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Open and free elections were the hallmark of American democracy after its founding almost 250 years ago. Sadly, the hallmark label seems tarnished as we’ve transformed election day which once was a day of celebration, into an almost endless election season. Folks from both sides of the political aisle publicly attack each other’s credibility, without cause or reason, and attack the institutions of democracy if they don’t get their way. This degradation that probably started in Washington DC, has now crept into local elections. For the relatively few dollars it cost to submit an election letter to local papers, one can with impunity, publicly attack the credibility of a fellow citizen and/or their supporters.

One such letter in last Saturday’s paper began “From my understanding, the endorsement of Natalie Barnes for senator was underhanded”. The author also uses the word “shenanigans”, but offers no information to support the allegation. As a delegate in attendance at the Scott County GOP convention that overwhelmingly endorsed Ms. Barnes for senator over Eric Pratt, I observed absolutely nothing that would justify the accusation made by the letter’s author.

I was equally disappointed to read Prior Lake Mayor Briggs’s letter in the American wherein he also appears intent on undermining Barnes endorsement, by discrediting the convention that chose her over Pratt. Briggs’s letter is full of inuendo questioning the convention endorsing process and claiming that delegates “weren’t notified of the convention”, but doesn’t offer any facts or specifics to support his claims. Since I’m not aware that Briggs was in attendance at the convention, I can only speculate on where he got his information.

If Briggs is suggesting that Pratt lost the endorsement because delegates who would have supported him weren’t notified and consequently didn’t show up— well that’s a stretch. Are we to believe that the volunteers who were assisting in planning the convention, selectively decided what delegates to notify and what delegates not to notify, or equally unbelievable, that elected delegates didn’t know when or where the convention would occur? It’s extremely disappointing, that a sitting mayor would publicly discredit the open and public process by which a fellow citizen gets endorsed for public office.

Making matters worse, I have in-hand, copies of circulated emails encouraging democrats to vote as republicans in the primary using the republican ballot instead of the democrat one, and to vote for Pratt in order to deny the GOP endorsed candidate from being on the November ballot. While these “shenanigans” aren’t illegal, to suggest that anything in politics is fair even if it’s unfair, is to undermine one of the bedrock principles of democracy.    

Americans are fed up with the nastiness of election politics and I have little doubt these bull dog type tactics are driving many qualified individuals from pursuing public office. Why should someone offer themselves for public service, if the result is going to be public attacks on their credibility, without cause? Isn’t it time to return mutual respect and fairness to the election process, starting here at the local level?

I did submit this letter with a couple minor changes to the editor of the Prior Lake American and the Shakopee Valley News, with authorization to charge my credit card for the appropriate fee for election letters. It was rejected as unacceptable.

Wes Mader

 by Texans Jack & Dodie

Reliable law enforcement sources in San Antonio and Houston, Texas have informed CleverJourneys of an upsurge in “Bottle on the Tire” crimes.

Car jackers, robbers and kidnappers in many states use this method to target victims in parking lots, streets and parks.

They place an empty plastic bottle between the tire and body on the right side of the car.

They wait until the intended victim begins backing up or moving forward in their car.

As the driver backs up or moves forward, he/she starts wheeling the car and hears a strange noise. It’s the bottle bursting/cracking sound. 

The bottle is not in view since it is on the passenger side and can’t be seen from that angle.

In bewilderment, the driver steps out of the car to inspect the problem and is immediately vulnerable.

At this point, the entire car is unlocked, the driver door is wide open, engine is in running mode and the driver is out of the vehicle.

The criminal has multiple options

Steal valuables from the car,

Drive away with the car  

Hold you at gun point to rob, rape or shoot you.

Please share with others so that more people are aware of this dangerous trick. Even if one person is helped from not getting fooled or harmed, it’s worth it.


  • I have no reason to doubt that every member of the school board for Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools wants the best for our kids, but good intentions without the courage to lead and provide oversight doesn’t work.

School safety, racial allegations, distance learning and other distractions have burdened the district’s children with more emotional stress than they need. So, can someone on the school board please tell us how questioning students (including seventh-grade boys and girls) about how often they have sex, and with how many different partners, will reduce that stress?

Does it help to ask children if they’ve considered or attempted suicide, or whether they identify as asexual, bisexual, pansexual, gay, lesbian or something else? I cannot imagine any rationale where that kind of questioning at school helps emotionally stressed kids. Nevertheless, students were asked to respond to these kinds of personal questions in a 112-question survey recently administered in our district.

Of course, I didn’t learn about this from a district newsletter or the superintendent’s newspaper columns. I learned about it from distraught parents who learned, after the fact, what their children were being asked.

To learn more, I questioned a district spokesperson. The written response I received was that the survey was a “collaboration of local schools and MN Departments of Education, Health, Human Services and Public Safety” and that the board members neither “approve or disapprove any survey.” I emailed the chair of the school board to verify if that was true. My two emails went unanswered.

Asking PLSAS grade-schoolers about their sexual activity is not a new phenomenon. In 2018, I discovered the district had administered a similar survey to children as young as the sixth-grade, without parental knowledge or approval. Believing that was in direct violation of both state law (121A.065) and federal law (Protection of Pupil Rights Act), I subsequently expressed concern in writing to the board chair. He responded as though he was unaware and unconcerned, but advised in writing that he would refer the matter to the superintendent. I heard nothing back.

I subsequently made the difficult decision to refer the matter (including a copy of the survey) to Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and Mary Ricker,

commissioner of the Department of Education. In effect, the response I received from the attorney general’s office was that it was not their problem, and from the Department of Education that I had no standing to file a complaint since I didn’t have a child in the school.

I believe this level of uncontrolled bureaucracy is what some writers have referred to as “the deep state,” in which unelected bureaucrats set policy and priorities based upon their political persuasion instead of what’s right under the intent of the law.

School board members should represent and be accountable to parents and residents. Rubberstamping policies and procedures prepared by the superintendent or administration or, worse, by politically appointed bureaucrats in St. Paul, without meaningful oversight, is wrong. 

Wes Mader

Prior Lake

Please read more at the Prior Lake American  ⬇️ 🇺🇸 ⚖️ 🦅


Thank you to all who served or are serving our great country. God bless and everyone have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend! 🇺🇸 ♥️ 🇺🇸 🤍 🇺🇸 💙

Always Remember Never Forget the generations of Men and Women who sacrificed for our Freedom, Values, and Way of life. Praying for all those serving today!

#MemorialDayWeekend  ✨🌟 🇺🇸 ♥️ ⚖️ 🤍 🦅  💙 🌟✨

#MemorialDay2022 ✨🌟 🇺🇸 ⚖️ 🦅 ♥️🤍💙🌟✨

#HonorTheFallen 🇺🇸  

Memorial Day Tribute-Ronald Reagan Memorial


  1. Save the date

    Lakefront Master Plan

    Open House

    Wednesday May., 25th 4-7 PM

    Location-Lakefront Pavilion

    Review the Draft Concept Plan & Provide Your Input

    Click here to visit the project StoryMap where you can learn about the draft concept plan, watch a video, and see example images of proposed park feature

    Please read more at the link below ⬇️