It is unfortunate that there are a few misguided individuals, who either choose or are coerced into making false statements the week before an election. Such an occurrence was printed in the Open Forum issue of the Oct. 28 issue of this newspaper.
Slander is defined as "the utterance of falsehood that damages a person's reputation." Libel is defined as "1. Any written or printed material, tending to injure a person's reputation unjustly. 2. The act or crime of publishing such a thing."
Minnesota Statute 211B.06 states, "A person is guilty of a misdemeanor who intentionally participates in the drafting of a letter to the editor with respect to the personal or political character or acts of a candidate ... that is false, and that the person knows is false or communicates to others with reckless disregard of whether it is false."
Since my name was mentioned in one of the letters, let it be known to all! I have not and do not accept contributions from any special interest group. I accent only individual contributions, and I have reported all financial information three times this election year.
It is everyone's constitutional right to choose to walk door-to-door and drop off literature, without regard to ethnicity, financial statutes and regardless of political party.
The bigger question in your mind should be, who is behind this obvious campaign designed to deny one's right to free assembly, to free speech, or to vote their conscience?
I know most of the answer to this question, but choose to allow this individual and associated small group the right to express honest disagreement and opinion. That's what free speech is about!
Libel, slander, and violations of Minnesota Statutes are not taken so lightly by those of us who expect an open, honest election process.
Terry L. Sluss
Crow Wing County, District 3
The important position of sheriff requires that a person be mature and be able to make sound and well thought out decisions and statements.
Because of this, it is extremely important that we re-elect Sheriff Ross. Crow Wing County deserves nothing less.
Vi A. Anderson
Klang and gun control
The Ross camp has accused Eric Klang of "waffling" regarding the permit to carry issue. "Waffles" are something made up in the kitchen. Klang has always and will always support your Second Amendment right. What else will the incumbent camp make up to detract from his opponent?
Use of e-mail
Has a member or members of a special interest group, Coalition for Responsible Development, violated Minnesota Statutes 43A.38 by sending e-mails to each other, by using government equipment and time?
This statute says "Use of State Property -- an employee shall not use state property or state time for the employee's private interest. State owned property or services including the e-mail system may not be used for political activities."
Anne Fisher, a candidate for the 4th Ward in Brainerd and an employee at Central Lakes College, used the college's e-mail system to send a political e-mail. On Sept. 17, at 9:29 a.m. Fisher sent e-mails to members of the Coalition asking Coalition members to oppose the commercial rezoning along Wise Road. She asked her members to contact all city council members, especially Asplund and Nesheim to voice their concerns about the rezoning of property to commercial.
Do you citizens know that this special interest group is opposed to superstores, and all development unless the development meets their criteria?
In other e-mails this coalition is supporting county commissioner candidates Sluss and Larsen and city council candidates Asplund, Fisher and Shaw.
The coalition says these candidates are good progressive candidates.
Another e-mail statement states that a ton of coalition members showed up for the first Brainerd Long Range Planning meeting, and we got some of our main agenda items near the top of the list.
Terry Sluss has sent e-mails to this group asking for contributions and campaign help and says, "I think they know they can't beat me in Baxter."
Sluss also says this election in Brainerd is critical, saying his opponent fits in well with the potential disaster for the city.
Brainerd City Council member
The director of human resources at Central Lakes College has confirmed that my computer use has not violated college or state policy. The statewide policy on electronic communication and technology ethics provides for some personal use of e-mail and the Internet when it does not interfere with an employee's duties.
I have received e-mail at my Central Lakes College address that was not work-related, including some from the Coalition for Responsible Development. I have responded to some, just as I would answer the telephone were you to call me at my office. However, I have not campaigned for myself or other candidates using the college e-mail system.
Anne Nelson Fisher
Ward 4 candidate
Proud of Wellstone
Minnesota has plenty claims to state pride. National polls have anointed our state to be the nation's most livable and the best state to raise a child. We are in the enviable position to have a diverse economy as well as world class schools and medical facilities. We should also take immense pride in knowing how Paul Wellstone represented our state for 12 years.
While living in Alaska for a year I met two young staffers who worked for the conservative Republican Sen. Ted Stevens. The young staffers gushed with admiration as they stated that no other member of the Senate approached their duty with the same conviction and passion as Paul Wellstone. My wife's family in Massachusetts raves about how they always saw our former senator on television leading the fight for the common folk.
I don't believe there's another state in our nation brave enough to elect a man like Paul Wellstone. I'm just thankful that I live in a state with enough progressive voters to have elected our late senator. My father stated Friday that it seems like all the "great ones" seem to die young. As I come to grips with the fact that my hero died 11 days from what was beginning to look like a third victory, I realize that we owe our senator a debt of gratitude.
We owe a man who had the courage to disturb a world that expected people like myself to be thankful for what our nation's elite allowed to trickle down to us.
I would like to express my support for Mary Koep. I have worked with Mary on several issues these last two years. She is an real leader with the tenacity to get the job done. I would strongly urge you to vote for Mary Koep for Brainerd's Alderman at Large.
Brainerd business owner
A deputy's plight
My wife and I were saddened to see The Dispatch photograph of sheriffs Deputy Jan Mezzenga being transported to the hospital after a violent and potentially life-threatening incident at the Human Services Center. This photo serves to remind us of the ever-present dangers faced by our law enforcement men and women. The photo also prompts me to express our long over due and most sincere thanks for the efforts of all the Mezzengas, Putzkes and Schloessers. Their dedicated efforts contribute in very large part to making the Brainerd lakes area such a great place to live.
Thanks again, Deputy Mezzenga. You and your family are in our prayers.
Stephen A. Busch
A peace march
It was beautiful to march for peace with 84 other people along Washington Street on Saturday, October 26. There were signs, flags and drums. Flowers were left in respectful remembrance at the War Memorial. There was a brief moment of remembrance for Senator Wellstone, a supporter of peace who was tragically killed that day. Many citizens honked as we walked past. A few let us know they disagreed with our message. That is the strength of America-- the right to express our opinions, whatever they are.
There were similar marches across the country and all over the world, a beacon of hope that we may resolve our differences by working together.
Mary Marana voted yes to give the Arnold S. Johnson project a tax abatement of $30,000 a year for five years for a total abatement of $150,000. Mary Marana said homeowners should pay the full price for improvements. Vote responsibly in how this city should be governed.
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