The American-News welcomes letters of opinion from our readers.

The American-News welcomes letters of opinion from our readers. Letters regarding current local and national news items are encouraged. All letters are subject to editing for length and style. Letters containing potentially libelous or obscene statements will not be published. Letters must contain name, address and phone number for verification and in case of questions. E-mail letters to: mmilbrandt@montenews.com Letters may also be mailed to:  Editor, Montevideo Publishing, P.O. Box 99, Montevideo, MN 56265

Friends of Eleanor Roosevelt

Thank you to everyone that attended the “Friends of Eleanor Roosevelt” program. The life story of Dale Evans, “Queen of the West” was held at the Montevideo Community Center.

  

Your generous donations to the Montevideo Scholarship Fund is gratefully appreciated.

 

A special thanks to Sue Botten, Jeanne Dann, Barb Roder, William Bosch, Karen Kling, Connie Pauling, Dan Dolan, April and Ashleigh Roelike for providing the music and to the Community Center for their support.

  

—Committee members: Arlene Kranz, Dianne Shimp, Diane Loose, Ruth Hanson, Inez Johnson, LaVonne Sundlee, Janice Anderson, Marie Pederson, Janet Kittelson, Kathy Hendricksen, Jeanne Feldhake

Montevideo

Money grubbing

I am deeply disappointed that this newspaper now requires payment from any of its readers who offer a letter for publication regarding any candidate for any elective office from dog catcher to U.S. President. In the tension between journalistic ethics and greed, greed is the clear winner.

We have just passed through an election season that saw a plethora of disgusting political advertising paid for by the super rich, often using dark money channels to disguise their identities. At a time when big money controls political speech, the letter to the editor has been the one channel that allowed the little guy to speak. This paper has now closed that channel.

  This is not just another business decision about advertising rates. This goes directly to the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that gives special protection to newspapers that is not accorded to any other business or profession. The same sentence of the First Amendment that gives special protection to the paper gives us the protected right to freedom of speech, particularly written speech. Free speech and free press have a logical hand-in-glove relationship. You can’t have one without the other. A constitutional right is a sad joke if it comes with a price that you can’t afford. The authors of the First Amendment intended to protect written political speech, not the advertisements, sports pages, funnies personal advice columns, horoscopes, and cute kitty and kid pictures. Your paper is depriving its readers of their fundamental rights.

  This is a big deal. We need to fight this. Hopefully, you will reconsider and put your readers ahead of money grubbing in the future.

—John H. Burns

Willmar