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In its endorsement of Tim Walz (Opinion Exchange, Aug. 5), the Star Tribune Editorial Board said Minnesota needs a “consensus-builder,” when in fact we need a community-builder. The strength of our future governor can’t be how well that person concedes to the demands of a party that has been increasingly committed to advancing racism. We’ve just had another police shooting, this time in St. Paul. Such shootings often seem to result in the death of a member of a minority group — when gun-toting white people in our state seem to survive these police interactions, albeit in handcuffs and a jail cell. The only candidate for governor who has had the moral clarity and courage to publicly call this out is Erin Murphy. We need a governor prepared to take on the bold truths of our collective realities and willing to work with all communities to come to real solutions that address our issues. Walz has not demonstrated that kind of leadership, the kind of leadership Minnesota needs in these times.

Laura Johnson, Champlin

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As someone who grew up in rural greater Minnesota and lives in central Minnesota, I can tell you that we all have the same needs, such as access to health care, child care, a safe home and a livable wage. I can also tell you, though, that how these needs present themselves and are solved is not always the same.

Erin Murphy is the one candidate for governor who truly understands this. She is the one here having conversations with us, finding out how inequity and instability are affecting us. She is discussing the importance of quality care; health care, child care, elder care. She understands that we need better schools for our children.

Erin is a nurse, after all, and being a nurse is not about monologues, but rather listening and taking the time to truly understand. She is listening to what we need, and working to find solutions, and has been for years. Years before running for governor, Erin was up here in central Minnesota listening and working when everyone else pushed us to the back of their mind. We never forgot that.

It seems to me that the people creating the urban-rural divide are certainly not the rural. We know what we need, who we need, and have been working side by side with her for years. Please stop speaking fallacy on our behalf.

Brianna Skalsky, St. Cloud

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The Editorial Board’s endorsement of former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, even in the primary election, was off-base (“Strong voice for GOP ideas,” Aug. 5). The board wrote that his campaign “will have to be largely about ‘the past.’ ” Well, what a “past.” His history of governor has negatives of huge budget deficits, cuts to renter’s credits, vetoing General Assistance Medical Care (GAMC), cuts to other human service programs, and other failures.

The GAMC veto canceled health care coverage for about 35,000 Minnesotans, which was a devastating hit on our poorer citizens. When he cut renters’ tax refunds by 30 percent, he increased Minnesotans taxes. Cutting tax refunds is technically increasing taxes. Pawlenty also cut local government aid to cities, which caused large increases to property taxes, and his huge cuts to education funding forced many school referendums.

Finally, when he left office, Pawlenty left billions in budget deficits for Minnesota. It took our current governor several years to get rid of them.

Endorsements should be about candidates’ future ideas, not of the past.

Gary Thompson, St. Paul

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According to the Editorial Board, the endorsed Democrat’s task is “forging consensus within an electorate that’s increasingly divided,” but the Republican’s is to “be the more effective advocate for his party’s agenda.” In other words, the Republican should dish red meat, no matter how divisive that agenda might be, but the Democrat should waffle toward a mythical centerline before we even get to vote in the primary. What kind of choice is that?

The progressive agenda is about promoting real, everyday freedom for more people — through fair wages, universal health care, respect for front-line caregivers, and defense of clean water, land and air, among other totally common-sense ideals. It’s all about bringing people together. No need to waffle.

I believe Minnesotans can be trusted to weigh the difference between that vision and whatever the Republicans will dish up. I’ll be voting for Erin Murphy on Aug. 14.

Kristi Anderson, Minneapolis

HENNEPIN COUNTY SHERIFF’S RACE

The philosophy of county law enforcement; why Stanek fits it

I read with interest the Aug. 4 letter about the Hennepin County Sheriff race and the writer’s comments on the incumbent sheriff, Richard Stanek.

The letter implies that the sheriff needs to reflect the given values of a population and that party affiliation matters. I don’t agree at all.

To me, the role of sheriff is one of application of the law as the laws are written. If the local population drives change to the laws, the sheriff then needs to apply the law as it is then written. There is no, and can’t be any, local interpretation based on location or culture of any local citizen. I depend on the sheriff’s office to apply the law equally and fairly for me in Rogers as it does in Bloomington or any other part of Hennepin County.

I have known personally Sheriff Stanek for more than 10 years and highly value his leadership and perspective on his team of law-enforcement personnel. It is a serious job that covers a large swath of Minnesota with incredible diversity. I trust his team in the field to fairly and appropriately provide the services we have voted him in to provide. It’s a large job, and I don’t feel the other candidates have the experience to adequately serve as sheriff at the same high level that Stanek is doing and will again. I will vote for him again in the Aug. 14 primary.

Douglas Bley, Rogers

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP

Trump Tower meeting revelation, immigration

What happened at the now-infamous Trump Tower meeting was most definitely illegal (“Trump has a new take on Tower meeting,” Aug. 6). While it is perfectly legal and commonplace to do opposition research on a political opponent, it is clearly against federal campaign laws to accept or even solicit anything of value (including political dirt) from a foreign entity.

David Perlman, New Hope

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Every day brings another heartless threat to struggling families that our president has made (“Seeking benefits would risk deportation,” Aug. 5). He truly acts as if immigrants are less than human. It’s horrifying, repeatedly, every day.

Why are the Republicans complicit? We must vote them out. They’ve had their chance.

Eileen Collard, Minneapolis

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The article about Trump’s latest attempt to exploit anti-immigration bias focused on how he plans to restrict benefits for legal or green-card immigrants. But what it fails to mention is that many of these immigrants are considered tax residents, especially if they work in the U.S. for more than a half a year, and that they must pay local, state and federal taxes. So to deny these people some of their rightful benefits, especially benefits that would help keep them well, seems highly unjust. But no surprise here, I guess, considering the basic lack of understanding of core issues the current POTUS demonstrates.

John Clark, Minneapolis