Tim Pawlenty, please don’t run (“Pawlenty allies and foes eager for race,” Feb. 11). We’ve been getting along well without you, and don’t need you now. In two runs for governor, you never received a majority, only a plurality. Yet, despite a mediocre tenure here, you somehow caught “Potomac fever” early on, and we paid the price for that. After that, things got immeasurably worse for us.

No matter what, you wouldn’t raise taxes, because Grover Norquist wouldn’t like that, would he? So you borrowed from the schools — the SCHOOLS — spent the tobacco money, levied “fees” instead of raising needed taxes, and ruined our top credit rating, costing us millions in higher interest. You refused to sign a bill raising the gas tax, despite the need, and a bridge fell down. We’re still catching up on highway and bridge maintenance, because we had your mismanagement to make up for, plus continuing maintenance needs. It took some brave Republican legislators falling on their swords voting to override your veto, to finally pass a cost-of-living gas tax increase. Yet, somehow you think maybe you should be the one we now elect, even though those brave Republican legislators lost their re-election bids? Really? REALLY? The moral obtuseness of that astounds me.

Stay in Washington, D.C., where they appreciate you to the tune of $2 million per year. You’ll never make that much back here!

Mary McLeod, St. Paul


Developments in this case demonstrate a movement’s flaws

Two weeks ago, I wrote a response to a letter that lumped three men together as abusers: Garrison Keillor, Harvey Weinstein and the politician Patrick Meehan. I pointed out the three cases were different, as in Keillor’s case allegations only were in play and he was contesting them.

On Friday, the Star Tribune reported that Keillor’s accuser was Dan Rowles, a longtime show member and close associate of Keillor, who was asked to leave the show as it was transitioning to a new format and director (“Keillor accuser a shock to cast,” Feb. 16). According to the report, Rowles was very angry about his lost position. He made his anger known, and, according to an employee, messaged, “You’ll all be sorry.” And, sure enough, several weeks after being let go, “because our client believes people should feel safe at work, he raised concerns about inappropriate workplace conduct,” as related by his attorney, and brought allegations on behalf of a woman he befriended.

Sorry if I don’t see him as a knight-in-shining-armor type of guy. The woman apparently didn’t add her own voice to his for several months.

In my Jan. 30 letter, I wrote, “allegations alone of an unknown degree of offense are now enough to destroy the career and legacy of any man.” We can now thank Minnesota Public Radio for clearly demonstrating the accuracy of this point.

Today’s feminist movement is willing to skewer men in knee-jerk fashion; it is often a selfish movement acting within a protective veneer of political correctness. It isn’t about fair play or seeking reasonable solutions. It looks to establish a childlike utopia where women get to play king, queen, prince and princess: no males allowed.

Women infantilize themselves when they call upon an authoritarian, coddling structure (such as MPR so boldly exemplified) to deal with their unhappy social interactions.

If a serious crime or outrageous abuse occurred, report it. If not, deal with it as a grown-up. MPR can argue it did “due diligence.” It looks to have instead been sorely played as a partner in petty retribution — a man’s brilliant legacy and reputation shredded in the process.

True feminists care about an equitable play and proportionate response.

To have men as partners, as they seek redress for real issues of poor treatment within the workplace or elsewhere, they need to treat men the way they would like men to treat them: respectfully and as adults.

Paul Bearmon, Edina

• • •

Keillor/Wellstone scandals (“Wellstone brothers kicked off board,” Feb. 15): The underside of Minnesota Nice.

Scott A. Ritchie, St. Paul


This idea is another gift to the elite, and everyone else’s burden

I agree with the writer of the Feb. 15 commentary “Toying with tolls moves Minnesota in the wrong direction.” Someone thinks toll roads are the way to solve transportation costs, when in reality that plan would be another government giveaway to privatization. It would force some drivers to detour around the tolls, causing dangerous conditions in neighborhoods and burdens on streets not designed for such traffic.

As it is, I’m even opposed to the MnPASS express lanes — something that was implemented during the Pawlenty administration.

Having driven during the enforced hours, it just seems to be more congestive than necessary to have two or three lanes of vehicles on the right side of the road while a few elites’ cars zip by on the left. No smooth flow; just a bunch jockeying for position.

Richard Segers, Savage


Truckers don’t need tips on parking; they need more parking

Regarding “Sensors to help trucks find parking spaces” (Feb. 14): A huge waste of taxpayer money. According to John Hausladen, president of the Minnesota Trucking Association, this will allow truckers to “plan their trip and see if space is waiting when they get there.” What? So, if I’m in Fargo, and I plan ahead to stop at the rest area, how is this going to help? How many trucks travel on Interstate 94 ? There might be hundreds of trucks ahead of me, all wanting to stop at the same rest area.

The problem is not that truck drivers need help planning ahead. The real problem is there is just not enough parking. How is the sensor going to help the driver who is out of hours or fatigued when he gets to the rest area and the sign says there are no spaces available? Now what does he do? After all the money is spent, we are still going to have drivers sleeping on the ramps because they have no other place to go. Why don’t we look into increasing the number of parking spots available? That would have been money better spent.

Darwin Allord, Long Prairie, Minn.


Not my best friends; I prefer to breathe from unpanted air

As for dogs in the workplace (“Where it’s ‘Take Your Dog to Work Day,’ every day,” Feb. 15), employees in the small business where I work recently began showing up to the office accompanied by their pet dogs, with no challenge to this phenomena from management. I was the only one of the 11 on our staff who delivered a mild protest to this new custom, citing how dogs bring with them a distinct odor that to me is repulsive, they often would appear next to me sniffing in places they ought not and I have an aversion to the thought that I may be breathing in the air those animals are exhaling. None of those reasons merited halting bringing dogs to my workplace. I’m thinking of housing a pet snake on my office desk. Just a thought.

Bob Statz, Onamia, Minn.