As a lifelong Democrat, I am appalled by the actions of the leaders of our party to sabotage the campaign of Bernie Sanders (“E-mail flap ousts Dem chair,” July 25). The truth is in the e-mails! I refuse to vote for Clinton in this election. It is obvious that she was in collusion with the Democratic Party hierarchy to defeat Sanders by any means.

Lyle Foltz, Apple Valley

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Debbie Wasserman Schultz is resigning as Democratic National Committee chairwoman after being found to have rigged the system and being dishonest, not over an e-mail “flap.” The headline is indicative of why the folks out here do not trust the news media. It appears that you want the focus to shift away from the rigging of the system, which pads the pockets of the power brokers. This is the reason why so many of us citizen taxpayers want change in how our government does business and uses our tax dollars.

Robert P. Miller, Bloomington

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With all due respect to Bernie Sanders supporters, why is it such a great surprise that some in the DNC would favor Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders? Was Sanders not an independent (who did caucus with Dems in the Senate) who chose to run for president as a Democrat? This might sound simplistic, but it still should not surprise anyone. Isn’t politics fun?

Dan Gardner, Belle Plaine

• • •

I’m so angry I can hardly chew my puffed rice. Now we read that Russian hackers are entering the political fracas by leaking thousands of e-mails, many suggesting DNC impropriety in choosing the presumptive nominee.

Oh, wait. Duh! Why not just adopt the “deer-in-the-headlights” trance that Trump lemmings have perfected and refuse to believe any inconvenient reports.

There. Feel better already.

Kathleen Wedl, Edina


Your third-party options and the value/wisdom in selecting them

On Nov. 8, Americans will head to the polls to cast their vote for the two most disliked presidential candidates in modern history. However, do not be shackled to the idea and media rhetoric that you must either vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. There are alternatives. Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson for the Libertarian ticket, alongside former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, are polling at 13 percent in a three-way race vs. Hillary and Trump. Fifteen percent is needed to make the debate stage. Jill Stein is the Green Party’s nominee and Darrell Castle the Constitution Party’s.

While many view a vote for a third party “wasted,” I disagree. The only wasted vote is a vote not cast. Make your voice heard. Vote for what you think is right. Only then can we begin to see a shift in our political paradigm.

Nathan Dull, Minnetonka

• • •

It is understandable that the Chicago Tribune editorialist(s) writing in “Or consider these two no-nonsense governors” (Opinion Exchange, July 21) stop short of explicitly endorsing the Johnson/Weld third-party ticket given the editorial’s characterization of Johnson’s chance of prevailing depends on “a frankly impossible bank shot.” That said, the editorial makes no sense unless it is an implicit endorsement. No presidential election has been thrown into the House of Representatives in living memory. That a third-party candidate could throw the election in the Electoral College to the candidate preferred by a minority of voters was amply demonstrated by Ralph Nader’s candidacy in the Bush vs. Gore debacle. Such an outcome is not “a frankly impossible bank shot” and should be borne in mind by anyone contemplating voting for a third-party candidate.

W.R. Page, Eden Prairie


Closing a local street to traffic is appealing — for a limited few

There are a number of positive aspects to the desire of the residents of a block in south Minneapolis to close their street to traffic and convert it to a “community front yard” (“Community dreams of street closure,” July 23). However, amid all the promotion of an “Urban Paradise” and utopian thinking, one practical concept appears to be absent — the notion of precedent. Why should the residents of one block be entitled to something not available to everyone else in the city? Why shouldn’t the residents of any and every block be allowed to have their own “urban paradise?”

The answer is that no one — not even the City Council member representing the area nor the city staff members involved — has brought out balanced discussion of the potentially chaotic result of mass requests to close multiple city blocks if the first request is granted.

It is incumbent on city leaders to consider the future effects of all ideas, even very pleasant ones, on the functioning of the city as a whole.

David J. Miller, Mendota Heights

• • •

While I applaud the idea of closing the 2900 block of 45th Avenue S. to traffic and creating a community setting like no other in the city, you could say that I am skeptical about the impact it would have on the surrounding community. As a resident on the 2900 block of 44th Avenue S., I question how such a project could have anything but an adverse impact to the residents on my street, the residents on 46th Avenue S. and the residents on Dorman Avenue. Has there been consideration of where the traffic that would normally travel down that stretch of 45th Avenue would go? How about parking? Well, I have considered it, and it is natural that the surrounding community will bear the burden. So while I applaud the idea, the fact remains that we would all love to live in a neighborhood with no cars and with a park and a garden outside our front door, but we chose to live in the city. We have neighbors other than those on our own street to consider when we propose a utopia for ourselves.

Cheryl Hunstock, Minneapolis


The problems begin with excuses and deflection

A quote from MNsure’s CEO, Allison O’Toole, in “Data problems delayed MNsure tax forms” (July 22): “I wish we could have done that in January, and we just — we didn’t. I think it was because of communication problems, issues weren’t escalated appropriately.” This is a completely unactionable statement that begs any responsibility. In fact, “weren’t escalated appropriately” appears to defer responsibility from management to people lower in the organization.

It’s obvious that the project was not begun in time to allow development and testing. This is what O’Toole should have said: “Management at MNsure didn’t properly plan or coordinate the IT development and testing pieces of the software system necessary to produce the forms that our clients would need to complete their taxes in time. We screwed up at the top.” That would have been an honest piece. Until management at MNsure takes responsibility for the product, the agency will continue the dysfunction that has plagued it since its inception.

Art Thell, Inver Grove Heights


One example does not negate the success of a set of laws

We should start conferring “Fool-itzer” prizes for the worst distortions in the practice of journalism. The first prize should go to the person who wrote the July 25 story headlined, “Germany’s gun laws didn’t stop shooter,” with honorable mention for the headline writer. The underlying, illogical assumption in the report is that one case can show whether an entire body of laws works or not. The report distorts reality by ignoring the positive effect that gun laws have in preventing gun deaths and injuries. To draw a parallel, if all headlines reflected similar assumptions, stories about traffic deaths would be headlined “Seat belt laws fail to stop traffic fatality.”

Such headlines fail to acknowledge that Americans are far less likely to die in car accidents now than before the law required that cars have seat belts and that people wear them. In the article, the glaring difference between American and German gun death rates was ignored. Fifty-one Germans died from gun homicide in 2010, compared with 11,078 in the U.S., whose population is just under four times the size of Germany’s. Suicide numbers are just as lopsided.

The German shooter apparently had to resort to the illegal market in order to obtain the pistol he used in the Munich shooting. Similarly disposed Americans don’t have to do that. They can go to any gun show or go online to find a “private” seller in their state who will sell them the pistol, rifle or assault weapon of their choice — no background check, no questions asked. This is legal in Minnesota and most other states. The public is entitled to better reporting on this very serious issue.

Heather Martens, Minneapolis