Nota Rep



You can read the replies I received from Republican lawmakers in the left hand column. Frankly, I'm impressed that these people bothered to respond to someone outside their district. Its a lot of work keeping up with email. They probably get 300 emails a day if not a lot more.


Fellow Republicans. 

I just read the Duluth News Tribune's editorial today. Sheesh! I've tried to get elected to the House over the course of 25 years so that I could bring Republicanism to Northeastern Minnesota. Its been a tough enough job even when I wasn't being embarrassed by self righteous nincompoops in the party.
The 27 vote margin you currently enjoy may seem unassailable but it's just one election away from total collapse. Scrap the Profile. Its a pain in the butt. However, if you don't pull these "code words" out of the replacement legislation you might as well get it over with and appoint Rush Limbaugh to be the Chaplain of the House and make evangelical Christianity the official state religion of Minnesota.
Keep it up and Tommy Rukavina will be the next Majority Leader.
Harry Welty
candidate for House Dist 7A (2002)
Opinions Opinions

Posted on Fri, Feb. 21, 2003 story:PUB_DESC
Stealth agenda creeps into overhaul of Profile

If you thought the Profile of Learning was "intrusive," wait until you see the new education requirements passed by the Minnesota House to replace it.

Among other things, the bill designated as HF2 requires Minnesota schools to "preserve and promote fundamental American principles stated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States... " So far, so good. But then comes the kicker. Minnesota schools are also required to teach "other such principles as national sovereignty, natural law and free-market enterprise." Most people will scratch their heads, wondering what this means exactly.

But to those who follow the books, talk shows and agendas of the extreme religious right, this is all too familiar. These are euphemisms, well-known "code words," for very particular educational goals.

By "natural law," they do not mean having children read Aristotle or Thomas Aquinas. They mean teaching that "God's law" is supreme, and overrides all human enactments. And by "God's law," they mean the law of God as revealed in the Bible. From this view, it is not the U.S. Constitution, laws and
decisions of democratically elected legislators or voters that define our rights and duties and place limits on government, but "higher law."

By "national sovereignty," they don't mean having children read about President Lincoln's use of national power to preserve the Union, President Eisenhower's use of national power to enforce Civil Rights laws or the U.S. role in creating international institutions, such as the United Nations, after World War II.

"National sovereignty" is the bugaboo of the black-helicopter crowd who have an obsessive, irrational fear of the United Nations. They don't mean teaching children about the historical relations and conflicts between the national government and the states since the founding or the role of international treaties in American law.

By "free-market enterprise," they don't mean having children read Adam Smith, the father of modern free-market economics. They mean teaching radical libertarian economics, where government plays absolutely no role in economic life. Smith, writing in the "Wealth of Nations" and "Theory of Moral Sentiments," believed in rational self-interest not ruthless individualism. He believed government has a duty to maintain public works and institutions that would not be maintained by any individual or group of individuals for lack of adequate profit.

In short, the Minnesota House has adopted the stealth agenda of the religious right as Minnesota's new educational goals. HF2 states explicitly that schools may not include "any other content standard inconsistent with this subdivision." Woe to those teachers and schools who want to teach something other than natural law.

The 110 House members who voted for HF2 were asleep at the wheel. It's one thing to be in favor of "rigorous academic standards." It's quite another to embrace the agenda of the extreme religious right. Local legislators Tom Huntley, Mary Murphy and Bill Hilty were among the few who voted against this radical overhaul of Minnesota education. Rep. Mike Jaros voted for it.

It will be up to the Minnesota Senate to repair the damage. Get those two lines out of the bill and then debate the merits of keeping or repealing the Profile of Learning.