The Star Tribune Editorial Board's mayoral endorsement ("As Mpls. recovers, re-elect Jacob Frey," Oct. 10) is premised on the notion that we are in recovery mode. I disagree. Based on the numbers, my discussions with the Minneapolis Police Department and residents, and my own observations, our city is not recovering.
I have done three separate ride-alongs — First Precinct, Third Precinct and Fourth Precinct — and my observations were nothing short of shocking. In short, our police are understaffed and overwhelmed.
The Editorial Board states that "Minneapolis needs a mayor who will make public safety and police reform coequal priorities. That means protecting residents, workers and visitors from both criminals and bad cops ... ." The editorial mentions interviewing me but does not acknowledge that a two-pronged approach has been the core of my campaign since day one.
Our "Safe Streets" platform is based on a two-pronged approach to policing: 1) immediately resetting the narrative and using the mayor's platform to aggressively support our good police (because we need to keep good police and recruit more to achieve public safety), while 2) simultaneously aggressively investigating our police department's problems, exposing them and fixing them.
Our website summarizes it this way: "We need a mayor who does not tolerate bullies, whether they are on the street or in the police force."
I have been standing up to bullies my entire life. I would encourage readers who want bold leadership on this issue to visit clintconner2021.com and please vote for Clint Conner as your first choice.
Clint Conner, Minneapolis
The Editorial Board's endorsement of Mayor Jacob Frey seems driven by public safety and City Question 2 — the "defund the police" question. Very simply, Mayor Frey is seen as reliable on public safety, and he is a "no" on Question 2. Candidates Sheila Nezhad and Kate Knuth are both "yes" on Question 2.
But of course, we have ranked-choice voting. Let me raise this fact explicitly to suggest an approach for voters who share the board's apparent view that City Question 2 and the public safety issue are of deciding importance this year.
If you do consider Nezhad or Knuth — or any "yes on Question 2" candidate — just don't rank them ahead of Frey. However, do take a look at the positions of other mayoral candidates.
Here's the crucial practical issue: As long as you don't rank Nezhad, Knuth, or any "yes on 2" candidate ahead of Frey, then as trailing candidates are eliminated during the vote-counting process your vote will end up counting to re-elect Frey. But with this approach, you'll also learn something from listening to other candidates — and your vote for alternative candidates will promote and advance the ideas and issues we're raising.
Bob "Again" Carney Jr., Minneapolis
The writer is a Republican candidate for mayor.
Don't forget majority support
The report on ranked-choice voting ("How ranked-choice voting works in Mpls.," Oct. 10) omitted the most important purpose of implementing the "instant runoff" system. Ranking choices ensures that the winner of an election is supported by a majority of voters at some level! Otherwise only a plurality of voters elects the winner, which is often the case when three or more candidates are running for a position. This was the main reason I supported implementing RCV in Minnetonka.
Eric L. Bressler, Minnetonka
We can end predatory practices
Commercial firms that prey upon victims of personal injury are also lurking in probate proceedings ("Lifelong payments gone," front page, Oct. 3).
Such firms use a similar predatory practice of obtaining an assignment of the interest of an heir in an estate for an immediate cash payment that is a fraction of the amount that the heir would receive simply by waiting several months for the completion of the administration of the estate.
This tactic can be successful especially when the heir is an elderly person with diminished cognitive capacity or with diminished financial resources.
The remedy is fair practices legislation that requires these firms to pay the present value of the assigned interest.
Michael W. McNabb, Lakeville
The writer is an attorney.
If we start with the premise that most structured settlement damage awards reflect the expected monthly financial needs of the damaged party, any disruption to that financial flow could severely affect the financial viability of that person. So why on earth are predatory companies legally given free license to carry on such behavior on anyone, let alone those most desperate or mentally incapable of financial understanding? ("Judges hampered by doubts, vague laws," Oct. 7.) Some may focus on individual freedoms, free enterprise, fulfilling alternative needs or other such nonsense, but why do our "vague laws" continue to allow such outright fraudulent behavior that cheats some of the most vulnerable of individuals, or anyone else for that matter?
The complexity of these cases requires a thorough review by a judge and certified financial consultant to determine all the facts: current needs for lump-sum cash, alternative sources of income, individual's balance sheet and income statements, ability to survive with a reduced monthly income, etc. There should be discussion of whether structured payments stop at death or continue to any heirs. Finally, if a transaction is allowed by the court, the amount should reflect the present value of the future stream of income — and certainly not be pennies on the dollar! — minus a reasonable fee for profit and any risk of loss to the buyer. It appears that some common sense here could significantly improve this process, which has become long overdue. Thankfully, Minnesota lawmakers are finally taking notice ("Leaders vow to fix predatory practices," Oct. 10) and will hopefully follow through with new laws to reform this process to one that will truly and fairly consider all the best interests of anyone seeking such financial transactions.
Michael Tillemans, Minneapolis
This Star Tribune report was very welcome investigative reporting. I have known many people who were given very large settlements, and it led to disaster. I really appreciated how the reporters so succinctly explained how the money can quickly disappear. It clearly explains for everyone who may think, as the owners of the structured settlement industry do, that their "recipients" have not adapted many of the necessary basic life skills that normal people must gain to survive in the world. The report lays out in a very detailed, well executed way how some people think they have nothing to lose, when they don't even understand what losing is. Thank you for this excellent, in-depth reporting.
Carla McClellan, Minneapolis
This is what faith means to you?
I am disturbed to read that most health care workers behind a lawsuit now have exemptions from the vaccine mandate — supposedly for religious reasons ("Vaccine mandate suit at crossroad," Oct. 14). As a religious person myself, I am tired of people using religion as an excuse to not follow legal mandates that are in the best interests of people in general. It is reasonable that people treating COVID should themselves be vaccinated so they won't be spreading the disease while working.
There is nothing in the Bible, Qur'an or Torah about vaccines. To pretend there is instruction about medical procedures that were not yet invented is preposterous. It is this kind of folly in the name of religion that perpetuates the false notion that religion is the home of ignorance rather than the home of greater understanding, true morality and hope for the future.
Sandra Adelmund, Coon Rapids
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