I hope voters who plan to support candidates who promote anti-immigrant policies are prepared to make some hard decisions if they have elderly parents. My parents reside in an assisted-living facility, and many of the wonderful caregivers who work in these establishments are immigrants. If this country continues to increase restrictions on immigration and reduce the number of immigrants, are you prepared to take care of your elderly parents, move them into your homes or take over home-care duties? Will nursing homes and assisted-living residences be forced to cut the number of residents they accept, or even close, because they cannot find enough people to staff their facilities? Immigrants make up about 25 percent of the direct-care workforce, which includes home health aides, personal care aides and nursing assistants. As baby boomers age, the need for senior care will grow dramatically, and without an increasing pool of workers to handle their care, this country faces a crisis.

Helen Olson, Glenwood, Minn.


Cindy Pugh has been a champion for our community and beyond

I was disappointed to read that the Star Tribune Editorial Board made the decision to endorse state Rep. Cindy Pugh’s liberal opponent for the 2018 election (Oct. 30).

Cindy is an energetic, enthusiastic and effective advocate for Chanhassen and residents of the south Lake Minnetonka area, and her passion for representing her constituents and getting results on their behalf is evident to anyone she meets.

Locally, she chief-authored and delivered bipartisan legislation that reduced costs for several of the small communities in her district by allowing cities with joint-powers agreements for police and fire services to get the same tax breaks given to other cities. This was a big win for those communities and makes a difference on people’s property tax bills.

Last session, she also authored legislation that would have enabled expansion of the successful early learning program for the Minnetonka Public School District. While the legislation was vetoed by the governor, I have no doubt she’ll be back next year to get it across the finish line.

In addition, Cindy’s leadership was instrumental in securing funding for reconstruction of the final stretch of Hwy. 101 in Carver County.

It wasn’t just on local issues that she delivered. Because of the health care reform efforts that Cindy supported, rates are dropping on average between 7.4 percent and 27.7 percent — a major reversal from the double-digit premium hikes we saw after Democrats were in charge.

Cindy also helped reduce taxes for seniors on Social Security, for college graduates with student loan debt, for Main Street businesses and more. It was the largest tax relief bill in two decades, and she was able to do it all while delivering the largest funding increase for our schools in 12 years, as well as new money for school safety.

Cindy is a champion for Chanhassen and communities in the south Lake Minnetonka area and has a record of results to back it up. Let’s keep her working for us, and send her back to St. Paul on Nov. 6.

Tom Workman, Chanhassen


The writer is a member of the Carver County Board.


Thinking through scenarios, I find Anne Claflin to be a better choice

While I understand the Editorial Board’s endorsement of Keith Franke (Nov. 1), Democratic rival Anne Claflin is a better bit for District 54A. The reason is because of political party history. Imagine what would happen if Jeff Johnson gets elected governor with a Republican Legislature. All the bipartisan cant will likely get replaced with very partisan legislation. Moreover, former local Republican legislators have given their votes to legislation that did not best serve the community either because of party pressure or over fear of irking local Republican activists so that they would lose their endorsement. This is based on the gas tax bill of 2008 and the 2011 redistricting bill.

Claflin would never be under such pressure as the DFL Party is a big-tent party, which is highlighted by the fact that centrist Tim Walz is the nominee for governor compared to the conservative Johnson. Hence, Claflin deserves to be elected, and I am proud to have volunteered to help get her elected over Franke.

William Cory Labovitch, South St. Paul


Kelly Moller is the candidate who’s focused on real solutions

The Editorial Board’s endorsement of Randy Jessup in legislative District 42A (Oct. 31) suggests that he is an independent, even moderate thinker. We in the district have seen a different record.

Jessup offered examples of siding with environmentalists. Letting cities decide for themselves whether to allow noncompostable takeout containers is hardly a heavy lift. Inaction on climate change and suggesting more study speaks more loudly. On health care, we have heard platitudes about protecting coverage but have seen him vote to allow “skinny plans” that leave patients unprotected and bankrupt. He may extend the health provider tax, but he made the fund it supports more insolvent by giving a chunk of it to insurance companies. On school safety, Rep. Jessup has focused on making our schools bulletproof but is silent on common-sense gun-violence- prevention tools supported by roughly 90 percent of Minnesotans. This moderation is cosmetic.

Kelly Moller, however, is focused on real solutions. She brings 20 years of experience in advocating for crime victims, including those who have been sexually assaulted. She supports raising renewable-energy goals and allowing Minnesotans to buy into MinnesotaCare for individual health coverage. As a mother of two public school students, she has been an effective education advocate in our community. All of us have joined her campaign because we recognize her intelligence, ability to give straight answers, her ability to inspire others to take part in our democracy and, above all, her conviction that does not sway in whatever way the wind blows.

This letter was sent by former state Rep. Paul Gardner of Shoreview and was co-signed by former state Rep. Barb Yarusso, Kim and Mark Sacay, Jeanne Kaczynski, Vikki Glodek, Randy Edinger, Joan Ireland, Vaman Pai, and Sharon Coombs.


Bid farewell to a representative who’s been no help with light rail

U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen is an absentee congressman on so many critical issues — from climate change to gun-violence prevention and controlling assault weapons — that the time for change is long overdue. But after Paulsen’s complete and total inaction and rank partisanship in the face of a chance to expand not one but two light-rail lines in his district, voters should wish him well in his next endeavors.

The Third District is composed of the west metro’s largest suburbs, including Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka and Plymouth, and home to both the Southwest and Bottineau light-rail projects. Both lines have been planned for years. Each line has received multiple approvals from each of the nine cities through which they run. The only funding that remains to be received is from the Federal Transit Administration, which mysteriously refuses to allocate the money Congress has awarded specifically for the purpose.

It is clear that Paulsen has never assisted with any part of Southwest or Bottineau. Instead, he stands idly by while more than $3 billion in infrastructure remains tied up in bureaucracy. That’s $3 billion — more than three U.S. Bank Stadiums’-worth of jobs and physical infrastructure.

Erik Paulsen simply doesn’t work for his constituents. Instead, he sits out the biggest suburban infrastructure initiative since the construction of the Interstate 494-694 beltway.

The Third Congressional District needs real representation. It’s time to elect someone who wants to get to work.

Mike Opat, Robbinsdale

The writer is a member of the Hennepin County Board.