Writers express views on election topics

EDITOR’S NOTE: Letters will be accepted for 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.

Ryan’s Rand Way

Paul Ryan can’t have it both ways, but darn it he’s going to try.

Either he is a Catholic or a disciple of Ayn Rand. He can’t be both. His vacillation on this subject is troublesome.

In 2005 Ryan gave a speech stating he grew up reading the Rand manifestos. He said and I quote “it taught me quite a bit about who I am and what my value systems are and what my beliefs are.” This is certainly reflected in his attacks on the working class and Ryan’s subservience to the rich.

Ryan also stated that Rand’s works were required reading for his Congressional staff. Scary stuff if you have read Rand.

To give a brief description, Ayn Rand was an atheist who preached that greed and selfishness is good and she was opposed to Judeo-Christian morality and religion. Rand also favored abortion and no taxes on the wealthy.

I can see why the Catholic Church is upset with and has taken the stand that Ryan is wrong on social issues and greed. His following and parroting the world view of such a controversial figure like Rand explains his attacks on Social Security, Medicare and the middle class.

Max Anderson

Applause, Please

The city of Forest Lake wishes to extend a special thank you to everyone who makes the election process successful. The city uses five places, free of charge, to hold elections: St. Peter’s Church, Faith Lutheran Church, Hosanna Lutheran Church, Washington County Headwaters Service Center and the city hall.

These facilities do not charge rent, offer their staff services free and reschedule events to plan for elections. Up to 70 community members receive special training to serve as an election judge, often working a 15 to 19 hours on election day. Their dedication and commitment to the process deserves a round of applause.

City public works and maintenance set up all the precincts and post extra signage.

We also thank the voters who make an extra effort, taking time out of their busy life, to cast a ballot. Thank you for taking part in the Primary Election and we look forward to seeing you for the November 6th General Election.

Chantal Doriott
Deputy Clerk
Aaron Parrish
City Administrator
Forest Lake

Good Character

Chisago and Isanti counties have superb representation in the Minnesota Legislature! Sen. Sean Nienow brings our voice to Saint Paul with principled ideas and family values. His work on the legislation to bring accountability and transparency to the states use of our tax dollars on Medicaid programs shows extraordinary leadership and courage.

People who have followed this issue know that without Sen. Nienow’s leadership and ability to work with both Republicans and Democrats to reform a wasteful program the legislature would not have passed an audit bill. Nienow took on the powerful HMO lobby and an entrenched bureaucracy that fought accountability at a cost of millions of dollars in waste, fraud and abuse.

Beyond his work on health care, Nienow has shown a strong advocacy for good schools and as a result of his hard work Chisago/Isanti schools saw the benefit. The money that was freed up for school districts to use by repealing the staff development mandate from the state gave the districts the flexibility they needed to prioritize their budget based on what the children in the classroom need.

Strong character and courageous leadership make our district proud to say Sen. Sean Nienow is our senator.

Michele Lentz

Price of Ignorance

Friends, Romans, countrymen, we seem to have been paying more attention to choosing an American Idol than our politicians.

Nationally, we have a young leftist community organizer who has given us unaffordable and soon-to-be restricted health care for president. Regarding Obamacare, has anyone else noticed health care costs skyrocketing lately?

I don’t mind helping pay medical costs of the truly unfortunate, but I resent paying for those too irresponsible to buy insurance. This latter demographic is akin to those unwilling or too mentally challenged to obtain a photo ID to vote.

In stark contrast to our neighbor on the east, Minnesota has a vulgar left wing comedian, Al Franken — a Don Imus wannabe, more embarrassing than Jesse Ventura — as senator.

In Gopherland, votes were re-counted in Al Franken’s favor. He won by 312 votes, while 289 convicted felons voted in Hennepin County and another 52 illegals voted in Ramsey County. Guess which way this element voted? Nevertheless, there is an immense clamor to prevent identification of voters.

In a perfect world there would be some minimal intellectual qualification to vote, but that would cause screaming heard on the moon, not to mention guarantee the election of Romney and Ryan. The price of ignorance is costly, and the cost has been growing.  But with this fresh GOP team, we have a chance to restore political and fiscal sanity.

Richard Doyle

Wyoming’s Health

In Friday’s Star Tribune there was an article on whether or not nearly 28,000 state employees should get a 2 percent raise. Up until July the state was taking in more money than projected and just missed revenue projections in July.

So the state is doing well and looking to give nearly 28,000 state employees a raise, a rate much like what happens in the private sector.

This article made me wonder just how well the city of Wyoming is doing. This summer, Mayor Peterson and Council Members Joe Zerwas, Roger Elmore and Steve Zerwas voted to give the city administrator a 15 percent pay raise (retroactive to the beginning of the year) and the police chief a 17 percent raise. To be fair, Mayor Peterson voted against the raise for the chief. Not because he thought 17 percent was out of line, but because the chief hasn’t moved to Wyoming yet.

So, just how well is the city of Wyoming doing? Maybe a decrease in our levy is coming for next year? I won’t be holding my breath. For those of you who think this is way out of line, Peterson and Joe Zerwas are up for reelection this fall. Make you thoughts count!

Dan Babbitt

Medicare Debate

The selection of Rep. Paul Ryan to run with Gov. Romney has re-ignited the debate on reforming Medicare. The two most visible plans (ObamaCare, RyanCare) disagree on many points but one source of agreement is not generating much discussion: The exemption of individuals age 55 or older from any Medicare reform.

Why the exemptions? To paraphrase Ross Perot, don’t these individuals have a dog in this fight? I think they do.

This is a critical issue for Minnesota and the country, and regardless of one’s political convictions it is a serious mistake to tell 40 million seniors currently in Medicare and 36 million individuals ages 55-64 that they can sit this one out.

The process of reforming Medicare will be better served if everyone has a strong incentive to participate. Again, why exempt anyone? It cannot be because these individuals have paid for the health care they have or will receive:

Nonpartisan studies show that a typical Medicare recipient receives care costing three times more than they and their employer contributed. Thus a majority of the 40 million seniors in Medicare have or will receive care they did not (and will not) pay for, specifically, hospitalization costs under Part A of Medicare.

There is only one reason these individuals have been exempted:  Politicians in both parties (including Reps. Bachmann and Cravaack) fear them. We need political leadership that abandons partisanship and talking points in favor of people and country, not political submission.

Michael Harwell
Forest Lake

Home Town Voice

For the last two years our voice has been heard at the Minnesota Legislature. Since Bob Barrett took a stand that our schools will no longer be neglected due to Minneapolis special interests, we have seen measurable improvements in both funding for our schools and policies that put the decision making back in the hands of parents, teachers and school districts.

Bob helped pass more productive K-12 spending that allowed six to eight jobs per district to be saved. He has been one of the most approachable and available legislators local school officials have seen in years. He always takes time to meet Chisago County parents and teachers when they call or go to the capitol. Bob cares about the kids, families and businesses that employ Chisago County’s hard working people.

Bob has said one of his highest priorities is to correct the unfair funding system that has continually benefited Minneapolis schools at the cost of Chisago County school kids simply because of where they live. We need Bob Barrett in the Minnesota House. He truly is our home town voice.

Elise Hiljus