With regard to the May 19 editorial “Sanders must quell campaign violence”: Oh, my goodness, where to start and where to end? Let’s start with accuracy in reporting. First, no video has surfaced of chairs being thrown at the Nevada state convention. Second, no reports have been made of arrests at the event. No mention has been made of the midstream machinations that disenfranchised 64 Sanders delegates. No mention was made of the convention chair failing to follow established parliamentary procedure in the official conduct of the party’s business.
Does any of this absolve Bernie Sanders from adhering to the highest level of moral conduct? Absolutely not. Nobody condones violence and most assuredly not Sanders. But the same standard of the highest level of moral conduct has to be applied across the board.
Where has been the outcry for the voters disenfranchised in Arizona, in New York, in Nevada and elsewhere? Where has been the outcry for an insular, intransigent political party doing everything in its power to demonize and marginalize one of the candidates running under its flag? Where has been the outcry of mainstream media parroting the institutional views of the established political parties?
The Star Tribune at one time was considered to be an essential organ of the Fourth Estate, but when it perpetuates a false narrative of reality (namely, that it is the symptom, not the cause, that is the problem), it becomes a sock puppet of the corporate voice. This failure is at the same level of betrayal of “moral responsibility” as when mainstream media was complicit in the narrative that sent this country into Iraq. The king has no clothes.
Ron Wetzell, Minneapolis
No wonder the electorate is so sour on its leadership
Minnesota roads and bridges need hundred of millions of dollars of maintenance and repairs to allow citizens to travel safely. Our legislators respond with partisan posturing and the very real threat of doing nothing this session. However, when “the law firm representing [Prince’s] estate’s special administrator” clears its throat, our legislators are suddenly all ears and initiate action (“A rush to protect Prince’s likeness,” May 18).
The so-called “PRINCE Act” subsequently was withdrawn for the year so that potential consequences could be addressed. Still, the electorate seems to be annoyed, and the appearance of special access and misplaced priorities could be part of the problem.
Ben Jackson, Stillwater
• • •
First, the politicians make Minnesota taxpayers build a stadium for the benefit of a billionaire family from New Jersey. Now comes the news that tours are available, but we have to pay $19 just to come in and take a look at what we paid for (“Paid tours of U.S. Bank Stadium,” May 18). My, oh, my. In these uneasy times, is it any wonder people of various political stripes are feeling it’s all a rigged game?
Ed Murphy, Minneapolis
Higher license tab fees are an idea that should not stick
As a deputy registrar, I am a bit concerned about the discussion to raise more revenue by increasing license tab fees. Tab fees are tied incrementally to the initial base value of a vehicle, then the cost of the tabs is slowly reduced year by year as the vehicle gets older. As an example, if a 2016 vehicle has a base value of $20,500 today, the tabs would cost $258. If that same vehicle had a base value when it was new five years ago of $19,300, the tabs would have been $243 at that time. The Star Tribune gave an example of a new car as costing $15,000, which would be a price that anyone would find hard-pressed to discover. As vehicles become more expensive, the revenue from tabs increases. In addition, most counties have now instituted a wheelage tax of $10. This revenue goes directly to the counties in which the vehicle is kept and is designated for road and bridge construction and repair. This additional tax is added onto the tabs every time the vehicle registration is renewed.
The citizens of the state are burdened with registration fees that are seen by many as excessive. I hear this daily, as do all of the individuals who work in this field. I would find it concerning should this plan go beyond the stage of ideas being discussed but not necessarily thought through.
Stephen Neiswanger, Austin, Minn.
State was right the first time in refusing federal interference
State Rep. Dennis Smith couldn’t be more wrong (“The key thing is to get a Real ID solution in Minnesota,” May 17). The legislative battle over Real ID has nothing to do with ensuring the ability of Minnesotans to fly. Even the U.S. Department of Homeland Security acknowledges in the final Real ID regulations that “individuals without a REAL ID-compliant document will still be able to enter federal facilities and board commercial aircraft, and these rules cannot determine what alternative documents are acceptable for those purposes.”
At its most basic level, the battle over Real ID is about whether the Legislature will voluntarily give up state sovereignty and individual rights protected under the 10th Amendment. Homeland Security’s privacy office admits that Real ID is a voluntary program for the states. To adopt it is to say yes to a federal ID, or as state Sen. Warren Limmer said on the Senate floor, a “national ID card.”
A one-tier or two-tier license doesn’t change this reality. State Sen. Scott Dibble clarified in committee that “both of these would be compliant because the federal law talks about both of those kinds of cards.”
Federal control is far-reaching. The federal law lets Homeland Security expand the “official purposes” and required uses of all Real ID cards without going back to Congress for approval. The Homeland Security secretary could require it for access to health care, toll roads, banking and more.
The Legislature did the right thing in 2009 when it passed a bipartisan bill to prohibit implementing Real ID. Nothing has changed. Minnesota should not put unelected federal officials in charge of your right to buy, travel, drive or access services.
Twila Brase, St. Paul
The writer is president and co-founder of the Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom.
AIRPORT SECURITY DELAYS
First steps first: Use PreCheck
While I wholeheartedly agree with John Freivalds’ May 18 commentary “My petition for a shorter TSA line,” regarding major changes needed in airport security, it would seem a simple, cost-effective solution is right in front of us: Waive the $85 fee and allow as many travelers as possible to participate in the underutilized PreCheck service. With the amount of overtime being considered, hiring of new staff, cost of high employee-turnover rates, not to mention the millions being spent on new equipment, this would seem a low-cost, high-result, short-term solution until more bold initiatives are realized.
Kristopher Kulseth, Maplewood