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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Civility and responsibility start at home

We and our neighbors have so far received four completely different, slick, expensive mailings attacking John Persell. I remember seeing the same in the last election cycle. Where do these come from, and who is paying for them? Who would make these ugly insinuations against a friend, resident and neighbor of our community?

The mailings say they are written and funded by the MN Jobs Coalition Legislative Fund. Mentioned at least twice in each mailing are “the radical liberals in St. Paul” who do not live in Bemidji. Clearly the author for the organization doesn’t live here, either. Why should someone in St. Paul be dragging Mr. Persell’s name through the mud and trying to connect him with images of terrorists and automatic weapons?

Noticeably absent from the flyer is any mention of Mr. Persell’s opponent in the election, Rep. Matt Bliss. I feel genuinely sorry for Rep. Bliss because people -- myself included -- will assume that these mean-spirited, poorly written and inflammatory mailings are being produced with his blessing, which would reflect very poorly on his own character. We are Americans; we don’t drag other people down in order to rise and succeed. We succeed because we pull together, care for neighbors, and work on making life better for everyone in our community.

I know who John Persell is. I hope at some point, Rep. Bliss has the strength and will to silence the clown in St. Paul and tell us who he really is and what he really stands for, on a flyer that he feels comfortable signing his name to.

Civility and responsibility start at home. We have no right, as citizens, to complain about ugly Washington, D.C., politics if we allow it in our own community, among neighbors and friends.

Rev. Gay Albers