Want to lead? Be clear on what we're following

We have no idea how Tom Horner will extend the sales tax to various new categories ("Horner's sales tax plan may hit harder," Oct. 9). It might be essentials like food and clothing, or services like legal fees, accounting, Internet use and auto repairs.

What seems most unrealistic is the idea of leaving the decision to the Legislature. Why would legislators take the heat if the governor refuses to take on a leadership role?

Tom Horner wants to be the chief executive officer of the state of Minnesota. He should tell us clearly what he intends to do.


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It sounds like Horner wants to keep doing business as usual.

When Gov. Tim Pawlenty balanced the books, the middle class saw its property taxes soar.

If Horner is governor, the middle class will pay through sales taxes. Given his support for Pawlenty in previous years, it should come as no surprise that he wants to continue giving tax breaks to the corporate special interests and hand the middle class the bill.


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I've been thinking a lot about the gubernatorial race. Republican friends say, "I have to vote for Tom Emmer so Mark Dayton doesn't get it." Democratic friends say the opposite.

To be sure, the Republicans and Democrats have both nominated weaker candidates. However, this year there is a viable option in Independence Party candidate Tom Horner.

Many say it would be a wasted vote. If everyone who said that voted for Horner, he would win. I believe he should and can be the next governor. Horner represents the majority of Minnesotans -- not left and not right, just the 80 percent of us in the middle. A vote for Horner is the only vote that makes sense.



Key to prevention: good doctors and good diets

Beating diabetes is indeed "a worthy state goal" (editorial, Oct. 11), but it is not just the responsibility of researchers and industries.

As individuals, there is much that we can do to manage our own health. Eating less and exercising more would be a good start, but selecting a good physician could be key. You can learn which local clinics are best at helping their patients do this at


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We are finally starting to wake up and seriously rethink our eating culture, demanding to know where our food is coming from and taking moral responsibility for our consumption. It's time for our government to follow suit.

Minnesota is expected to harvest record corn and soybean crops this year. Does it seem odd to anyone, then, that not since the 1980s have so many Minnesotan farmers been behind on loans? Because of the federal farm policies that boost yields of commodity grains rather than supporting prices, farmers must produce more just to break even, and bumper crops drive down prices. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 75 percent of health care goes to pay for chronic diseases that are mostly linked to what we eat. Fast and processed food has taken over the American diet, a result of the cheap corn prices that our government supports.

First Lady Michelle Obama isn't the only one trying to bring the focus back to local and healthy foods. The Seward Co-op in south Minneapolis, for instance, has introduced a new rating system to highlight the products it carries from local and small farmers.

Local and organic food used to be seen as elitist, something that low-income households could not afford. However, we are now seeing a lot of people supplement their diets with food from their own yards or neighborhood gardens. Urban microfarms are allowing those who could not otherwise eat healthful, locally grown food to expand their diets. And what are we seeing? When people have the option, they take it. Now we need the government to make the option available to everyone.


Minnesota twins

A heavenly season (until damn Yankees!)

Thank you, Twins, for an amazing season in our amazing new ballpark! Regardless of who wins the World Series, to our fans the Twins are the best team in baseball. From manager Ron Gardenhire all the way through the roster, you epitomize what a baseball team should be, with your talent, work ethic and team camaraderie, and with the way you play the game.

You will get there -- and we will be back next year cheering you on.


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I waved my treasured Homer Hanky

For our Twins, of course, and not the Yankees.

But when the outcome of Game 3 was clear,

The hanky served to wipe my tears.

And then, in derision, I suppose,

I used the thing to blow my nose.


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If the Twins win the division again next year, as I hope they do, maybe they should wait for their champagne celebration until they achieve something at the next level.


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I live in Kentucky, far away from Minnesota and New York. But from here, this is how I see the Twins and Yankees:

Think about a high school science fair. First, there's a really good display. The student who made it can explain everything because he made it himself. He's everything that's right about education. He got second place. He's the Twins.

Next, there is an amazing display. Its design looks absolutely professional, but the student knows almost nothing about it because his parents made it for him. That's the Yankees.

I know that it's little consolation, but the Twins are everything that's right about baseball.