As a moderate Republican, I was encouraged two years ago when Republican Ted Lillie was elected to the Minnesota Senate.
Ted came across as a moderate businessman who would do his best to get along on both sides of the aisle for the benefit of our state. Sadly, this encouragement has turned to disillusionment as I have watched Lille—now an assistant leader of his caucus—align himself time and again with the Tea Party extremists in his party whose radical agenda threatens Minnesota's high quality of life.
Lillie marched in lock-step with right wing extremists to shut down state government in 2011; enshrine discrimination into the State Constitution; slash school funding; raise property taxes by eliminating the Market Value Homestead Credit; promote "shoot first" legislation; and poke holes in the social safety net for Minnesota's disabled and elderly.
Equally disappointing—and what can even be considered a disturbing dereliction of duty for any elected official—is Lillie's dismissive attitude to people outside his own party.
I know of Democrats in Woodbury who have never received a mailing from Lillie—not even a legislative report outlining actions of the previous session. A recent letter to the editor from Joyce Denn explained how Lillie never responded to her numerous e-mails.
Ms. Denn wrote, "Perhaps he does not understand that as a state senator he is supposed to represent everyone in the district, not just the Republicans who voted for him."
My confidence of 2010 has given way to disappointment in 2012. As a moderate Republican I would rather vote for a commonsense Democrat who listens to all of her constituents than for a rigid Tea Party ideologue who blatantly ignores half of his district. I will not be voting for Ted Lillie this year.
—Jennifer Nichols, Woodbury