Hillary Clinton's or Donald Trump's taxes. As far as he's concerned, it's nobody's business. Well, I care. And even many of Trump's supporters are beginning to care, too.

As for me, I'd like to know that my possible president pays his or her fair share. I've read that last year the Clintons earned an adjusted gross income of about $10.6 million, paid about 31 percent in taxes and made 9.4 percent in charitable donations. For those keeping score at home, last year the Clintons together earned less than half of Joe Mauer's salary. Still, that's a lot of money earned, taxed and donated. To me it says that she and Bill pay their taxes, that they tithe, and that they are willing to expose themselves to guys who don't care whether their president has at least some semblance of openness.

Trump's reticence toward releasing his taxes makes me curious: Has he paid his fair share? Does he really give to charity? And just how open can we expect a Trump presidency to be?

Simply put, I pay my taxes. I'd like to know my president has done the same.

Christopher Moore, Belle Plaine

We look for 'root causes' because effects tend to have them

I couldn't help noticing that the Aug. 14 letter writer who complained that "[l]iberals perennially advocate searches for 'root causes' " was not reluctant to offer one of his own, namely that the high percentage of single-mother African-American families must be a cause of black people committing crimes.

Let's assume for a moment that's true. Don't we need to ask why so many of those families exist? Does the letter writer assume that black mothers and/or fathers prefer such families? Maybe some do, but maybe the racial inequalities of our society also tend to prevent such families from forming — for example, if joining a gang or profiting from illegal activity appears to be the best option to a young man whose conventional options are limited. Maybe several other reasons help explain the trend.

It's complicated. When we stop asking questions because we're sure we have the answer, we stop trying to solve the problem.

Jeff Naylor, Minneapolis

It's a mistake to generalize opposition as coming from left

Regarding the Aug. 15 letter on GMOs ("With this debate, you have the left's version of scientific denial"), I would ask the writer to please reconsider the complaint. While it's certainly true that some liberals are very upset about the genetic modification of food sources, in my circle of acquaintances, the person who is the most against GMOs is a "far-right" conservative. Moreover, I am a "leftist" in most ways myself (including on the environment), and I am not afraid of or against GMOs. There is generally a danger of error in overgeneralizing such things. I believe if you were to poll the segment of the conservative voting public that is home-schooling, evangelical Christian and anti-free-trade, you would find a lot of them are also against GMOs — similar to how some far-left, environmentally minded "hippie" types are also against them.

John Ewan, Falcon Heights

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The Aug. 15 letter writer stated that Europe has considered GMOs to be safe. I read a few years ago that most countries in Europe had pulled all GMO products from their shelves, and in 2014 my niece sent me a picture of boxes of Kraft Mac and Cheese being shipped to Europe stamped "NON-GMO."

I will continue to plant my heirloom seeds and buy organic meats and foods even though I know I probably have glyphosate in my body already from before we knew what Monsanto was doing.

Do I trust the 107 Nobel laureates that the letter writer cites? No! Do I trust the media? No! And with good reason — they have been caught too many times in lies and lies of omission.

Kathy Anderson, Fridley

Middle-class or lower-income, it doesn't matter; it's costly

In response to an Aug. 15 letter on patient access ("More of the poor get to doctor, but what about middle class?"), lower-income people can be just as disadvantaged as the middle class when it comes to health care. I may not pay a large premium, but I do have copays that stop me from seeing my doctors. This month I will have a minimum of five $15 copays. After paying basic bills, I have about $350 to cover groceries, gas and day-to-day expenses. That extra $75 out of the $350 does me in. And there are the copays for meds.

I once considered myself middle class and I was fortunate enough to have better insurance, but I can sympathize with the letter writer regarding the extra costs of health care and, in his case, maybe higher deductibles. When I go on Medicare next year, it will only get worse, because not only will they take approximately $120 right off the top of my check but I also will still have to find a policy for clinic visits, medications and dental. Start saving now, because it isn't pretty, unless you're very healthy and make darn good money!

Jan Boe, East Grand Forks, Minn.