Spread a little sunshine

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Sunshine Week is coming up. But it’s not about your planned spring trip to Arizona or Florida. Sunshine Week, March 15-21, is a national initiative to educate the public about the importance of open government and the dangers of excessive and unnecessary secrecy. Good government results when the people’s business takes place in the open….when the sun shines in. When

Presidential primary comes with some election changes

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Minnesota’s March 3 Presidential Nomination Primary will be a new experience for the state’s voters with rules and procedures unlike other elections. The presidential primary essentially replaces a portion of the political parties’ precinct caucuses, where among other decisions, participants selected presidential candidates. Caucuses will still take place on Feb. 25, one week before the primary, so the parties can

An inaccurate census could put Minnesota’s representation at risk

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Every 10 years, we get a chance to count how many people live in the United States. In addition to the basic count, we learn where people live and basic demographic information such as age, gender, race and ethnicity.   Governments use that data to fund and plan a variety of social, educational and public safety expenses. Most importantly, the count

Stearns board should vote yes on refugee resettlement

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The Stearns County Commission perhaps thinks it avoided making a politically charged decision about resettling refugees when it tabled the issue at a Jan. 7 meeting. The commissioners plan to take up the issue again on Jan. 28. In September, Donald Trump issued an Executive Order that local governments had to agree in writing to allow refugees to be placed within

Roads unite Republicans, Democrats

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What does it take to get six Democrats and three Republicans to work on the same goal? The answer: When Minnesota needs federal money to rebuild roads, bridges and highway interchanges. Most of Minnesota’s congressional delegation wrote to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao asking why the state didn’t get any funding through the Department of Transportation’s Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage

Volunteer, vote instead of checking out

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In case you hadn’t noticed, 2020 will be an election year. Enough Democrats to populate two volleyball teams have been campaigning for a year for an election that’s still 11 months away. Donald Trump started campaigning for re-election the day after he was sworn in. Analysts tell us most voters are alienated and unmoored, and that electoral politics are far

Reform needed for voters’ voices to be heard

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Help paying for health care. Repairing crumbling roads and bridges. Gun safety laws. Action on climate change. A realistic immigration policy. Citizens want action on all these issues and most people agree on the solutions. Yet nothing happens. Presidential candidate Tom Steyer thinks he has the answer and the answer is not who gets elected but the need for basic