My mother came to live with me last summer. She doesn't drive (you wouldn't want her to have a driver's license). She was born at home, so getting a copy of her birth certificate would be difficult. She doesn't smoke or drink, so she doesn't need an ID for those things. My mother is 85, and quite frail; making extra trips to obtain a photo ID is onerous. Why would Minnesota want to keep her from voting? I understand that many want to prevent voter fraud. But more important is to allow those citizens with a right to vote to do so without imposing extra barriers. Taking away even one person's right to vote is too much restriction.Making extra trips? What the hell is Thomas talking about? Is mom permanently bolted to some immovable fixture? I sure hope she never needs to cash a check, apply for government benefits, or need to be identified by someone else should she somehow become incapacitated. I just don't accept that possession of some form of identification document is such an onerous impediment to voting.
THERESA THOMAS, GOLDEN VALLEY
Last weekend, I watched the movie "Good Night and Good Luck," the story of Edward R. Murrow and his fight against Sen. Joseph McCarthy and his anti-Communist investigations. The similarities between McCarthy's tactics and those of our state's Republican legislators and their conservative cohorts -- public blacklisting of the "Gang of Twelve," snooping around in bushes hoping to capture photos of those attending rallies and now the hidden tape recorders -- are frightening.That's right; anyone who assumes that when the majority leader of the Minnesota Senate speaks in public those comments become a matter of public record is clearly a McCartyite. Trampf is a serious dumbass who doesn't like his ox being gored. If this shoe were on the other party's foot, it would surely elicit bleating of the exact opposite bent.
THOMAS TRAMPF, MINNEAPOLIS
The disrespectful, secret taping of a fellow clergy member in the New London/Spicer area is a prime example of why we need to keep church and state separate. Religion breathes hatred when politics creeps into the churches. When clergy members can't even trust each other, this country is in trouble. This is not Christian; it's political dirty work in the church. If you want to know who the undercover political spy clergy is, go to the churches in the area. It will be the minister who tells his flock whom to vote for in political elections. It's the minister who doesn't abide by the federal tax law regarding nonprofits. Oh, heck -- just tape him and turn him in to the Internal Revenue Service.Joan, you mental twerp, Johnson is YOUR guy, HE'S the minister who's also the politician. HE'S the one who lied trying to make himself more important than he is in front of fellow clergy and all you can do is harpoon the guy who happened to take Johnson's comments so seriously they merited recording? What is a newspaper reporter was there? Would you be so incensed if a Democrat newsman exposed Johnson for the liar he is, or would you have called for the stifling of that as well?
JOAN BONDHUS, MONTICELLO, MINN.
Is it any wonder why Minnesota is on the slide when pinheads like this are portrayed daily as Mr. & Mrs. Middle America.