TOM HORNER'S CLIENTS
What about the other candidates' conflicts?
Now that Independence Party candidate Tom Horner has sold his interest in his business ("Horner cuts ties with PR firm," June 15), could we ask other gubernatorial candidates to disclose potential business conflicts?
While I understand that the Tea Party crowd doesn't care what parts of government endorsed Republican candidate Tom Emmer would cut (so long as he cuts taxes), I would like to know who else he would represent as governor. When he is in that big house on Summit Avenue, will he heed the concerns of the family man or woman who has just lost a job, the high school kid who isn't sure he can afford college or the senior trying to pay medical bills?
Who is Tom Emmer working for?
MATT FLORY, ST. LOUIS PARK
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Why the fuss over Horner's previous work in a public-relations firm? Firms get hired because they are good, and often by clients from the opposite political persuasion. Should you not show the same editorial concern for Matt Entenza? His wife, Lois Quam, is a megabuck benefactor of the health care industry (UnitedHealth Group Inc.) who has a long and influential career in Minnesota health care and who obviously has "connections."
DARYL WILIAMSON, EDEN PRAIRIE
Clients vs. supporters
Center for Consumer Freedom responds
I'm writing to correct some erroneous information in a recent article ("Fighting a smear," June 13). The Center for Consumer Freedom is a tax-exempt charity with the same nonprofit 501(c)(3) tax designation as the Humane Society of the United States. It has many enthusiastic supporters, but not "clients," as the Star Tribune wrote.
Furthermore, Janelle Dixon's criticism of my organization for watchdogging the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is full of self-interest. According to its tax returns, her "National Federation of Humane Societies" has more than a mere historical connection with HSUS; it's actually operated out of HSUS' Washington, D.C., headquarters.
We continue to object to HSUS' decision to share less than one-half of 1 percent of its budget with the hands-on pet shelters that Dixon claims to represent. If she weren't working with an HSUS affiliate, I suspect she would object as well.
DAVID MARTOSKO, DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH, CENTER FOR CONSUMER FREEDOM
Star Tribune stories highlight challenges
I want to thank Star Tribune reporter Molly Young for elevating the recent findings of the Economic Policy Institute's report "Uneven Pain" ("Twin Cities has widest jobless gap by race," June 10), as well as Star Tribune blogger Gary Cunningham for his post on the recent Minneapolis killing ("Murder on Lake Calhoun," June 10).
According to the institute's report, our region's racial disparities in unemployment are glaring and nation-leading. Other studies by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, the Itasca Project and the Brookings Institution have shown that racial disparities in our region are a threat to our long-term survival as a state and must not be a permanent feature of our public life.
Thankfully, proactive solutions that tackle the roots of disparities are moving. Cunningham pointed out 2010 legislative session victories with the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Through negotiation, MnDOT agreed to invest $6 million in federal road construction to reduce disparities facing scores of women workers and workers of color.
In 2009 that same coalition worked with state lawmakers to commit $2.5 million of our public investment to explicitly prepare thousands of women and people of color for energy and weatherization jobs. We profiled this legislation in the Organizing Apprenticeship Project's 4th Annual Minnesota Legislative Report Card on Racial Equity, a multi-issue and multiracial assessment of state lawmakers' commitment to solutions that close racial disparities.
Achieving racial equity in Minnesota is possible when community leaders and decisionmakers work together and integrate equity as a core element of decisionmaking. It also prevents long-term harm to all Minnesotans.
JERMAINE TONEY, MINNEAPOLIS
Police can't realistically report the city is safe
After reading "Minneapolis is safe, police say" (June 15), I'd like to know what part is currently safe? Capt. Amelia Huffman says that Minneapolis is a "safe place to live." She must not live on the North Side, South Side or in Uptown. I have survived two drive-by shootings near my beautiful house in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood this summer while sitting in the living room. We, the concerned citizens who live and work in Minneapolis, have been attending many block club meetings dealing with the Minneapolis crime, and I'm going to another meeting with our crime-prevention specialist tomorrow night. If any police officers, or Mayor R.T. Rybak, would like to come, I would be happy to give them the information.
TERI LIBERIA, MINNEAPOLIS
Report crime to fight crime, and name names
Debra Chatman will do no time for the felony child endangerment of her son ("Mom guilty in case of boy who hid in oven to avoid beating," June 15). She no longer has custody of her son, but what about the other two children in the home at the time?
She may have been a victim of abuse, but that is no excuse. A mother tells her child to run if she cannot protect him. She doesn't drag him back into the house and turn on the oven when he seeks refuge there.
Thank God someone contacted authorities about the abuse. We all need to report any abuse, drug dealing, vandalism or violence that we see or hear about. And we must name names.
MARY MCfetridge, New Hope