An inclusive party must have inclusive policies

On Thursday, conservative pundit William Bennett said that Republicans "must broaden their coalition to include minorities" and that they could do that with leaders such as U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio. Therein lies the problem: Having someone with the skin color, name or gender preference that is reflective of a minority community is not a substitute for having platforms and policies that support the diverse nature of our demographics. Republicans will continue to be shut out of the top elected spot if they think that image is a sufficient stand-in for action.


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Politics is a funny business. In the Sixth Congressional District race, incumbent Rep. Michele Bachmann was re-elected after spending $20.8 million, or about $115 per vote. Challenger Jim Graves spent $1.9 million, or $10.80 per vote. Bachmann is considered a fiscal conservative, and Graves is the big-spending liberal.


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Be practical; don't renew the battle

My heart sank when I learned that a movement to legalize recognition of same-sex marriage is gaining steam. I voted against the amendment, feeling that we should not deny state protections to same-sex couples, especially financial and health protections. At the same time, using the term "marriage" is so emotionally laden that it begs to be fought long and hard by those whose view is "traditional." Can we not just agree to provide legal protections to same-sex couples without calling it marriage? I believe there is enough support within the state that this could be accomplished without the amount of bloodshed we saw this last election. What do you think, Minnesota? Can we all agree to civil unions, and let the emotions have a chance to heal?


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In a Nov. 8 letter to the editor, the Rev. Michael Tegeder asked Archbishop John Nienstedt to "prayerfully consider stepping down from his office. ... Elections have consequences."

Nienstedt has been extremely charitable in his pastoral guidance, teaching compassion for those with same-sex attraction while maintaining teachings that have been held from the beginning of the Catholic Church. Unfortunately, instead of hearing the archbishop's message of love and reason, many who disagree have unleashed their anger of intolerance toward him. To his credit, the archbishop has not responded in anger.

It is not the archbishop who has misled his flock, as this priest suggests; rather, Tegeder has done a great injustice to his parish by his defiance to the church despite his ordination promises. Therefore, we ask Nienstedt to prayerfully consider removing this priest from his position; after all, Tegeder's actions have consequences, too.


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Time for a strategy on contributions

No doubt you will be asked several times, by many good organizations, to donate to their cause during the next six weeks. According to the Network For Good, 89 percent of American households give to charity, and gifts average 3.2 percent of income, or $1,620 annually. While this is often called the "season of giving," it can be a frustrating time for donors, who get overwhelmed with requests. On Nov. 15, thousands of nonprofits will be encouraging everyone to participate in Give To the Max Day, which is a 24-hour online giving campaign. Last year, more than 47,000 donors gave more than $14 million to more than 3,000 Minnesota charities on this day.

So this is a good time to start thinking about why, where and when you want to contribute. If you have a passion for helping less-fortunate kids, or if you can't imagine what it must feel like to be a parent who can't give their child a birthday gift, then perhaps Cheerful Givers is an organization you want to support. Some generous donors are offering matching funds, and there will be random drawings for additional contributions during that campaign, so it's possible your dollars will go further on that day.


The writer is president of Cheerful Givers.

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Give new policy a chance to play out

I write in support of the inaugural wolf hunt that is occurring in Minnesota. The state Department of Natural Resources has implemented a conservative policy in an attempt to manage the increasing wolf population. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also has been involved in shaping the policy based on data from other states that have wolf seasons.

These agencies have conducted research and continue to collect data to ensure a strong native wolf population. The amount of time and money that has been put into the wolves should reinforce that the agencies in charge would not be reckless with our resources and should receive our confidence. The wolf is one of the most iconic animals we have in Minnesota, which is why I understand the opposition, but it is not exempt from resource management.

I believe both sides of the issue were voiced before the implementation and now it needs to run its course. As a licensed wolf hunter, I intend on doing my part to assist the state with this management policy. Concerned citizens should fully research this topic to establish an informed position on the issue. Leave the policy battle to the courts.


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A Nov. 8 editorial about the Minnesota marriage and photo ID amendments incorrectly described Maine's vote to legalize same-sex marriage. Voters in that state reversed a previously approved statutory ban.