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Letters to the Editor for Dec. 23

Distasteful government spending

Political candidate Andrea Kieffer's Dec. 16 viewpoint "Spending at the state level has negative impact on local government services" gives an excellent illustration of what happens when you have a large appetite for government and a distaste of governing.

The recipe, or formula, the state Legislature has employed is one of seeing every unmet need as a responsibility that government must fulfill and provide for. This results in, as Kieffer writes, unfunded mandates and redistribution of wealth for which the state Legislature is culpable.

I find it interesting that our current state senator and our two state House representatives were absent from the Woodbury City Council's "truth in taxation" hearing.

I remember well only a few years ago in midsummer the very same state senator and state representatives were holding forth at a town hall meeting they conducted and presided over and were enthusiastically touting enacting taxes on food and clothing to pay for their ever expanding government largesse at taxpayer expense.

Since then the reality of high unemployment has hit hard.

The "stimulus" of the Democrats has failed and "hope" has lost its meaning with the reality of the "change" that actually occurred.

Let us take one of Kieffer's formulas and see how that works. Lower the Minnesota corporate tax rates, really stimulate jobs and get Minnesota cooking with the right recipe.

Bob Tatreau


Now is the time to rebuild GAMC

On April 1, if the state Legislature takes no action, funding for General Assistance Medical Care (GAMC) will be cut off and 70,000 of the poorest Minnesotans (people who earn less than $8,100 per year or less) will lose their health care coverage.

This must not be allowed to happen.

If these cuts take effect, it means that thousands of people, many of whom have severe mental illness, will be left without access to medication and routine check-ups. It means that our emergency rooms will continue to be overburdened, and some may be forced to close. It means that property taxes will increase as counties scramble to make up for lost funding. It means that health care premiums will rise in order to cover the newly uninsured. It means that local government costs will increase because of higher demand on public safety and support services.

Saddest of all is that if these cuts take place we will no longer be able to call Minnesota a state that values the lives of everyone who lives here. Now is the time to rebuild GAMC.

Mary Lanz


Bachmann is a champion for freedom and her constituents

I'm writing in response to Scott Wente's story about Michele Bachmann ("Vocal minority"). The article states that Maureen Reed is of the opinion that Rep. Bachmann should be more moderate.

If that includes the continued increase of government control, spending of money the government doesn't have, and more whittling away at our freedoms (like our "moderate" DFLers propose), then I say "keep up the excellent work, Representative Bachmann."

Michele is a champion when it comes to fighting for freedom. She is truly the best in Washington and we are blessed to have her represent us.

Lee Bohlsen


A political candidate's guide to successfully running for office

I was reading today about our illustrious governor's address to a New Hampshire audience. Tim Pawlenty seems to be against everything that the current incumbent of the White House has undertaken. It struck me that this is a very simple way to campaign for public office. I'm sorry it never occurred to me when I was actually running for office. A bit of reflection produced some simple rules for aspiring political candidates. Follow these and you can't go wrong:

• Play to the audience - tell them whatever they want to hear.

• Take a strong stance against the other side, whoever they are Focus on making them look bad, at beating them, not on solving ourproblems.

• Offer only criticisms of their attempts - it's much easier.

• Make the other side so upset with your antics that they will stop listening to you.

• Smile a lot, look strong and confident. Use simple phrases, nothing too complicated.

• Never ask your audience to engage in any hard work.

• Never consider or even mention the other side's perspective, lest they think you are trying to negotiate.

• Never actually study a complex issue and offer creative alternatives. Never praise a positive step by the other side.

• Be sure to say "God bless America" at the end - forget that the term "America" includes some of the poorest countries in the world.

• Never ask your deity to look with favor on the vast majority of human kind who converse with a different deity, and whose problems are inextricably bound up with our problems.

• Forget that a majority of voters are independents, not on your side or that other side.

• Forget that, as often stated by that noted Canadian sage Red Green, we are all in this together.

Carl Scheider

Former Woodbury City Council member