Should you think that your vote will not count, here are a few thoughts that you might consider, and talk about among friends.
Polls have many built in errors.
1. The questions are sound bytes, without depth, and thus allow for no, but ifs.
2. Many polls contain leading questions, and allude to half truths.
3. They mostly cull out those not expected to vote.
4. Those that are hard to contact are seldom questioned.
5. Those that refuse to answer questions, which they consider stupid, are not counted.
Then consider how Truman confounded the Gallup Poll in 1948. Those that are not consistent voters, and did not vote in the last election are culled from the count.
Saturday at the Paul Bunyan Corner, I watched from the vantage point of those against a first strike on Iraq, and was surprised to see that most people supported the demonstrators with enthusiasm.
If you sense that the world is being led towards moral and economic bankruptcy, confound the polls, by getting out to vote, and take your friends.
Dennis G. Gordon
Holes, more holes, more holes and cracks. The city street department has not maintained a single one this summer. Why does the engineer not maintain our streets? They are the largest investment the city has and it is a crying shame they are not maintained. Could it be that the engineer did not budget enough money for patching materials? Does the street department have any patching material? I guess that we will just have to let the water get under the paved surface of the streets and destroy them so that they have to be rebuilt.
What has been done with the money that the city receives from the state gas tax funds that they receive? A portion of this money is to be used to repair holes and cracks in the state aid streets. This money cannot be dumped into the construction fund and spent for new streets. Why does the street department not have the money they need to maintain our streets?
Show your displeasure at election time and put people in office who will maintain our streets.
Pleased with Larsen
District 2 County Commissioner Ed Larsen's calm, objective approach to serving the people and finding a balance between development and the environment is the best thing that has happened to Crow Wing County since the glaciers created its lakes!
Tom and Ann Beaver
Every time I see President Bush on TV, I am reminded of something I was told years ago -- "Never trust a man with no lips."
Last year I moved to the country. I have waited many years to own a home in the country. The other morning I was walking my dog. Along our two mile walk, I saw many forms of advertisements along the road: Hotstuff Pizza, McDonald's, Dr. Pepper, Wendy's and a few beer companies. There was also a mattress, carpet and a few other things.
It reminded me of a commercial I saw years ago, about a Native American elder floating down a river in a canoe. His surroundings were lovely, except for the trash he saw floating along the shoreline. He looked back at the camera and there was a tear falling down his face. I felt so sad for him.
What do we teach people (especially our children) when we throw our garbage in the ditch? We live in the "Land of the Free and the Brave." This doesn't give us the freedom to disrespect other people's area. Being brave doesn't mean throwing our trash out the window in the dark. It means to have honor and to stand up for what we believe.
There are many companies available that specialize in garbage disposal and they are usually reasonably priced. Please use them. Please don't "trash" other people's property. Be brave and keep our land free of your trash.
Keep America beautiful!
Wellstone's report card
Sometimes evaluating what grades the candidates get from special interest groups can be helpful in making an informed voting decision. Paul Wellstone receives an "F" from the NRA and he received a "O" on his current legislative scorecard from the Taxpayer's League. However, Wellstone did get high marks and support from pro-abortion groups.
While there are indeed many more issues of great importance Wellstone seems to be concentrating on what he calls: "Protecting Social Security." He doesn't mention in his ads that he voted to tax Social Security benefits. That just doesn't seem like saving Social Security very well to me.
With the inevitable calls for gun control because of a deranged Maryland mass murderer, is Wellstone the candidate you would most trust to protect your right to have a hunting rifle with a scope on it? If a ban on partial-birth abortions comes up for a senate vote will your senate candidate vote the way that you believe is right?
If I understand Wellstone's positions correctly, if you're for gun control, abortion rights, higher taxes (including taxes on Social Security, the marriage penalty, and the death tax) and if you're also against giving President Bush the ability for a preemptive strike trying to stop weapons of mass destruction from being used against us or our allies, then of course you would vote for Paul Wellstone, after all, he's already "fighting for us." That's all the protection we apparently need except for the United Nations, whose countless and toothless resolutions have all been flagrantly violated by Saddam.
It is also very interesting to consider which local candidates back Wellstone (and thus his positions), and which ones have their signs in the same yards as Wellstone's. I think that is quite informative and says a great deal about people's core beliefs.
Attacks on Walz
With election day now less than a month away, Dispatch readers need to keep in mind that the DFL Party desperately wants to take control of the Minnesota House of Representatives, and therefore, will be flooding this newspaper with misleading and blatantly false letters to the editor attacking Dale Walz, your excellent state representative.
A classic example of this DFL attack strategy at work was a letter for the Oct. 3 edition of the Dispatch. In the letter the writer attacks Rep. Walz and accuses him of voting against legislation extending unemployment benefits an additional 13 weeks "for workers in large layoffs, like the Potlatch employees." This bill that the letter writer attacks Walz for voting against had nothing at all to do with Potlatch. I know this because I authored it!
Potlatch was covered from day one by a Federal Trade Adjustment Act extension for employment and job training. Rep. Walz worked closely with me to make absolutely sure that Potlatch employee benefits were secure. He worked very hard on behalf of the laid-off Potlatch employees in Brainerd. The letter writer should be ashamed of himself for saying otherwise.
Please keep this in mind the next time the liberal, Twin Cities-run DFL Party attacks him in The Dispatch.
Chairman, House jobs and economic development finance committee
An Open Forum writer recently asked about several county issues. Responses per his request are:
The county budget is not going to have a deficit of five million dollars in 2003. The number the writer refers to was reported as the amount departments and organizations have requested above the amount the County Board set as the maximum levy amount it would allow in 2003. Requests have already been cut by more than four million dollars, and other cuts are currently under way. That's fiscal responsibility.
Revenues increase from year to year for several reasons, most importantly because our population growth continues to expand at a significant rate. Reasonable growth is good for all of us. More people are paying the costs of services needed for our community, holding county portion tax capacity amounts to one of the lowest in the state.
The budget process is so difficult and important that it begins in June and is finally set in December after public input and public hearings. An initial calculation error was reported to the County Board. It was corrected by the county auditor in a very timely manner. The Minnesota State Auditor, in a letter dated Sept. 24, 2002, issued an "unqualified opinion" about the financial status of Crow Wing County government, meaning that the financial condition of the county raises no significant concerns.
All citizens are welcome to contact me, support their positions, and even door knock with me should they choose to do so. I suspect that more people who support "responsible development" will support my positions than those who support "irresponsible development." I'm very thankful to all who have helped make the Brainerd lakes area such a beautiful place in which to live and want to see that this continues to be so well into the future.
Terry L. Sluss, Commissioner
Crow Wing County District 3
Honest and open-minded
I have known Lucy Nesheim for over 20 years. I have found her to be honest and open-minded. Lucy's past experiences will make her an excellent representative in St. Paul. She has served the city of Brainerd as an informed and ethical council member. Vote for Lucy!
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