10-25-12 Waconia Patriot Letters to the Editor

Writer thanks politicians for supporting Hwy 212

To the editor:

U.S. Highway 212 has played a critical role in the development of our area. This high-priority interregional corridor has served as the main route for moving products and people through our area for many decades and we now see a surge in economic development including medical and manufacturing businesses that attribute their location here to quality of Highway 212.
I would like to thank our elected officials for the support they have provided. In particular, I would like to thank U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar for her work in advocating for federal highway dollars to be used to improve safety and access on Highway 212. We have also benefitted from the support of State Senator Julianne Ortman and Representative Joe Hoppe who have both advocated for both the New Highway 212 and continued work toward our ultimate goal of a continuous four-lane highway. Having support from members of both political parties underlies the obvious importance of Highway 212 to our state’s economy.
The Southwest Corridor Transportation Coalition believes that MnDOT should ensure that funds that were directed to Highway 212 be spent to make needed safety and access improvements on Highway 212 so that the intent of our elected officials is carried out.

Robert Lindall
President, Southwest Corridor Transportation Coalition

Writer defends yes vote on marriage amendment

To the editor:

I, too, am a faithful Catholic.
I graduated from a Catholic high school. I am married to the same man for 50 years and a mother of eight. I have served on the St. Joseph’s School Board and am an active parishioner of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. I taught Confirmation class in the Faith Formation program for six years in Waconia. I do not, however presume to speak for the church’s position on same sex marriage. This is not a Catholic issue, but, rather, a moral issue. I speak as an American citizen with a concern for my country and my state.
If the letter writer is so gravely concerned about civil rights and dignity, respect, equality, justice, liberty and freedom, how about some concern for the unborn? Her party’s platform has none!
Is anyone aware of the impact of the 2005 same sex marriage law on parental and religious rights in Canada and what a similar law could do to Minnesota if marriage is redefined?
I take offense at the way the same sex marriage supporter of last week’s letter disrespectfully treated our pastor, Fr. Bennet Tran (who gave us a fair and well-balanced sermon) and Bishop Nienstedt (who is trying to guide his people in difficult times).
If the letter writer had all that Catholic education, she should have learned of the danger of values clarification and situational ethics. That is what we are facing in Minnesota on election day. Please vote yes for marriage.

Sharon A. Brown
Waconia Township
It’s time to return to
a pro-growth approach

To the editor:

The time for choosing is upon us. There can be no dispute over the importance of this election as the very welfare of the country is at stake. While there are many local and nationally significant elections, they will  be tempered if Obama is re-elected. Electing those who embrace lower taxes, less spending and rational regulations is paramount. They will set the table for this nation to move forward with pro-growth policies. However, the standard bearer for the Democrat party must be defeated.
In my view, the Presidential debates have been the unraveling of the Obama agenda.
In two face to face meetings, the President has been incapable of defending his economic policies. Romney has given the President an economics lesson via his five point plan. Obama can only obfuscate his record while promising to work harder in the future. Well, Mr. President, that is no longer going to work! Four more years of the same policies will result in “transformational change” that will crush capitalism. “We the People” realize we have been betrayed by an unknown messianic individual. Americans are looking for a new sense of optimism rather than more heavy handed government. The current economic reality is nothing less than a national disgrace! We can do much better.
In addition, the President’s foreign policy of appeasement has served to destabilize the Mideast further. It is hard to imagine the reality of a President who has a higher regard for the Muslim Brotherhood than the American Catholic Church. The deaths of four Americans in Libya and the ongoing coverup serve as a poignant reminder of more failed policies.
The choice is simple. We will either continue down the road to serfdom or return to pro-growth policies which made this nation the shining city on a hill. If not now, when?

Joseph Polunc

Former state rep says Lynch worthy of support

To the editor:

During my eight years representing Central and Western Carver County in the Minnesota House of Representatives, I had an opportunity to get to know both commissioner Tim Lynch and his opponent. Knowing both men, I sincerely hope that the voters will reelect Tim Lynch.
Commissioner Lynch regularly interacted with me on issues the state legislature was considering to make sure he understood the implications for the citizens of Carver County.
His concerns about the impact of state policy on services that the county is mandated to deliver showed his interest in protecting the taxpayers of Carver County.
Tim Lynch was always thoughtful, conscientious, and respectful every time I dealt with him in a professional setting. He has proven that he can get the job done and he has the temperment of a true leader.
I hope you will join me in supporting Tim Lynch in his bid to be reelected to the Carver County Board of Commissioners.

Paul Kohls
Fmr. State Representative (2003-2010)

Catechism makes clear where church stands

To the editor:

I read with interest the letter of Leanne Pouliot Kunze in your Oct. 18 issue. In it she expresses her “disappointment” in Mother Church, her “disheartenment” with Archbishop Nienstedt, and her apparent disagreement with her “priest’s recent homily” regarding the Catholic Church’s support of the marriage amendment.
As a “faithful Catholic,” she should check out her Catechism of the Catholic Church, Article 7, The Sacrament of Matrimony #1601, which states: “The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.”
They are following the Church’s teaching and doing what they are supposed to do.

Helen Nicklaus

Vote ‘yes’ for the sake of humanity’s future

To the editor:

For the sake of the future of humanity, vote yes. A society where only men are married to men, women married to women, in a few generations humanity would become extinct.
We have these people that are floundering around in a sea of immorality and they want us voters to pass an amendment to our state constitution that would glorify their lifestyle.
Not only is it an attack on the institution of marriage between a man and a woman but it is a direct attack on every Christian religion and we are fighting back.

W. Jay Gregg

If passed, Voter ID would cost Carver County

To the editor:

The proposed “photo ID” constitutional amendment would impose new costs on Carver County if passed on Nov. 6.
The amendment is not a simple photo ID amendment. It requires a specific kind of ID that many do not have. It also imposes a new system of provisional balloting. Provisional ballots are not counted on Election Day and may never be counted, if other states are any example. Further, it may result in counties having to purchase computers for every polling place to comply with new requirements.
The nonpartisan MN Association of County Officers has estimated that the amendment would increase election costs in Carver County to between $350,000 and $700,000. Election officials in other counties also estimate commensurate increases.
These costs will be paid by increasing property taxes or by cutting other services, such as police and fire protection and road maintenance. At a time when local government aid has been cut and cities and counties are struggling financially, we should not have to take on the responsibility for another unfunded state government mandate.
Please vote “no” on Nov. 6. Let’s send this back to the legislature and tell them that Minnesotans deserve better.

Sally Bruggeman

Leidiger would work for economic growth

To the editor:

As an inventor and entrepreneur, I am confident that my vote for Representative Ernie Leidiger will help ensure the vigorous and informed representation we need for job growth and prosperity in our state and our community. I do not have that same confidence in his opponent.
Representative Ernie Leidiger’s opponent this season, along with several like-minded Democrats, has trumpeted poll results (“Strib” Nov 9, 2011) which clearly reflect the success of long-term institutional indoctrination of our young people by media and academia. His confidence in the ultimate demographic effects of this orchestrated and determined brainwashing, evoked his “radical” suggestion that those of us who oppose his leftist views should just give up.
I have a better idea:  Let’s pop that bubble and re-elect State House District 47A Representative Ernie Leidiger!
Then vote YES on both the Voter ID amendment and the Marriage amendment.
All of these votes will help stabilize our teetering economy and society, and put us on a road to recovery by: 1. Restoring confidence in future elections; 2. Protecting the family as the basic building block of our society, and 3. Retaining a State Representative who understands government impediments to economic growth.

Vada Larson

Long has the right qualities for commissioner

To the editor:

I was dismayed to read the accusations put forward by Kim Nash, the wife of the Mayor of Waconia, against Frank Long.
I have been involved in political circles for years and have attended many meetings, events and conventions. I don’t recall ever meeting Mrs. Nash at any of them, although her husband does infrequently attend. I do recall Frank Long at many of these community and political events.
I have seen him stand up and passionately argue for positions he believed in, or take elected officials to task for decisions he disagreed with. I have seen him react with indignation or with exasperation from the answers sometimes provided from officials or office holders, from county to federal level, frequently from the same political party he belongs to.
And of the many times I have seen him exercise the right to address our representatives, or address the Republicans of Carver County as our former chair or at other levels of the Republican Party as a delegate, I have never seen him shout at anyone, and certainly would not characterize his manner as “belligerent.”
It’s unfortunate that personal attacks, based on who knows what, instead of issues, are brought forward to argue for Mrs. Nash’s choice for commissioner.
I very much hope to see her participating in our system of government in the future. It will give her a better understanding of what our founders believed in, free speech and representative government based on involvement and a firm grasp of the issues. Qualities Frank Long exhibits, something that will serve us very well when he is elected as our commissioner.

Sandra Dahl

Vote your conscience on marriage amendment

To the editor:

In response to the letter writer from last week, I am offended and saddened. I, too, am a faithful Catholic and have been a longtime active parishioner at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Waconia. Unlike the previous writer, who tells of her complete Catholic education, I happen to be a convert, and do not feel our church, Archbishop, and priest should have been so unjustly criticized.
She went into great detail about everyone’s civil rights, but neglected to mention the civil rights of the unborn. Our priest’s homily was taken from Genesis. This first book of the Bible contains many religious teachings of basic importance, one of which is the institution of marriage as “the union of one man with one woman.” How can we deviate from that? Our congregation was informed on the issue, and not told how to vote — either “yes” or “no.”
Please vote your conscience and God bless you.

Kathy Brose

Harrod would represent Three Rivers users

To the editor:

Leigh Harrod is running for Three Rivers Park District Board of Commissioners, District 4.
Although I am not a Hennepin County resident, I am none-the-less a frequent user of the parks. I speak for many of the 8 million annual visitors who enjoy these parks, however, we don’t get to vote for the Three Rivers Park Commissioners. Still we care who they are. Leigh brings extensive hands-on expertise to the table, along with an extreme passion to preserve the environment while analyzing all aspects of park usability. She is relentless in pursuit of information and solutions – technical and financial. Her unique skill set would enhance the knowledge base of the Park District. The District Vision Plan’s #1 Action – straight from their website – is “protect the region’s water and natural resources.”
We need someone who can provide creative solutions, will listen to and represent the park users. Leigh Harrod is the best candidate    (www.harrod4parks.com).

Mary Novakowski

Leidiger has what it takes to improve economy

To the editor:

Ernie Leidiger is like us, a conservative and business man facing these hard times, but he knows what it takes not only to survive but to succeed and turn this economy around. To get government out of the way and off the backs of working people, businesses and farmers so they can once again hire and create more jobs to putting people back to work.
We cannot afford to allow government to spend our money unnecessarily which is hindering our economic growth. This has resulted in job and home loss. Vote for Ernie Leidiger for State Representative on Nov. 6. Our vote will also be cast for Michele Bachmann for Congress.

Terry and Clarence Maschke
Norwood Young America

Amendment is freedom of speech, religion battle

To the editor:

In her letter to the editor last week, Leanne Pouliot Kunze stated that although she is a Catholic, she is opposed to the Marriage Amendment. Furthermore, she criticized Archbishop Nienstedt for his defense of the amendment, stating that he abused his position of authority.
As a spiritual leader for the Catholic Church and as a Christian, it is his responsibility — his moral duty — to explain and defend Biblical teachings. As Christians, we are supposed to speak the truth in love. That’s exactly what he has done.
I do agree with her statement, “Our faith teaches us to form a conscience based in morality.” But how is morality defined? Upon man’s ideas? Or God’s Word?
In Matthew 19:4-6, Jesus clearly defines God’s plan for marriage. “Haven’t you read,” He replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his mother and father and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?’ So they are no longer two but one. Therefore what God has joined together let man not separate.” I also agree with her statement, “Our religious freedom is only protected if we allow the religious freedom of others.” What I disagree with is a Pollyanna view that if our government allows homosexual marriage, everyone will live side by side happily ever after. This has already been demonstrated in Canada where it is a hate crime for ministers to teach a Biblical view of homosexuality in their own churches. And it’s already happening here in the States.
In Massachusetts, parents are denied notification when homosexual material is going to be presented in the classroom. Justices of the peace have been fired because they refused to marry same sex couples. A photographer was sued for refusing to photograph a same sex ceremony. An investigation is underway by school officials in New Jersey of a school teacher because she posted on her views on homosexuality on her personal Facebook page. A psychology student was denied a college diploma because she said she didn’t think she could counsel a gay couple. Surely, you read of the backlash against Chick-fil-A? Or the effect this has had on Catholic adoption agencies.
This is more than a battle over same sex marriages. This is a battle over religious freedom and free speech.
I do not agree with Leanne’s assertion that the Mother Church is wrongly interfering with the religious freedom of others. It is not interfering any more than Hollywood, the media, and various government officials. It is just one voice among many. And I doubt Leanne would be saying this if church officials agreed with her position.
Civic matters affect us all and need to be based on the common good. The exercise of free will also has to be tempered. The Catholic Church believes that these unions do not foster the common good. Be aware that the very same arguments used for homosexual marriage can be used to support polygamy. After all, their religious belief says it’s okay and they are committed, loving adults. Pretty soon marriage could mean anything and everything until it means nothing at all.
This truly is about redefining marriage and not about equality. Homosexual individuals have the same right to marriage that every other man and woman has — the right to marry an eligible person of the opposite sex. Homosexual marriage would actually create a special right.
As far as how well children fare, read the recent study published in the prestigious Social Science Journal conducted by Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas. This study of 2,988 randomly selected young adults ages 18-39 found those raised by gay and lesbian couples fared the worst on 40 different outcomes. “What would Jesus Do?” He would obey His Father even if it required a sacrifice. He would love all sinners, but not their sin. He would offer forgiveness, but would require repentance. He would require us to be Holy. It also takes courageous people to speak out against homosexual marriage. It’s hard to do that when you know it will hurt the feelings of people you care about.

Veronica Fiecke
Norwood Young America

Walter’s vision offers hope for Dist. 5 citizens

To the editor:

We know Jim Walter and we believe he is a man of his word who will do his very best to represent all of Carver County’s citizens when elected Commissioner of District 5.
We’ve had conversations with Jim in which he’s shared his sincere concern that the people of this county are not being represented as they deserve to be. Jim and his wife, Sue, have been out speaking with many residents of District 5. They’ve shared with us their anger that the current administration seems so unaware or just plain doesn’t care so many of its citizens feel they’ve been let down and don’t trust politicians to do anything they say they will. They both have had conversations with far too many residents who are only one paycheck away from disaster, several so upset they even had tears as they explained their situations and disillusionment. Jim said these folks feel their officials don’t understand or care and they don’t know where to turn. In their neighborhoods are homes up for sale or empty, foreclosed homes of friends and neighbors whose dreams collapsed because they could no longer afford them.
Home values have plummeted, many well below what people owe on them, and taxes have not dropped, regardless of what some of our commissioners are saying.
Our people and businesses are being taxed beyond what they can handle. He said there are far too many of our neighbors whose financial situation is dire enough to have them in fear of any unforeseen debt arising which would put them over the edge and force them to become the next home up for sale or in foreclosure. It is just that serious!
Jim said when so many are that financially strapped, it is incredible to believe some of our commissioners would even consider spending millions of taxpayer dollars on park/ballroom land!
We have commissioners boasting of fiber optics, trails and other accomplishments which only demonstrates how out of touch they are with the financial reality of so many of their constituents. Jim’s slogan, “It’s Time,” is right on the mark. It’s time we ask ourselves how our local officials can rationalize the benefits of these expenditures outweighing the cost to the people they are supposed to represent, not only in dollars but the personal cost.
We need someone in office who is in touch with the needs of our neighbors and who will make fiscal decisions that benefit their financial well-being instead of burdening them further. We need someone who will bring some hope back to our residents that they do have a place to turn and someone who will do what he promises. The someone we need is Jim Walter.

Dan Gapen
Norwood Young America

Writer supports election of Judge Messerich

To the editor:

I have known Judge Kathryn Messerich for more than 30 years. She and I practiced in a similar area, focusing on the trial of civil lawsuits, and on occasion represented different parties in the same lawsuits. In addition, I worked closely with Judge Messerich through the Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association where she was a past president (as was I). During that tenure, prior to her becoming a judge, part of the work Judge Messerich did through the MDLA focused on legislative input that affected the trial of civil lawsuits.
All of her efforts had the same theme — her interest was in providing for lawsuits that were fair to both sides.
Since she became a judge, I have appeared in front of Judge Messerich. As I expected, she was unfailingly courteous, extremely prepared, sharply analytical and applied the law. Judge Messerich is a tribute to the judiciary, to our state, and to the ideals of justice. By contrast, to my knowledge, her opponent has not distinguished himself in the trial of civil lawsuits. I’m not aware of that he has ever completed a single jury trial. I’m not aware that he has devoted significant personal time to the betterment of the legal profession. I am certain he has not demonstrated any reason for the voters to replace one of our best jurists with an unknown whose legal accomplishments to date are, at best, limited. I support Judge Messerich without any hesitation and with total commitment and enthusiasm, and invite my friends and neighbors to do the same.

Richard J. Thomas
Apple Valley

Commissioners respond to claim in recent letter

To the editor:

In the Oct. 18 edition of newspapers across the county, Mr. Mark Wickenhauser wrote a letter that is extremely misleading, not factual, and casts a light of unethical behavior over the sitting county commissioners. We want to set the record straight and point out that Mr. Wickenhauser’s attempt to make us look bad is being directed by our political opponents who are unwilling or afraid to confront us in public debate.
The worst offense by Mr. Wickenhauser is the accusation that the county sold an excess piece of equipment (bobcat) internally and illegally. In checking the facts, which we would encourage Mr. Wickenhauser to try next time) we show the only transactions involving bobcat machines were market-based trade-ins with dealers or open, competitive sales to individuals who did not work for the county and in fact did not even live in the state of Minnesota.
Accusing us of illegal activity is something we take seriously. Mr. Wickenhauser is clearly wrong and should apologize for his misguided statements. We abide by laws and rules as commissioners and suggest that Mr. Wickenhauser and his associates do the same before leveling false accusations at us.

Tim Lynch, Carver County Commissioner District 4
Jim Ische, Carver County Commissioner District 5

Editor’s note: ECM policy dictates that candidate letters are not accepted, unless the candidate is responding to an attack or accusation from a previous letter writer.

Writer responds to marriage amendment letter

To the editor:

Oh boy, how best to respond to a letter that has so many distortions, misstatements of fact and unfair criticism of her adversaries.
After starting her epistle with her “religious credentials,” in a letter to the editor last week, Leanne Pouliot Kunze then proceeds to negate her parish priest’s homily and then engage in a bit of “Bishop bashing” at Archbishop John Nienstedt for his support of the marriage amendment. It should not come as a surprise that Archbishop Nienstedt would uphold the biblical injunction that marriage is between a man and a woman!
She then asks in an accusatory manner, “What would Jesus do?” Well, Jesus would forgive the sinner if that person were repentant, and say as He does to all of us, “go now and sin no more.” There are clear injunctions in both the old and new testament (See Romans 1:24-27) for just one. It is not a mark of Christian love to condone homosexuality.
Words have meaning. The word “gay” used to mean joyous, lively, merry, bright, etc. The word has now been perverted to mean wanton, licentious, homosexual. Now, the attempt is being made to steal the word “marriage” that for thousands of years mean a union between a man and woman. Well, forgive me, a happily married man for 57 years, for taking umbrage at their attempted theft of that honorable institution.
Finally, the opponents of the amendment insist it is not necessary. They never mention the pastors jailed for “hate speech” or adoption agencies closed for choosing to place children in married homes and not with homosexual couples. Lawsuits galore!
To avert this disaster we must put the marriage amendment into our state constitution as have 31 other states before us.

Mike Burns

A proven leader, Weygand ideal for Dist. 47

To the editor:

Carver County voters have a tremendous opportunity in this upcoming election to vote for Jim Weygand.
Jim entered the race for the Minnesota Senate with a proven track record of successful leadership as the former mayor of Carver. Jim was also on the Carver City Council prior to being elected mayor and on the Rochester, Minn., Transit Committee for 18 years. He is well-equipped to deal with the financial and budgetary challenges that face our local communities and our state.
Jim has always believed that investment in our people and in our state is what has made Minnesota a great place to live, work and do business. This belief is what drew Jim and his wife, Joanne, to our state more than 40 years ago. This belief is what led Jim to support the development of critical infrastructure in Carver to draw new homeowners and businesses to the area.
This belief is also why he is disappointed that our current legislature has stopped investing in our people and our state in order to conform to extreme political ideologies.
I know that Jim Weygand will help break the political gridlock in the state legislature. He believes in spirited and informed debate among politicians with different viewpoints but at the end of the day working together to find solutions that best serve the people of Minnesota and Carver County. Jim is not afraid to challenge and cross what have increasingly become rigid party boundaries in order to do what is just and fair for his constituents.
Please join me on Nov. 6 in casting a vote for Jim Weygand for State Senate!

Laura Helmer

Catholic teaching holds marriage as a sacrament

To the editor:

Regarding Ms. Kunze’s letter to the editor last week, I, for one, commend Archbishop Nienstedt and the clergy for speaking in support of the marriage amendment. He knows that the truth about marriage — and the family and society founded upon it — is strong enough for its own defense. It is written in the Natural law and knowable by all men and women through the exercise of right reason. It simply takes men and women of courage to articulate it.
Marriage has been primarily about the raising of children (who seem to be hardwired to be best raised by a father and a mother who are married to each other). The state has had a legitimate interest in favoring such traditional marriages as a way of investing in the future of society. That marriage is a life-long union between a man and a woman is certainly part of Catholic teaching, which holds it to be a sacrament. However, marriage as an institution predates both church and state. Since it is not a creation of church or state, neither has any authority to change the nature of marriage.  The common good demands that the understanding of marriage as a union between one man and one woman not be lost. Marriage is about what kids need, not what adults want.
Since 1973, when abortion was legalized, living together without any commitment became more common; hence, fewer marriages. In Spain, after gay marriage was introduced, marriage rates across the whole population plummeted. In the Netherlands too there has been a significant fall in the marriage rate since marriage was redefined. Same-sex marriage does not promote marriage. Rewriting the meaning of marriage will have a far-reaching impact on society. Thousands of laws make reference to marriage. Official documents will need to be rewritten to remove words like “husband” and “wife.” In France the Government is eradicating the words “father” and “mother” from all official documents. The Church of England has warned that it could lead to disestablishment and a constitutional crisis. I cannot imagine what the cost of something like this would be or where the money would come from to pay for it.
The Lord said, “I am the Bread of Life. He who follows me will have eternal life.”  If we are to be faithful to the truth about the human person, we must oppose uncompromisingly policies and laws that undermine the common good.  One might invite the person who experiences same sex attractions to conversion and, in place of behavior viewed as sinful, propose chastity. Vote “Yes” to protect marriage between one man and one woman.

Irene Dzarnoski

Walter’s background would benefit District 5

To the editor:

I live in rural Carver County and see how my neighbors have been struggling in recent times.
Jim Walter is concerned for those people in the county as he has contacted many of them while door knocking. I know Jim Walter has the background as a small business man to bring more fiscal responsibility and agility to county government. For a more responsive and less costly county government, I am supporting Jim Walter for County Commissioner in District 5 and urge you to do so, also.

Tim Colliton
Camden Township

Marriage must remain one man, one woman

To the editor:

This letter is in response to Leanne Kunze’s letter last week concerning the marriage amendment. I am a fellow Catholic from St. Joseph’s parish who will not be joining Mrs. Kunze in voting no. I will be joining Archbishop Nienstedt instead and voting YES to preserve the traditional definition of one man and one woman. Kunze refers to herself as a faithful Catholic, but just who exactly is she faithful to if she takes direct opposition to her Bishop? To say that marriage needs to be redefined, is to say that the Catholic Church has gotten it wrong for nearly two centuries. She is calling for the redefinition of something that has been defined biblically, historically and sociologically. Nobody has the right to do such a thing.
I am exceedingly grateful for the courage of Archbishop Nienstedt! He is preserving what marriage has always been defined as even before any church or government existed. He is fighting for the optimal environment to raise children where they can experience the love of both a father and a mother. He recognizes that no institution is more fundamental to the well-being of society and he speaks boldly for the amendment. Who is the faithful Catholic here, the Archbishop or Kunze?
Kunze is trying to turn this into an emotional equal rights issue, which is an insult to all that have been genuinely oppressed, marginalized and enslaved. Those who have same sex attraction have the same civil rights as anyone else. They can live as they prefer, but they don’t have the right to redefine marriage for all of Minnesota.
If marriage is redefined, the words husband and wife, and mother and father will be redefined as well. Men and women provide unique gifts to each other and their children. They are not interchangeable. Marriages need to be strengthened and supported between men and women and not redefined.
Marriage is precious gem. It enhances the health, longevity, and stability of married couples. It increases the health, career, and emotional well-being of children. In providing all these benefits, traditional marriage contributes to the happiness and prosperity of society. Marriage must, therefore, remain limited to one man and one woman who strive to keep their marriage exclusive, unconditional, permanent, and life-giving.

Todd Kraft

Writer questions priorities of commissioners

To the editor:

The letter from the mayors of the various cities in the district endorsing Tim Lynch gave me a sense of their membership in the same club.
It’s all well and good that the county commissioner works well with them, that’s part of the job any commissioner would see as a requirement of the position. But what about the relationship with those of us who are paying the bills? Are we being well served? My home values are still decreasing and my tax percentage is not going in the same direction regardless of the county’s story.
And for what? Increased spending on trails, parks, buildings and the maintenance for them. These are all things that might make more sense when our homes and income aren’t taking a hit, but now? It not only makes me question the priorities of my commissioner, but also these mayors. It’s time for a change. What Lynch has been voting for doesn’t serve the taxpayers, and he thinks he has been doing a fine job. He doesn’t get it and it looks like he’s not going to. I’m voting for Frank Long.
Frank understands that “We The People” pay all the bills and in the hard times to come we can’t afford to waste our resources on pet projects or legacy projects to immortalize a politician.
When you vote  — vote to conserve all of our futures and remember our families, our children and their children. How much more of a burden can they afford to pay in the future?

Robert Lamkin
Waconia Township

Make sure you know the details of Voter ID

To the editor:

The Voter ID Amendment will change article VII, section 1 of our Constitution from 1 paragraph to 3. The first change adds “(a)” before the existing paragraph. Your ballot will not have the 2 new paragraphs to be added on it.
It will have the following: “Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to require all voters to present valid photo identification to vote and to require the state to provide free identification to eligible voters, effective July 1, 2013?”
This is what you won’t see:
(b) All voters voting in person must present valid government-issued photographic identification before receiving a ballot. The state must issue photographic identification at no charge to an eligible voter who does not have a form of identification meeting the requirements of this section. A voter unable to present government-issued photographic identification must be permitted to submit a provisional ballot. A provisional ballot must only be counted if the voter certifies the provisional ballot in the manmanner provided by law.
(c) All voters, including those not voting in person, must be subject to substantially equivalent identity and eligibility verification prior to a ballot being cast or counted.
Learn more at know-vember.blogspot.com.

Jay Johnson

Writer asks, ‘Is it courageous to mislead?’

To the editor:

I’m a faithful Catholic. A Catholic schools and Jesuit university graduate. A St. Boniface parishioner, who serves Catholic institutions.
Catholic Leanne Pouliot Kunze, last election’s Democrat candidate, wrote with audacity recently, rewriting Catholic core belief, and worse, confusing the definition of morality and how to form a conscious with Christ.
This isn’t only about marriage.
Remember what Leanne supported: Obamacare and promises there’d be no forced abortion, death panels, rationing, insisting she fights for all human life.
Only now the full force of government is used against Catholics, all Judeo-Christians, to fund the contraception, sterilization, abortion-inducing-drug mandate. Freedom of religion destroyed, a hammer disassembles faith. It doesn’t end. Now un-elected panels without medical training undoubtedly ration care, hitting the very young, old, infirm. Remember promises this wouldn’t happen? It has.
This election year, fabrication makes her arguments work. Even conjuring up a world where traditional families exist to abuse their children. Don’t be duped by Progressives who dismantle everything we know, every code we live by, every belief. “The ends justify the means” no matter how much strife, to create a new, alien society more to their liking.
It’s done inside out, by leading Catholics astray, with Catholic lawmakers like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi substituting egocentric legislations for eternal truth, pushing government intervention to nudge us in direct opposition to Christ’s teachings, as well as our Constitution. This particular nudge eliminates the need for marriage, destabilizes the family, faith, society.
This is an old story. The arguments sound courageous, rational, modern, enticing generations. But in practice, bring misery, death. Look around, we’re children of immigrants. People from Germany, Poland, Ireland and more fled this tyrannical progress “Forward.” My grandmother, born in Kraków in 1907, witnessed how, little by little, Progressive thought brought forth tremendous evil and horror wrought on her homeland. Then God Himself was banished, religion forbidden.
Pope John Paul II was “her pope.” That Great Pope warned about the “Culture of Death,” and taught man and woman become one in the Sacrament of Holy Marriage, a sacred design open to a “Culture of Life.”
The question our Bishops ask is this: “Does destruction of marriage pose new threats to our life, families, children, our faith, liberty and public moral witness? Does it mislead to something more, ultimately ending in intrinsic evil? If that’s the case, we, regardless of party affiliation, should defend marriage and vote ‘yes’.”

Amy Anderson
Waconia Township

Ritchie’s statements deserve scrutiny

I was astounded to learn recently that two state senators have complained about Secretary of State Mark Ritchie publicly stating that troops deployed overseas would have a more difficult time successfully casting their ballot under the proposed constitutional amendment on elections. I believe Secretary Ritchie is correct and that he would be derelict in his duties as our state’s chief elections officer if he didn’t advise voters of potential consequences of proposed changes in our Constitution. One part of this proposed amendment, identity verification, would be done by the presentation of “valid government-issued photographic identification.”
I worked in the Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State from 2004 until 2008 overseeing compliance with federal election laws that promoted voting by our servicemen and women. Serving under both former Secretary Kiffmeyer and current Secretary Ritchie, I coordinated with the Department of Defense to address obstacles to Minnesota’s military voters. I have also served in the military for about 38 years, finishing up now in the Regular Army and closing in on 20 active duty years. I was deployed for the first Gulf War in 1990.
Among the many suggestions made by the Pentagon to improve the success rate of our military voters was to eliminate the requirement for a third-party vouching to obtain a ballot. Minnesota and 49 other states had eliminated this requirement and it was clearly a big help. Under the proposed new constitutional amendment we would “turn the clock back” to those days where military voters would need to find someone to vouch for their identity by signing on their ballot as a witness or notary.
Contrary to the assertions that military members will not have any problems meeting the new voting regulations because they have a photographic identification for getting onto a military base, this ID card does not have any address on it, let alone a Minnesota address showing which precinct one is eligible to vote in. This is one reason why every other state in the nation who has imposed photo ID voting restrictions has always exempted military voters – it is not possible to find a witness or voucher that can be certified in all parts of the world, especially in a war zone.
When Secretary Ritchie took office in 2007 he developed a close cooperative working relationship with the Department of Defense, adopting their proposals along with his own; he reached out to veteran’s organizations to inform them of his goals and to seek their support to push the legislature to adopt the important suggestions being made by the Pentagon and others. Working closely with veteran’s organizations, Minnesota National Guard leaders, and other active duty and reserve servicemen and women, he drafted proposed laws and then worked tirelessly to get them passed.
Secretary Ritchie was so successful in getting his reforms adopted into law that Minnesota was named an All-Star state by the Military Voter Protection (MVP) Project in 2012 as part of their 2012 Heroes Vote Initiative.  This is a conservative oriented organization I understand but they validated the success of Secretary Ritchie’s military voting reforms. In fact, in the course of writing this short piece, I took a break, went to the MN SOS website to the military voting program that Secretary Ritchie brought into use in 2008, and submitted a military absentee ballot application within minutes and with which I requested and received my ballot electronically, virtually immediately.
One final point to be made is that in my time in the OSS, I was also the person charged with receiving allegations of illegal voting from the public or government officials. If there was any substance to the allegation, I would forward it to the proper authority. In two national elections, there was not a single   substantiated  complaint of anyone intentionally committing voter fraud. Two statewide recounts where each ballot was looked at confirms the lack of voter fraud in the state.
I no longer work in the Office of Secretary of State, nor do I write as a partisan of any party. But it is critical to set the historical record straight. Knowing the facts as I do, it appears to me that these false allegations being made of Secretary Ritchie regarding military voting are simply partisan political attacks.

MAJ Todd E. Pierce
JA, U.S. Army
Defense Counsel
Department of Defense

  • Brandon H

    Amazing that 4+ years later, God’s still alive and well in Minnesota, and no one seems any worse for wear or any more oppressed since the passage of the marriage amendment in November 2012.

    “Much ado about nothing”…. thanks for the civil rights! Well, thanks Hennepin and Ramsey counties.