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A message to Joe Mauer:

Joe, I hope I can call you Joe, as I've been watching you from afar since your Cretin-Derham Hall days.

I just want to thank you for being Joe Mauer all these years. Someone my children and now grandchildren have looked up to. That's despite the media's penchant to criticize you because you don't hit enough home runs, are not a good interview and don't get in trouble and give them something else to write about.

You were the All-American kid growing up in St. Paul. You have exceeded our expectations as a baseball player and, more importantly, as a human being. There is a reason that with all the great baseball players to come through the Twins organization during your career, you have been and still are the most popular Minnesota Twin. You and your wife's contributions to different charitable organizations, with little fanfare, are to be commended, as well.

I know your much-talked-about contract is set to expire at the end of this season, and I know I can speak for many Twins fans in hoping the organization sees the wisdom of bringing you back. However that works out, don't ever don another major league uniform, please! I remember when Harmon Killebrew came back to Minnesota in a Kansas City Royals uniform, and it was hard to watch.

As the Madden commercial back in the day once said, "Well played Mauer, well played!"

FRANK FEE, Crookston, Minn.

Profit is the driving force here; for sacrifice, see Pat Tillman

A Sept. 6 letter writer suggested that Nike displayed "serious corporate courage" in making Colin Kaepernick the face of their new ad campaign. Really? Nike made this move for one reason; they expect it to increase profits. Over half of Nike's sales are international and their new ad campaign panders to the demographic they are trying to reach. To suggest Nike is doing this for "intangible benefits" or to promote social justice is absurd. If Nike is so concerned about social injustice, they could start by paying their Vietnamese sweatshop workers more than the approximately $80 per month they are currently paying them.

Nike and Kaepernick will make millions on this ad campaign. I'm fine with that, but neither should be made a hero or called "patriotic" and "courageous" based on their prior behavior. I will be impressed when both Nike and Kaepernick donate a significant number of those millions to their "patriotic" cause.

If you would like to see a true example of "Believe in Something or Sacrifice Everything," I suggest you look at another former NFL player, Pat Tillman, who left the limelight and millions of the NFL to fight for his country and give the ultimate sacrifice. Tillman was a courageous patriot. Kaepernick? Not in my book

CHAD HAGEN, Sleepy Eye, Minn.

Minnesota, like other states, should launch an investigation

After the revelations in Pennsylvania, it appears that several more states are beginning criminal investigations into Catholic clergy sexual abuse. Minnesota should join them immediately, and candidates for state attorney general should outline how they would take up and complete the investigation.

I am a lifelong practicing Catholic, and I have watched with growing anger and disgust as the leaders of the church at every level prove themselves incapable of doing the right thing. Abuse occurred in Minnesota, and bishops lied about it. Almost no one even lost their job, much less was sent to prison. And make no mistake, prison is where anyone who abuses children or lies to protect abusers belongs.

JIM ASPHOLM, Minneapolis

Very different reviews for the performance of Sen. Klobuchar

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker threatened to release U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's e-mails in violation of Senate rules and stated that he would willingly face the consequences.

Sen. John Cornyn read the Senate rule that says, "Any senator, officer or employee of the Senate who shall disclose the secret or confidential business or proceedings of the Senate, including the business and proceedings of the committees, subcommittees and offices of the Senate shall be liable, if a senator, to suffer expulsion from the body; and if an officer or employee, to dismissal from the service of the Senate, and to punishment for contempt."

To which our own Sen. Amy Klobuchar stated, "We support what Sen. Booker is doing here."

Let me get this straight: Our own sitting U.S. senator supports breaking the rules of the Senate. Let that sink in. If that is the case, she does not belong in the Senate. If she supports breaking these rules, what next? What standard does she have?


• • •

Here's what I heard as Sen. Amy Klobucher questioned Judge Brett Kavanaugh at his hearing Thursday: her passion, her knowledge, her conviction. She spoke her truth plainly to power. She showed a side I had not witnessed before, and I was delighted. This wasn't the time for Minnesota Nice. Instead it was the time for Minnesota Courage, which she displayed plainly.

Good for you, Amy. Keep it up.

JO YOUNGREN, St. Anthony Village

Program needs reform; Rep. Peterson needs to get on board

Did you know that recently a Minnesota millionaire tested the system and was able to receive food stamps? A millionaire!

The food stamp program is just another government program that needs to be reformed, and one of the people our state sent to Washington who actually has the power to change that — Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson from our Seventh Congressional District — isn't listening to his constituents.

Peterson had the opportunity to make sure the food stamp program was reserved for the truly needy, but he opposed the measure for political expediency. He's betting Nancy Pelosi will be the new speaker of the House and he's holding the much-needed farm bill and our food stamp program hostage.

The farm bill being negotiated in Washington would have closed loopholes in the food stamp program and would have required able-bodied adults to work part time to receive food stamps. Every tax dollar spent on an able-bodied adult is one less that can be spent on low-income children, the elderly or those with disabilities who really need help. Instead, taxpayers are funding 150,000 able-bodied adults in our state.

Polling shows 70 percent of Minnesotans support this reform for food stamps. Collin Peterson should rethink his position on welfare reform or Minnesotans should rethink their vote for him in November.


The writer is chairwoman of the Republican Party of Minnesota.