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Letter to the Editor: Refuting accusations against Ingebrigtsen

I am writing to respectfully refute a plethora of inaccurate accusations made by Jerry Horgen against Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen in a Letter to the Editor last week.

Mr. Horgen was upset because the Senator favors the Voter ID legislation. According to Mr. Horgen, "there is no research in Minnesota to say that we have anywhere near a voter fraud issue."

Not so - Minnesota has 200 voter fraud convictions recently, which make us the leader in the nation for voter fraud convictions. There were over 6,000 Election Day registrants who provided names and addresses that could not be verified after their ballots were accepted and counted.

It is virtually impossible to function in modern day society without a government issued ID, which must be produced when you buy alcohol, tobacco, cash a check, rent a car or a motel room, etc.

Who would not want a fair, one person-one vote election?

Mr. Horgen also asserts that Senator Ingebrigtsen wants to treat veterans as "second class citizens" because he favors the marriage amendment (one woman, one man). Ingebrigtsen has worked hard to protect the rights of veterans by simplifying the hiring process and by making them more sought after by prospective employers. The senator has a long history of supporting pro-veteran legislation. I encourage anyone to check his voting record for themselves.

The next point Mr. Horgen made is a subject near and dear to me as a firearms instructor. He maintains that the senator "supports people settling arguments with guns as opposed to talking things out" because the senator supported the Castle Doctrine/ Stand Your Ground Bill.

I had the privilege to testify in front of the Senate Committee in favor of this legislation (which they ultimately passed but was later vetoed by Governor Dayton). Nowhere in the bill does it give anyone the authority to shoot someone who disagrees with them or who may be arguing with them. It did expand the definition of one's place of abode, enabling a citizen to protect themselves in their camper, tent, fish house, etc., and would have increased the reciprocity with other states that have permit to carry legislation so Minnesotans could protect themselves while traveling to these states. The other thing it would have done was remove the current criteria for a person to have to attempt to escape or flee from an assailant.

I wish Mr. Horgen much success with his negotiations should he be confronted by a mugger or some other violent thug.

And finally, he maintains Ingebrigtsen doesn't care about people. Really? A man who served over 34 years in law enforcement with distinction, was elected as Sheriff by the people of Douglas County four times, three times unopposed. I guess he chose law enforcement as a profession because of the great pay, wonderful hours, the nights, weekends and holidays away from his family because he doesn't care about people?

I served as a peace officer for more than 35 years and my father, brother, uncle, two cousins were in law enforcement and now my son is looking for a job in the profession, as well. It is not so much a career choice as it is a "calling."

I am proud to call the senator a friend, and I have heard him say many times, "I must always remember who I work for." And indeed, Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen has always remembered who he works for.

Brian Nelson

Perham, MN

Retired Chief of Police