A unanimous vote of the Minneapolis City Council urging municipal banking relationships be weighed against lender involvement in fossil-fuel projects or nearby pipeline projects (Dec. 9)? Really? I am no apologist for Wells Fargo’s recent account scandal nor former CEO John Stumpf’s weak response to the bank’s fraudulent behavior. It would be prudent and appropriate for any city to reassess which other major hometown bank might provide competent government banking services, but a municipal bank? Good grief? Are they kidding? Note to council: Any institution that invests hundreds of millions of dollars in the Downtown East tax base and has 11,000 employees in Minneapolis is surely entitled to a review on a business basis other than some social-agenda wish list. Banks lend business owners capital needed to grow the city. If not Wells, pick a competitor. Cities should put cops on the streets, pick up the garbage and fix the potholes. Leave the banking to the pros.
Steven Minn, Minneapolis
The writer was a member of the Minneapolis City Council from 1994 to 1999.
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I applaud the City Council for calling upon staff to explore ways to work with financial institutions. City government leaders should periodically review all operations looking for ways to make their community better, save money and/or improve service. Where the council and I part ways is found in the reason for ordering the review. I cannot believe that where a financial institution stands either for or against the fossil-fuel industry or Dakota Access Pipeline has any impact on the role of city government and its commitment to constituents. It’s like saying you’ll only buy a car from salespeople over 6 foot tall. If Wells Fargo is best for the city, then so be it. If better services can be found elsewhere, fine. Personal political beliefs should never be allowed to cloud good administrative decisions.
Richard Burton, Ramsey
It’s a simple as this: As a service provider, you can’t discriminate
I remember when Somali cabdrivers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport cited religious reasons for refusing to drive people who had dogs with them. They lost their case because the law says that if you’re in the marketplace, you need to serve everyone equally.
Telescope Media (“Same-sex marriage law spurs first suit,” Dec. 7) is free to make any film it wishes, just as Hitchcock did. However, the comparison ends when it opens the door to do business with the public.
Furthermore, Telescope Media claims it doesn’t reject “people” but turns down “projects.” I run a photography business and have never once had a “project” call, e-mail or knock on my door to inquire about purchasing my services.
Sally Bruggeman, St. Paul
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I was primed to be upset with Carl and Angel Larsen for their suit against the state for their “right” to deny services to gay couples based on their Christian beliefs. Then I realized that I’ve actually met Carl and he was a super-nice guy. But nice doesn’t matter when you want to make other people less deserving than you and your tribe.
Here’s the one question that should end this ridiculous discussion: Are they OK with a denial of services based on their marriage? Looking to gas up the family car? Not with that Christian marriage! Want to get some groceries? Nope, we don’t sell to straight people! Broken arm? Better start praying, because we don’t serve your kind! If they’re OK with that discrimination as a possibility in their lives, then, sure, they can deny their services to others.
And one final question to end this debate: Who did Jesus deny his services to?
Travis Anderson, Minneapolis
Motivations of the ACA ‘healers’ are hard to take seriously
Dr. Steve Calvin (“Shift change,” Dec. 4) could not complete his second sentence before giving President-elect Donald Trump permission to break yet another campaign promise. The Republicans evidently no longer wish to “repeal” Obamacare, they have decided it might be adequate to merely “heal” it. Conveniently, the “healing” may have to wait until after the midterm elections in 2018.
A Republican opinion article would not be complete without a comment toward the end that we should all join hands and come together. Calvin’s advice that “invective is infective” may not be the words that the good doctor is searching for. After eight years of demonizing President Obama, perhaps he meant to write “invective is effective.”
John Deitering, Buffalo
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Calvin said that Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, who is Trump’s choice to be secretary of Health and Human Services, “deeply understands the financing and delivery of health care.” I think the only financing Price understands is campaign financing. The three biggest contributors to his campaign were doctors, drug companies and insurance companies.
David Little, Willmar, Minn.
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In the Dec. 4 Business section, an article outlined the Republican plan for replacing the ACA (“An insider’s take on possible replacements …”). This plan still lacked a progressive payment system, the largest possible risk pool, transparency for costs in hospitals and doctors offices, meaningful controls through the Medicare reimbursement formulas and support for medical students to fulfill their vocation for healing. Only Medicare for all provides universal coverage, cost-containment and standardized benefits. This simple bill would cover everyone, reduce costs and save Medicare for seniors.
Greg Bastien, Minneapolis
JOHN GLENN, 1921 TO 2016
We’ll miss him, and this country needs more who are like him
John Glenn had a long, full and meaningful life (“Godspeed, John Glenn,” Dec. 9). One to be celebrated as a great character in our history. But it is always sad to see the passing of someone who all of us, those from my generation at least, can be forgiven for feeling was a part of our lives even though we never met the man.
His passing at this time, however, is doubly sad, for he was such a symbol of this country at its best and bravest — a symbol that America was there to protect what is right about the present and explore what will be spectacular about the future of this country’s, and the rest of the planet’s, population.
He leaves behind a country that is in the grip of those who would tell us that we must fear the rest of the planet and withdraw from taking any part in its future if there is no profit in it. That science and facts are not as important as slogans and a torrent of wrath. That we have failed and only they can make us great again.
Let us hope there are still enough John Glenns out there to help bring us back on course.
Harold W. Onstad, Plymouth
CIVIL WAR PAINTINGS
Minnesota Historical Society makes the right decision
I am heartened by the Minnesota Historical Society’s decision to keep the Civil War battle paintings in the Governor’s Reception Room (front page, Dec. 9). Many Minnesota soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve the Union. That will forever be of great historical importance. The Historical Society is to be commended for its decision.
Mark Nyvold, Fridley