Question about the count? – Letter to the editor

Question about the count?

I have known Ed Felien for over 50 years and remember his newspaper, Hundred Flowers, and stopping in at his office upstairs on Cedar Avenue for coffee once in a while when I was in college. One thing I can always count on is the truth with any publication he is associated with.
I’ve known his family a long time. His brother Pat at one time worked for me when I owned a cab. His mom was a real fighter.
I first met Ed when I worked for Jim Butler, Republican City Council member who happened to be a libertarian and a good man who was a two-term member of the council. When I was in college Ed ran an excellent campaign and surprisingly won and did a great job, but upset the established and powerful in Minneapolis, mainly Northern States Power (NSP), but that’s another story.
What I’m getting to today is in the December 2020 [Riverside] issue of the paper. Elina Kolstad’s article [“Hey hey, ho ho, Gov’nor Walz has got to go”], which is a commentary more than a news story, states that Joe Biden received more votes in Hennepin County than President Trump received in the entire state of Minnesota, which is a complete falsehood and a lie. Biden received in Hennepin County 532,623 votes and Trump got 1,484,065 votes in MN. I feel it is very important to report information backed by facts, not a narrative they wish to adopt supported only by misinformation. Also, President-elect Biden is no Mother Teresa. Let’s not forget he once gave a eulogy at a Grand Cyclops of Ku Klux Klan funeral and opposed, from the Senate floor, public school integration, saying it’ll create a jungle for white children, and he opposed gays in the military.
But in closing, thanks, Ed, for all the good work you’re doing on the golf course and this is just one instance of one reporter who let it get a little out of hand involving the truth.

—William Marshall

Response from Elina Kolstad:

Dear Bill,
First of all, thank you for reading my article. You are correct in your assessment that it was intended as commentary, not news. The statement in question referenced an article from MPR titled “Biden won big in Minnesota. Why didn’t legislative Democrats?” The direct quote is, “In fact, Biden’s record-large margin of 322,000 votes from Hennepin County alone was bigger than the 310,000 votes Trump won in all of the 74 counties he won combined.” I misread this. I apologize. I would argue that my point still stands and that if Democrats can engage voters of color and progressives, they can easily win elections in Minnesota going forward.
As far as criticisms of Biden, my statement was not meant to be an argument of why Biden was a good candidate. In fact, I think he was a bad choice for the Democrats to make. My point was that the threat posed by Donald Trump to our democracy, combined with the work done by Ilhan Omar, mobilized voters of color and progressives who, like myself, have in the past supported third party candidates, demonstrates a political path forward for the Democratic party to win statewide elections in Minnesota.
I would like to add, I do find the timing of your vitriol against Biden interesting. As far as I can tell this comment was sent on January 13, 2021. That is exactly a week after Trump incited a violent coup attempt at our nation’s Capitol, which included many neo-Nazi symbols including a man in a “Camp Auschwitz” hoodie, people carrying Confederate flags, and resulted in the deaths of five people including a police officer. I can’t think of anything that justifies those of us who bought in to the “lesser of two evils” argument for the first time in our lives more.

—Elina Kolstad

Comments are closed.