Political topics fill Open Forum once again

EDITOR’S NOTE: Letters will be accepted for the Open Forum for publication in the next available issue after receipt. Letters may be sent to Forest Lake Times, 880 SW 15th St., Forest Lake, or by e-mail to [email protected] Letters should not exceed 250 words and must be signed with the writer’s name, address and telephone number. Deadline is noon Monday. The newspaper reserves the right to edit letters and assure that rules of libel and good taste are not violated.

Questions for Ray

EDITOR’S NOTE: The letter that follows was written to Sen. Ray Vandeveer, R-Forest Lake, and copied to the Forest Lake Times for publication in Open Forum.)

Senator Vandeveer:

I writing to find out if you support the right to work constitutional amendment. A yes or no answer is all I am looking for. (links below)

Also, I read where you voted to move the right to work legislation to a more friendly committee and now have read that Sen. Gerlach’s company profited from printing and mailing some pro-right to work  leaflets.

My other questions are:

Do you think this was proper for Senator Gerlach to have done?

Were you aware of it prior to voting to move the right to work legislation to a more friendly committee?

What is your justification for voting to move the right to work legislation from the jobs committee to the judiciary?

Since you sit on the jobs committee and the newspaper article indicates no one is taking responsibility for the idea of moving the legislation to the judiciary committee, please tell me who proposed moving the bill from one committee to another?

Gerlach’s bulk-mail company produced and distributed leaflets backing “right to work” measure: http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/142157363.html

I will be waiting your response and thank you,

Michael LaFave
Forest Lake

Repeating History

Interesting to read that Rep. Bob Barrett wants to cling to the old house seat outside of his new district. I suppose he will claim residency at his condo he maintains in the old district. I would imagine him doing this like the much criticized Rep. Kalin did before him, and the very issue that the Republicans tore Kalin apart.

I would think after the criticism of Kalin by Mr. Barrett and local Republicans that Barrett would first sell his house and buy one in the district, but I have a feeling his taste of power has him addicted to public office and he will claim his condo as a residence while keeping his homestead credit at his house outside the district.

Of course I can hear his excuse that he can’t sell his home because of the housing market. We have heard it all before, Mr. Barrett.

Barrett has inability to govern. His Republican Party shutting down the state instead of compromising is an example of a state representative that should be named after a street, ONE WAY.

Barrett has made decisions based on religion and a right wing agenda drafted by big money organizations outside the state and he has done their bidding well, Barrett serves out of state money masters, not the people of this district.

How history repeats itself.

Max Anderson

Is This a Joke?

I’m responding to a letter to the editor last week that was full of false information.

I, Bob Walz, am not a member of the DFL Party either at the local or state level.  Letter writer Mr. Lunde could have simply gone to the Chisago County DFL web site to confirm if I was listed as a director or officer. Talk about inaccurate personnel attacks!

On the point about Congressman Cravaack being the most visible Congressman in the 8th District in recent memory. Is this a joke?

Congressman Oberstar was known throughout the district. He couldn’t walk into a café without knowing someone by name. When he visited North Branch on the weekend, he often attended St. Gregory’s Catholic Church. He visited my home, attended my daughter’s funeral, and was a frequent guest at various community organizations.

Cravaack is not a member of North Branch Rotary, the Knights of Columbus or any other community organizations.

Oberstar won reelections by wide margins. In 2008, he received more than 75% of the vote. Cravaack, in contrast, who was unemployed and could spend all of his time campaigning, didn’t get 50% of the vote in 2010.

Cravaack continues to have little understanding of the issues in our district. Oberstar  understood the value of building infrastructure in roads, rail, waterways and air. In Chisago County at the very southern tip of what Mr. Lunde called one of the largest 27,000 square miles Congressional Districts, Oberstar secured federal dollars for safety improvements on Highway 8, County 17 bridge at I-35, North Branch bridge at I-35, Sunrise Prairie Trail, Safe Routes to School in North Branch, taxiway at Rush City Airport and a railroad bridge in Pine City.

Congressman Cravaack will have a hard time winning reelection for many reasons, but the biggest will be attacking Oberstar as not living in the district he spent his whole life in. Cravaack’s family moved to New Hampshire within seven months of his taking office.

Oberstar left some big shoes to fill and Cravaack isn’t able to do it.

Robert G. Walz
North Branch