Census, redistricting questions are hidden election issues

Mike KnaakEditorial, Election 2018, Print Sartell - St. Stephen, Print St. Joseph0 Comments

The future of Minnesota’s representation in the next decade will be decided with this fall’s elections and with decisions being made now about how Census 2020 will be conducted. How many members of Congress Minnesota will have and how their districts will be drawn will be determined by the census. The decennial count also affects drawing boundaries for other elected

Compromise, cooperation should be key issues for voters

Mike KnaakEditorial, Election 2018, Print Sartell - St. Stephen, Print St. Joseph0 Comments

It’s hard to turn down a gift of $6 million. But that’s what happened because Minnesota’s political leaders couldn’t agree on a compromise spending bill. The bill passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature included measures they knew the DFL governor and legislators wouldn’t support. The omnibus spending bill also contained noncontroversial items such as the formal request for  Minnesota’s share of

Government shouldn’t try to censor social media

Mike KnaakEditorial, Opinion, Print Sartell - St. Stephen, Print St. Joseph0 Comments

Misconceptions about free speech and the First Amendment are getting tangled up in the growing controversy over the role of social media companies in public debate. Don’t let confusion about free speech, companies’ business decisions and technology lead to government regulation. Let’s start with the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the

‘Nobody’ wins when you don’t vote

Mike KnaakEditorial, Election 2018, Opinion, Sartell – St. Stephen, St. Joseph0 Comments

Do you want to overthrow the government? Or maybe you think things are going just fine. Either way, Tuesday’s primary election is the time to take a stand. Midterm elections generally attract a low voter turnout. Primary election turnout is historically even lower. Voting is always the most important action of civic engagement, but because of a unique set of

New ruling opens courtroom doors just slightly to cameras

Mike KnaakEditorial, Print Sartell - St. Stephen, Print St. Joseph0 Comments

An open-government debate that has gone mostly unnoticed for the past 30 years cleared another milestone in early July. The Minnesota Supreme Court filed an order permanently opening up Minnesota’s criminal courts to cameras. The decision comes after a 2-1/2-year pilot program on camera access to criminal proceedings. The permanent rules take effect Sept. 1. The U.S. Supreme Court held

Voters do have a choice in future Supreme Court cases

Mike KnaakEditorial, Opinion, Print Editions, Print Sartell - St. Stephen0 Comments

The debate about how Justice Anthony Kennedy’s Supreme Court seat should be filled and how an expected “conservative” justice might rule on past issues misses the point. Voters don’t get to decide who Donald Trump nominates or who the Senate approves. But voters do have a voice. Many issues that reach the high court end up there because of a

Transparency questionable in recent council decisions

Janelle Von PinnonEditorial, Opinion, Print Editions, Print St. Joseph0 Comments

Let us be perfectly clear. In no way is this meant to tarnish what we’re sure is an impeccable reputation nor is this meant to cast aspersion regarding the capabilities of Dwight Pfannenstein as St. Joseph police chief. That being said, we do seriously question the motives behind two recent decisions by the St. Joseph City Council. Newly christened council