Regarding the many Oct. 13 letters about the Minnesota attorney general’s race: Yes, we face a complicated choice. Life is messy. Relationships are messy.
We need to treat these times as a continuing conversation. We have learned that every case is different and there are no clear bright lines. U.S. Sen. Al Franken faced a number of accusations, and I believe that he needed to resign. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh has apparently grown up and now treats women differently than he did in his younger days, but he was not a credible witness. I believe that he was lying about his drinking when he was young, and he was blatantly combative and political in his testimony. He should not have been confirmed, because he did not own his mistakes.
The situation with U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, who is running this year for attorney general, is murkier. There is one accuser. And the accusation sounds like a bad breakup. It was not a sexual assault. At worst, it was a lost temper and poor behavior. Ellison has denied it and has asked for further investigation. Karen Monahan will not submit any proof, even though she says she had a tape. We all need to discuss what a burden of proof should be. There is no consensus.
Ellison’s challenger for attorney general, Doug Wardlow, is clearly lying when he says he will take politics out of the AG office. He will appoint “Republican attorneys.” What does that even mean? Is there Republican law?
We we are left with a difficult decision. I will be voting for Ellison even though I wish he had not put us in this position and had stepped aside. As adults we do not always get clarity. We have to be discerning. That is our job as voters.
Alice Johnson, Minneapolis
HOW I’M VOTING
Similar concerns but a different direction than recent letter writers
In response to an Oct. 16 letter writer who lists his reasons for voting Republican:
I am voting Democratic because I believe every adult citizen should be able to afford shelter, food, medical care and transportation.
I am voting Democratic because I believe the country should know, by name, who is crossing our borders.
I am voting Democratic because I believe in constitutional law and the rule of law.
I pay my taxes on schedule; I am not a burden on others; I maintain my property; I am respectful of others. I respect the law. When the law is complicated, I turn to those who are more expert than I in interpreting the law equally and fairly.
Yet some say that I am a socialist, a dirty rat; that I want anarchy; that I lie and am evil and am brainwashed by the radical left.
I cannot agree with those who lie to gain favor; want to redistribute the wealth of this nation to a small, privileged group; who practice character assassination; who disregard protecting the environment and deny the potentially catastrophic impact of climate change. I am voting Democratic to ensure the country has the following:
• Jobs that pay a living wage.
• A controlled and fair immigration and refugee program.
• Leadership that respects the rights of all citizens.
• A Supreme Court that is unbiased, respectful and balanced.
• A future for generations to come in the form of a free and healthy society.
Adele Evidon, Minneapolis
• • •
If bets were taken on who is most unhinged, President Donald Trump or former Hennepin County Commissioner Randy Johnson (who wrote in an Oct. 16 letter than he’s voting for a straight Democratic ticket for the first time in his life), I’m betting Mr. Johnson would win.
It’s easy for most fair-minded people to assess the state of the nation today against what it was two years ago and see how much better off America is today than when Trump took office. Taxes have been reduced; unemployment is way down; people are working again for taxable wages instead of drawing unemployment wages; the threat of ISIS and Al-Qaida has been nearly eliminated; our infrastructure is being repaired; and trucks are seen in droves on the highways now as newly produced goods are being hauled to market. Trump has accomplished much toward “making America great again,” and largely on his own, against threats of impeachment from the liberals, fake news from the media and untruths and nastiness from the liberals. What President Trump has accomplished I don’t believe has come from someone who is unhinged.
If the Democrats win the House and the Senate, they will be on the way to destroying the greatest democracy the world has ever known. America will soon become a third-world godless nation.
One of my ancestors was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and at least two of them fought in the Revolutionary War. I like the freedom and liberty given to us by our Constitution. Give me liberty or give me death. I’m voting straight Republican in this next election.
James F. Lee, Eden Prairie
How U.S. Senate candidate’s 2009 comments affect me
I AM NOT A MONKEY. Neither am I a chimpanzee, a gorilla, an orangutan or any other simian form. I am a man — a black man who is angry. Every day there is a new insult, lie or deception played out by people like you (“Housley compared Michelle Obama’s posture to a chimp in 2009,” StarTribune.com, Oct. 15).
Your Facebook post in 2009 in which you referred to Michelle Obama as a “chimp” and your accusation of improper behavior was not satire. I am sure that some who share your viewpoint found it to be funny, but it actually exposed you as rude, disrespectful, ignorant, and bigoted. You are a boor.
How could you possibly represent me and people like me in the Senate of the United States of America? You cannot. You do not embody the ethical and moral ideals of the Constitution of the United States, and you certainly do not share the values of so many of my friends and associates.
You and I obviously do not share the same worldview. And more than likely we do not share similar political beliefs. Those don’t matter. What matters is decency. Be decent, Ms. Housley.
Wallace H. Rice Jr., Richfield
High school students, put some pedal to your mettle
The expansion of young people’s involvement in efforts to mitigate climate change — going beyond individual acts to taking on leadership roles in political efforts — is admirable (“The future is terrifying; we have to act — now,” Oct. 11). Pushing our local, state and federal agencies to act swiftly and strongly on climate change is crucial. But it is still important for individual high school students to take individual action. Transportation is the biggest source of carbon emissions in the U.S. We all need to avoid inessential driving, and that includes high school students who could use the excellent new bike paths and bike lanes to bike or walk to school instead of driving to school. It needs to be cool to bike to school.
Mary Jo Nissen, Minneapolis
When a visitor lists a concern about your city, don’t be dismissive
A letter writer from Oklahoma (“In the Twin Cities: Aggressive panhandlers ...,” Oct. 10) didn’t deserve the dismissive and slightly sarcastic Oct. 11 response from another reader (“In the Twin Cities: Safe transit, nonthreatening panhandlers,” Oct. 11).
When I read the first letter about negative experiences in downtown Minneapolis, I could relate. I attended a conference in downtown Minneapolis in April 2017, and was the only one in attendance from Minnesota. Since I don’t frequent downtown, I was surprised and embarrassed to hear similar tales from the out-of-town attendees about being threatened and overall feeling unsafe during their stay. Talking to them spurred me to send a letter relating these concerns to then-Mayor Betsy Hodges, then-Council Member Jacob Frey, then-Police Chief Janeé Harteau and Steve Cramer of the Downtown Council. Guess how many responses I received. Exactly zero. Not even a courtesy response form letter. I wonder if the new administrators are more responsive. I’m not going to waste my time finding out.
Jane Savage, Falcon Heights