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Ward and the Constitution

A couple days ago I heard Rep. John Ward interviewed on a local radio station. He was asked about the recent veto of the gun rights bill by Gov. Dayton. Ward said he had voted for the bill and didn’t have much to say about the governor’s veto. He went on to say that he was a strong supporter of the Second Rights Amendment. Did I hear that right? My question was answered as Rep. Ward went on to repeat the words “2nd Rights Amendment” two or three more times!

I was astounded. I think Ward intended to say that he supports Seciond Amendment rights, but he’s apparently not familiar with them enough to even get the terminology correct. Maybe he really thinks U.S. citizens have First and Second or possibly Third rights amendments. Who knows? The radio interviewer didn’t bother to correct him, so either he’s not familiar with the Constitution either or he possibly didn’t want to embarrass Rep. Ward.

It’s a sorry state of affairs when we elect a state representative who isn’t familiar enough with our constitutional rights to even state them correctly. It makes one wonder if he knows what those rights are. And what does it say about the member of our media who didn’t bother to correct the mistake? Did he not know the difference or was he protecting the DFL Representative? Would an error like that be overlooked if it was a Republican being interviewed? Hmmm.

Jan Schultz


Marge Anderson, the chief executive of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, relies on the same arguments to oppose the White Earth metro-area casino proposal that the tribal casino trade group, Minnesota Indian Gaming Association (MIGA) uses. It boils down to this: We have ours, so to heck with anyone else. Essentially, Chair Anderson is saying that her tribe has the right to develop economic opportunities through gaming, but the White Earth Nation – the state’s largest and poorest tribe – should remain poor. That argument is beyond disappointing. It’s offensive.

People should take time to learn more about MinnesotaWins, the White Earth proposal (, and not take the word of an organization that is fighting to hold on to a deal that mostly benefits the haves over the have-nots. Tribal gaming was intended to help lift all tribes out of poverty, not just those few who have the good fortune to be located near a metro area. Rather than fighting each other, Minnesota’s tribes would better serve our interests, the economic opportunities of the state and all Minnesotans through cooperation.

Joan LaVoy

White Earth Enrollee


My family is saddened by Greg Sellnow’s death.

We valued his reports, columns, and editorials in the Rochester Post-Bulletin. He was interested in the people he wrote about.

He advocated for civility in all forms of discourse. His respect for his readers and community set a high standard in journalism.

Elaine Leach

Lake Shore, Minn.

“An honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work” — paying fair wages, wages that workers can live on without hardship, is honest. To underpay for labor is the same as stealing from one’s workers. If minimum wage cannot cover a basic standard of living above subsistence, then it is not fair pay. If a business refuses to pay fair wages for sake of profit, then it has no business being in business.

Not surprisingly, working families that require public assistance to meet basic needs are also a result of this bad business practice, because workers can only accept the pay offered to them or lose their jobs. The obscene disparity of wealth in our economy today is glaring evidence of this stubborn practice that declines to address the rising cost of living for most families. Families will not become self-reliant or financially stable again across the nation until this issue is resolved. Profit is not bad, but bad profit through stealing by underpaying workers is very bad for everyone as our economy shows and our revenue tax base dwindles before our very eyes.

Responsible political candidates at all levels of our governing system need to address this economic issue and place the burden of repair squarely on the shoulders of those who have benefited most from unfair pay practices for safe of greed. This is not only the right thing to do, it is also the honest thing to do as well.

This will not solve all of our nation’s economic woes, but it is a step in the right direction and a step toward honesty in business ethics.

Gloria J. Flor


The issue that has been taking up a lot of focus of the American public lately has been at best a red herring for people with common sense. The public outcry for contraceptive coverage by colleges is absurd. The poster child of this mess is Ms. Fluke.

She is off base with her assertion. Contraceptive use is strictly a personal need. It is not the responsibility of the public, or private sector.

Ms. Fluke’s complaints about the costs are also inaccurate. The options she has referenced are much higher than condoms. Perhaps Ms. Fluke should consult with her parents about her desire they subsidise her needs. It does count as a subsidy for one’s own benefit.

This issue also glides over the old thought, “You want it? You pay for it!” Ms. Fluke’s example of her “friend” that had an ovary removed because she couldn’t get birth control pills to help with the cysts. This medical condition could have been resolved by talking to the insurer.

Ms. Fluke used this story to muddy the waters of what is really a personal responsibility issue. The White House has been making hay with the issue as well. I have news for everyone. President Obama is merely using this as vote-getting prop.

Dion J. Smolik


Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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