THE SENATE CONTEST
Let the judges have the final word
I guess if politicians from other states -- like Texas Sen. John Cornyn -- want to whine about the Minnesota Senate election, we can't stop them (Star Tribune, April 1). But both Democrat Al Franken and Republican Norm Coleman should know that Minnesotans want two senators and want the loser to abide by the judges' decision regarding the election contest. The loser could appeal and tie up the contest in federal courts, but that action would vilify him in the eyes of the citizens.
Both candidates should pledge to accept this decision, and let our country get back to the business at hand: Solving the financial crisis and fixing our health care system. And the state can work on fixing the recount process for the next election.
If either Norm or Al appeals, they should be prepared to move back to New York. They can run for the Senate there.
COREY SEVETT, MINNEAPOLIS
Now that it seems impossible for Norm Coleman to overturn the Senate recount, it is not hard to see why National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn is threatening to tie Minnesota's vacant Senate seat up in court for "years."
Though Democrats have had a majority in Congress since 2007, Republicans, through a record number of filibusters, have effectively required 60 votes -- not a majority -- for passage of any legislation. Seating Al Franken gets the Democrats within one vote of overturning GOP filibusters. The power to obstruct is the only remaining power Republicans have, and they will not give it up without, as Cornyn puts it "World War III."
GEORGE GREENE, BROOKLYN PARK
FORGETTING THEIR ROOTS
Democrats are turning their backs on labor
I thought the DFL was the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. Have farmers and laborers been abandoned by our Washington leadership? It would seem there is no limit to the amount of money they can give to the big banks and insurance companies, who are the principal reason for the current economic crunch. But when it comes to the hard-working auto industry-- Americans who actually build something, not just shuffle and trade paper -- it is left on a sinking ship. The bankers have all the lifeboats.
BRUCE GRANGER, WEST CONCORD, MINN.
Aren't we innocent until proven guilty?
It is good to see that someone is taking the time to address our current statutes for DWI arrests. The March 28 Star Tribune article failed to mention mandatory license plate impoundments. I don't think anyone clearly understands how severe these laws are.
Imagine having your license plates impounded for a first offense only to find out that any and all vehicles registered in your name will also have their plates impounded. Your son could be driving the car you lent him around a college campus, or your 16-year-old daughter could be taking her driver's test in the family vehicle boldly displaying the whiskey plates. Even service vehicles registered in your name will be included.
Keep in mind that the drivers of those vehicles did not get stopped for suspicion of drunken driving, and as such their civil rights are being violated. This impoundment lasts for a year.
And, along with the license revocation and possible vehicle forfeiture, all of this takes place before you have your day in court. In other words, if you have a DWI arrest in Minnesota, you are guilty until proven innocent. Does this make any sense?
DEBORA ANTHONY, COON RAPIDS
Heads up, Minnesotans! Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Delano, is at it again. This time, Emmer is proposing legislation that would make it harder for the state to take away the driver's licenses of those who fail or refuse to take a Breathalyzer test.
Emmer would like us to think he is protecting due process and sticking up for the little guy, but nothing could be further from the truth. Prepare to have drunken drivers back on the road the next day if this legislation passes.
I.S. JOSEPH, MENDOTA HEIGHTS
If it helps newspapers, then go for it!
Regarding Nancy Barnes' March 29 column, "An experiment: Top content to print readers first": Hooray! If this helps drive better business to the print edition, then I am all for it. I can't stand the thought of losing the print edition.
CAROLINE WINSLOW, WOODBURY
HOSPITALS AS COLLECTORS
Single-payer would let them focus on medicine
Regarding the March 29 article "Hospitals forced to become bill collectors," such a situation would not exist if the proposed Minnesota Health Plan were in place.
A universal, single-payer plan would eliminate the current confusing plethora of health insurance plans providing different coverages, with different premiums, copays and deductibles. All Minnesota residents would be covered, coverage would be standardized, and only one billing entity would be involved.
The current health insurance system is broken, and there is enormous waste that not only doesn't go for patient care but often interferes with it. Hospitals and clinics need large billing departments and must also spend time arguing with insurers over allowable coverage, while city, county and state governments (taxpayers) must cover the enormous costs of emergency-room care, the last resort of the untreated uninsured.
WANDA S. BALLENTINE, EAGAN