Has anybody seen the people's governor?


I'm truly disappointed and embarrassed that Gov. Mark Dayton, especially after a government shutdown, is spending so much time on deciding whether or not to build a new Vikings stadium.

As a student, it scares me that the governor of my state is deeply worried about watching men in tight pants chase a ball. While I am a football lover, there are too many other important issues for Dayton to spend his precious time worrying about.

Maybe the Vikings should go to Los Angeles; our government might actually get something done.


• • •

Where is the governor? What have you done with him?

I voted for the Dayton who wouldn't put the Vikings owners ahead of citizens who use libraries, roads, parks and hospitals -- who need health care, a roof over their head, food, special services and education.

Why should the state and Ramsey County subsidize privileged athletes when we haven't covered the basics? I expect one of the political parties to say "no" and mean it.

And I hope some Ramsey County commissioners can get their souls back from the devil.


• • •

The existing Minneapolis stadium already has a transportation infrastructure in place.

The most significant of these is the light-rail system, which we built to relieve congestion and ameliorate pollution.

Let's use it to service a new stadium, if one must be built. A stadium at the Arden Hills site will be an environmental and civic failure.


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An excellent example of the greed we despise


The Hecker odyssey is a prime example of why people are camped out in cities across the United States ("A year in the incarcerated life of Hecker," Oct. 18). While he's not a banker or a Wall Street executive, he's the face of what troubles most people around the country.

Hecker lived an extravagant lifestyle on other people's money. When caught, he never assumed any blame for his predicament. Even today, while in a penthouse jail, he blames others for his downfall.

Why are Hecker and others like him vilified in our country today? Because he stands for what's essentially wrong with our society: It's all about him. Take, take, take.


• • •

So, Denny Hecker strolls the beautifully manicured grounds of his prison camp, plays poker and has taken up tennis. I only have one question: Can I get a reservation? My backhand needs a little work.


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Wall Street protests were more important


Does the Star Tribune really believe that the closing of a downtown nightclub is more newsworthy than the Wells Fargo Center closing its doors in response to hundreds of protesters upset with banks for hoarding the wealth ("Notorious club closes for good," Oct. 15)?

Is it possible that the our state's largest newspaper is biased in favor the state's largest banks?


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'Bill mill' undermines our democratic society


One would be hard-pressed to think of a practice that would more effectively strike at the heart of democratic governance than the disenfranchising legislation described in "Voter ID laws may affect millions" (Oct. 3).

Because democratic societies are founded on the one person/one vote principle as a fundamental right, any obstacle preventing citizens from enacting that principle must be considered antidemocratic.

This feature alone makes voter ID bills troubling enough. What compounds the antidemocratic intention of these laws is their source: A "bill mill" called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), whose far-reaching influence was recently revealed by the Center for Media and Democracy.

Bills such as the voter ID laws that have been passed in several states are crafted by and then voted upon by ALEC members: wealthy individual donors such as Charles and David Koch, multinational corporations, and Republican legislators advancing their financial interests.

Once approved by ALEC members, these model bills are passed along to friendly Republican legislators in states such as Wisconsin, which last summer passed a restrictive voter ID law based on ALEC's model legislation.

If even a portion of the 5 million people the Brennan Center projects will be prevented from voting in the 2012 elections are actually hindered because of these laws, the results will be disastrously antidemocratic.

These bills' consequences cut across all political parties and should therefore be taken seriously by all citizens who, presumably, do not support this attack on democracy's most fundamental right.


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Seriously, this practice is called hunting?


There was a recent article that glorified a local hunter in his quest to bag a large black bear near Hudson, Wis. ("Wisconsin hunter may bag record with bear," Oct. 17).

The method used by the hunter (and many others) in the senseless slaughter of these magnificent animals sickens me.

That your paper endorses this shameless, cowardly, gutless method of luring a simpleminded beast into a deadly trap by baiting it with sweet rolls and doughnuts shakes my human sensibilities.

Then to paint a picture describing this local hunter as cunning and even brave is a gross exaggeration at best.

One must ask: What type of cunning and bravery is required to bait an area of the woods with sweet rolls and then to just sit nearby completely hidden until this ignorant beast comes along and presents itself for a shot that even a Boy Scout would find easy.

This cannot be considered hunting. This is the most despicable form of male ego trying to satisfy some hidden desire to "be a man."