House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy stated that Rep. Liz Cheney had to be removed from her leadership role in the party because she was not furthering the message of the GOP ("Cheney out for refusing to back lies," front page, May 13). I understand the concept. However, that message was and still is that the election was stolen from former President Donald Trump. McCarthy and everyone else knows that courts on every level tossed out Trump's claims of election fraud because they were not supported by evidence. GOP election leaders in various states have confirmed the Biden victory, but that is not enough for the former president and his minions, the elected representatives of the people.

When McCarthy said the GOP is the "big tent" party, I thought he meant that the GOP welcomed opposing viewpoints, that its members wished to carefully consider the truth before taking a stance on an issue, and that GOP representatives were now serious about upholding the oaths of office they had taken. However, I know now that his phrase "big tent" was actually a very real reference to the circus to which he is merely selling tickets.

Cheney was removed from her leadership position because she would not spread the lies being perpetrated by the GOP. It's that simple. On Tuesday night, Cheney said, "Those who refuse to accept the rulings of our courts are at war with the Constitution." That's a perfect way of saying it.

Loren W. Brabec, Braham, Minn.
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I am a senior citizen who, until Trump, had always supported and voted Republican. But in 2016 the Republican Party that had always been a party of conservative principles, family values and reason chose to follow a morally corrupt liar. Then over the following four years it either supported or simply ignored lie after lie, culminating in the biggest of lies, that Trump won the 2020 election and had it stolen from him.

On Wednesday, the Republican Party chose to dismiss from its leadership Liz Cheney — for no reason other than that she tells the truth. And, at the same time, Republicans during a House Oversight Committee hearing stated lie after lie — Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) saying Jan. 6 looked like a normal tourist visit; Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) calling those who stormed the Capitol peaceful patriots who are being harassed; Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) questioning whether the rioters were in fact Trump supporters; Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) claiming that Trump supporters were the real victims that day — in an effort to deflect any blame from Trump or their party for the mob that attacked the Capitol.

From denying climate change to telling the birther lie, to dismissing COVID as a hoax, to saying the election was stolen, to claiming that there was no violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6 — the Republican Party has become the party of lies and liars and expels people who dare to tell the truth. Any Republican who wants my vote in the future is going to have to publicly disavow the lies and the liars.

Gary Shelton, Prior Lake
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House Republicans showed their true colors — cowardly yellow — not only in ousting Cheney from her leadership post, but in the way they did it: by closed-door voice vote, which means none of them will have to say how they voted on the ouster.

So much for the courage of their convictions; Republicans have neither. Not courage, as evidenced by the fact that they don't want their vote recorded, and not conviction, as evidenced by the fact that the Republican Party has no new platform — nothing about health care or children in poverty or any other issue facing the nation. Nothing but slavish allegiance to Donald Trump's Big Lie about the 2020 election and a desperate desire to prevent citizens from voting as a way to prevent Republicans from losing elections.

Steven Schild, Winona, Minn.
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Policy disagreements are what make our democracy tick. As a fiery Paul Wellstone DFLer, I couldn't be prouder of Cheney's courageous stance on behalf of the rule of law and our Constitution. Personalities come and go. Conscience is the rock we stand on.

Judith Monson, St. Paul

Let us pick out the bad apples

I must take exception to Thursday's featured "Readers Write" letter on banning police from affiliating with white supremacist organizations ("Beware this seeming solution"). He concludes with, "We should punish people for their actions, not their thoughts or beliefs." It should be pointed out that nobody gets conscripted into white supremacist organizations. One needs to voluntarily join. I call that an action.

Putting active white supremacists into a position of power over Black people and other people of color invites injustice. Would we voluntarily put a pedophile in charge of a children's day care? I and other Minneapolis taxpayers are fed up with having to pay well-deserved settlements to grieving families because we can't control the biases and behaviors of some of our police. Please, in the name of justice, allow us to weed out the bad apples.

Patricia Taylor, Minneapolis

How else to control a crowd?

The Thursday letter writer ("More options than ones given") who stated the "alternative to police violence is an absence of police violence" should don a police uniform and stand in front of the next "protest" (riot). Do you really expect police officers to leave weapons and crowd control devices back at the precinct and be able to protect businesses, law-abiding citizens and themselves against people that throw rocks, bricks, bottles and Molotov cocktails at them? Would the writer stand there and let protesters spit on them? When you take shots at the police or police buildings, when you burn down buildings, when you break into buildings and steal merchandise, when you harm private property, when you blockade interstate freeways illegally, that is not protesting.

The job of a police officer is to enforce state and local laws, protect law-abiding citizens and protect themselves so they can do their job. Disarming today's police force and sending them out to face armed perpetrators and armed gang members would be akin to sending soldiers to defend our country without arms to defend themselves. If protesters do not want to suffer police brutality they should obey laws and read the definition of how to protest peacefully.

Bill Winters, Brooklyn Park

Consider the health of the lake

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board's actions on the construction of a new pavilion at Bde Maka Ska present an opportunity to reconsider a critical design flaw in the plan ("Bde Maka Ska pavilion not dead yet," May 13). Both design concepts extend paved, hardscape surfaces right up to the water's edge. That may be fine for a Disney-style fake lake but not for a real lake. Stormwater would run off the pavement and steps directly into the lake and degrade water quality. What value is there in a lakeside amenity that harms the ecology of the lake? If a new pavilion is to be constructed, whether on the existing site or on a different shore of the lake, a permeable paving material, such as the porous materials used in the paved sections of the downtown Commons, should be required to control and capture runoff. The plans could also be revised to incorporate a natural buffer to filter stormwater before it gets to the lake.

David Aquilina, Richfield

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