Rep. Walz takes issue with a writer suggesting that he would rather make his "colleagues in St. Paul happy then represent us," his constituents.
Unfortunately I have seen first hand that this statement is true. On March 21, 2002, I was part of a delegation of state union workers that traveled to St. Paul to meet with Representatives Walz, Blaine and Howes to encourage them to vote yes on the contract that we, as state workers, had fought so hard to get. Sadly it became immediately clear that Rep. Walz was, in fact, voting for or against issues based on information he had obtained from more senior party representatives rather than what was best for his constituents. Workers in the area from MnDOT, DNR, PCA, Revenue, Economic Security, BRHSC, CLC, Military Affairs (Camp Ripley), Lottery and Labor and Industry remain without a contract approved by the Legislature and at risk of salary reductions and lost benefits thanks to "our" representatives' no vote on our contract. Rep. Walz admitted to our group that he had relied on information provided by his more senior colleagues and voted accordingly. He pledged to more thoroughly research issues in the future and we left thinking perhaps his vote was based on inexperience and that in the future his voting record would reflect the needs of his constituents.
Alas, Rep. Walz once again voted no to our contract, no to his constituents and yes to the party line. I guess he really was more interested in "keeping his colleagues happy then representing us."
Tighten our belts
In our current tough economic times, families are tightening their belts and making tough spending decisions. Our state government can do the same.
In Colorado, a constitutional amendment limits spending increases to the rate of inflation and population growth. If our legislators had limited state spending over the last eight years as they did in Colorado, Minnesota would have a $7 billion surplus instead of a deficit!
Minnesota currently has a state budget of $27 billion, more than twice the size of Colorado's state budget of $11.7 billion, a state of comparable size to Minnesota. Colorado's fiscal restraint allowed them to give taxpayers a $927 million tax rebate this year while other states are struggling with deficits and calling for tax increases.
Forking over more of our hard-earned dollars to the state is not the answer. Instead let's hold our legislators accountable for belt-tightening at the state level. It's the right thing and long overdue!
Taxpayers League of Minnesota
Thanks to Walz
Thanks to Rep. Dale Walz for all his work behind the scenes to get a fair hearing for my bill. I support his re-election wholeheartedly.
Inaction is risky
President Bush should be applauded for taking a courageous stand against Saddam Hussein's outlaw regime and its reckless pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. As the president noted in his recent address to the nation, the riskiest option for dealing with Iraq is to do nothing. Inaction would only give Saddam Hussein time to complete his malicious pursuit of nuclear weapons and would embolden tyrants and terrorists everywhere.
Acting now to disarm Saddam Hussein, using military force if necessary, is the only way we will keep America safe from weapons of mass destruction that fall into the hands of freedom's enemies. President Bush is right -- our nation cannot let world events be dictated by brutal and lawless dictators.
On active duty
I am writing in response to an article I read in the 11 Oct. '02 Dispatch. I am currently an active duty service man protecting our beliefs in South Korea. I grew up and graduated from Brainerd High School, so I know some of your sons and daughters.
In the Forum I read a gentleman state the $336 billion dollar budget was to much to protect our country. In that case I have a question How much is too much? Do you realize that most of your sons and daughter are barely making it above a poverty level right now. We live in substandard housing and dormitories. But like it was pointed out we are given too much money. Do you know what that money goes to it goes so your children who have volunteered to serve their nation can eat, it goes so that we have the equipment we need to survive when we do the job that was asked of us. Most of us do it without a word because that is what we believe is the right thing to do.
What about all those families from the trade centers that are getting millions of dollars for being in the wrong place at the wrong time? I feel for the families I really do. But what about the millions of soldiers that died or were seriously injured protecting your rights as an American citizen? What about the soldiers, and airmen that are living in tents in the Middle East doing what the American population wanted after the attacks? All I ask is that next time you question why we get some much money why don't you take in to consideration how many people that money has to support?
SRA Robert W. Huston
Osan Passenger Service Agent
Osan Air Base, Korea
Shaw and Fisher backed
It has been years since I have endorsed political candidates. But now two terrific people are running for Brainerd City Council. Attorney Ed Shaw and CLC math instructor Anne Fisher are highly educated and extremely dedicated individuals that could really have a positive impact on Brainerd's future.
Pleased with coverage
Yes, let's get right to the point. Which was and still is, that for someone to write in and complain that the Warriors don't get enough coverage, is to put it quite plainly, a whole lot of hogwash.
I know the paper is called The Brainerd Daily Dispatch. But evidently some don't grasp the concept of what a newspaper is all about. It's not only hometown news but also world events and news about surrounding communities. Those communities have a lot of people working in Brainerd and spending their paychecks at Brainerd businesses, and therefore are helping to support the city of Brainerd. They deserve and should get sports coverage for their kids, and they shouldn't have to read about someone whining about it.
One other thing, we do have a local TV station, it's called Lakeland Public TV, and Brainerd gets its fair share of coverage on it also.
Coleman's party switch
While watching Wellstone's ads, he is continually hee-hawing Coleman for switching sides. Coleman should not be criticized for having the ability to learn. When this occurs in the world of Christianity it is called being born again and is considered a good thing. If you read your history books you will learn that the most effective marshals were reformed bad-men.
I believe that Wellstone is exhibiting the classic Crawdad syndrome. This syndrome is the little understood phenomena where if, when captured, one of the crawdads finds a way to escape the rest will pull it back into the trap and not let it better itself. I think that Coleman should be respected for seeing the error of his ways and having the courage to do something about it. Thank you.
Lundrigan for judge
Ted Lundrigan, candidate for District Court Judge in Walker, has successfully practiced in Pine River over 20 years. He is highly experienced, competent, professional and ethical. We are fortunate to have someone of Lundrigan's caliber running for this important position. Please vote Lundrigan for District Court Judge on Nov. 5.
Erik J. Askegaard
In praise of Putzke
The city of Brainerd issues an award known as The Tower Award to our citizens and staff who have accomplishments and success in their lives over and above the normal everyday events. This award is appreciated and cherished by individuals who receive this prestigious award.
I am proposing that this award be given to Sgt. Becky Putzke because of her heroic actions taken early on Sunday morning, Oct. 6, 2002, which resulted in saving the lives of three children and three adults by rescuing them from a burning house on South Ninth Street in the city of Brainerd.
Sgt. Putzke's effort took a great deal of courage as she was willing to go into "danger's way" to save these citizens. Sgt. Putzke exemplifies the spirit of the men and women who represent our Brainerd Police Department.
The Brainerd Daily Dispatch did an excellent article as a follow-up to my reporting this act of heroism at the Oct. 7, 2002 Council meeting.
Because of this special act of courage I have written a memo to the elected officials recommending that Sgt. Putzke receive special recognition as the recipient of The Tower Award.
I will be offering a motion with a second by Alderman Scheeler at the Council meeting on Oct.. 21 that The Tower Award be presented to Sgt. Putzke at the Council meting on Nov. 4. This special award is just one way that we can applaud the efforts of Sgt. Putzke and say "thank you" for a job well done.
Alderman at Large
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