Letters to the editor: Generosity toward vets, Lohmer lauded, more ...Woodbury Bulletin letters to the editor for the week of May 2.
Lohmer support gave autism legislation wings
This year I had a very unexpectedly pleasant experience with initiating legislation and trying to get a couple of bills passed regarding autism housing. As the director of a local non-profit The End of the Spectrum, I had no experience with government at this level and was told it was very unlikely I could get anything passed. I was referred to Rep. Kathy Lohmer and she listened patiently and sympathetically to the plight of the families I work with. She was also enthusiastically committed to helping in any way she could. We constructed two bills to address the problems, and Kathy was my driving force, especially with the more controversial bill to start an autism campus. She continually held firm to the belief that this was everyone’s issue – autism is not Republican or Democratic – and we needed to get everyone on board.
It is difficult to explain how complicated the legislative process is. Kathy, even as a first term representative, was amazingly committed and adept at working our bills so they were eventually passed. I am blessed to have been able to work with her, and hope she is re-elected so she can continue to make an impact on behalf of disabled individuals.
Grassie is executive director of the Edina-based nonprofit group The End of the Spectrum
Woodbury’s generosity helping veterans
In the spring each year veterans throughout our nation distribute poppies in exchange for contributions to support needy veterans and their families. The poppy was selected as a memorial flower following World War1 because of its red color and its prominence in the battlefields of Belgium.
This year the Woodbury American Legion continued the tradition, distributing poppies at several retail locations throughout Woodbury. And thanks to the generosity of Woodbury retailers and their customers, donations again reached a record high.
The members of Woodbury Post 501 wish to extend our appreciation to all who participated in making this year’s campaign another great success. Because of you the “Fighting 501st” will serve needy veterans and their families better than ever.
Tom Grezek, Sr. - Woodbury
Grezek is commander of Woodbury American Legion Post 501
Compare these 2 groups? No, not even close
Mr. St. Martin's attempt to equate American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization which has operated in the shadows for decades, enjoying tax-free status as a so-called "charity" while lobbying legislators and in many cases actually writing legislation for members, notably the “stand your ground” and voter ID laws, with the Secretary of State Project, a short-lived clearinghouse for political donations to candidates for secretary of state, is just plain ludicrous. In 2006, the SOSP raised a grand total of $500,000, a pittance compared with the millions of dollars ALEC spends annually entertaining legislators, sometimes at expensive resorts, and crafting legislation.
Suggesting some sort of nefarious plot on the part of the SOSP to sway election results in key states, Mr. St. Martin neglects to mention the impetus for the founding of SOSP, namely, the obvious conflict of interest of former Florida Republican Secretary of State Katherine Harris in 2000, and former Ohio Republican Secretary of State Ken Blackwell in 2004, both former campaign chairmen for George W. Bush.
Finally, Mr. St. Martin brings up George Soros, a man whose influence, according to the right, is so pervasive it is a wonder we don't find him lurking under our beds or in our closets. What was Soros' connection to SOSP? He donated $10,000. Soros did not run the organization, he did not dictate policy, he did not even donate a huge amount of money; the SOSP was merely the recipient of a small amount of the money Mr. Soros donates to causes he supports.
The SOSP no longer exists; ALEC, on the other hand, is still writing legislation and influencing public policy for the benefit of corporate donors.
Joyce Denn - Woodbury
Passing voter ID is just common sense
A ballot question – “Should voters be required to show photo ID?” – will be up Nov 6. Seventy percent or more of voters support showing photo ID when voting. After all, average people reason, we have to show ID to board an airplane, buy alcohol or cigarettes, purchase a weapon, get food at the food shelf. What’s the big deal? We have to ask ourselves: What are the progressives’ motives in opposing it?
One of the problems with Minnesota’s voting system is same day registration through vouching. Instead of registering in advance a voter can have someone vouch that they live in that precinct. Do we want to risk having people go from precinct to precinct or state to state to vote multiple times? Current law also says a person can vouch for up to 15 people. Is this at all logical? Without voter ID, students could vote absentee in their home state and in Minnesota where they attend school. Furthermore, what’s to stop someone from checking obituaries and then presenting themselves as that voter? With no photo ID to verify, citizens could be committing a felony by unintentionally committing voter fraud. Same day registration votes are counted, and only after the election is the residence verified.
In 2008, 23,000 Election Day registrants were flagged for challenge because the information they provided could not be verified. With some of our elections being very close, unverified votes could change election results. This is why preserving the integrity of the voting process is very important.
Progressives should remember that ACORN workers in several states have been successfully prosecuted for election fraud. Can people honestly say our Minnesota voting process has integrity? We owe it to our citizens to have an honest and honorable voting process. Vote to pass voter ID on Nov. 6.
Linda Stanton - Woodbury
Is defunct organization worth the outrage?
Mr. St. Martin ("Democratic supporters take aim at elections," Apr. 25) believes I "hold to a double standard" with regard to criticism of the powerful American Legislative Exchange Council's interference in state laws, stating I should also be "outraged" about an organization called the Secretary of State Project.
He claims ominously that bogeyman billionaire George Soros was their pre-eminent contributor; however, in spite of stories about Mr. Soros giving millions, it appears he only gave the organization $10,000 back in 2008 - surely "chump change" for him (plus he contributed a whopping $250 to Secretary of State Ritchie's 2006 campaign). At any rate, whatever one may think of its past goals, there's no evidence that organization still exists. Surely Mr. St. Martin can find something more current for us to get outraged about.
Carol Turnbull - Woodbury