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Honest and Consistent, Wellstone Had Heart

October 29, 2002

Re "Sen. Wellstone Dies in Minn. Plane Crash," Oct. 26: As a student at the University of Minnesota during the early 1980s, I was involved in the students' Democrat club. A true die-hard for educating youth about political awareness, Paul Wellstone would always attend our events, even if it meant driving through rain, sleet or snow. And this was no small feat, as his home base was a small private college an hour from Minneapolis. But his being there was so Paul Wellstone.

He was always there. He was there for liberal causes. He was there for the youth and the elderly. He was a consistent voice for working people. He cared about the environment and tirelessly promoted peace. He was old-fashioned in his liberalism. He was unabashed. And he didn't give a damn if that bothered some people. Whether it was popular or unpopular, he stood his ground. Now, with his tragic passing, we look around and see there are so few true liberals left. They seem to be fading from view. All we have now are sheepish politicians. We miss you, Paul Wellstone.

David Eder

Los Angeles

*

As a Republican and native Minnesotan, I never liked Wellstone's ideology, but I always liked him. He was honest, kind, smart, compassionate and had the kind of heart I wish every lawmaker had. When I worked as a congressional page in the U.S. Capitol a few years ago, I came into contact with Sen. Wellstone a lot, bumping into him in elevators and hallways. Most senators don't give pages, the lowliest of Capitol Hill employees, the time of day, but Wellstone always took time to ask how we were doing and thank us for our work. He was, without a doubt, our favorite senator.

Wellstone represented a great and rare breed of politician, the kind who stands up for what he believes in no matter what the political price. He was a good man who served his people and his principles well. Our country will miss him.

Andy Brehm

Claremont

*

I had the distinct honor of working with Wellstone during Bill Bradley's presidential run. I traveled throughout northwest Iowa with him and his wife on those cold winter nights to union halls and college campuses. Wellstone enthusiastically supported Bradley in his pursuit of America's highest office so he could champion the highest of ideals. As often happens in America today, more moderate forces prevailed. Those messages of a better, kinder America are left to the Paul Wellstones of the world. He did just that and will always be remembered as a good and decent man whose convictions prevailed over special interests. He will be sorely missed, and my deepest sympathies go out to his family and the families of the others lost in the tragedy that occurred Oct. 25.

James Corrigan

Marina del Rey

*

Wellstone did not waffle. He did not swing with the polls, modifying, editing and compromising his beliefs. He did not spend each legislative day worrying about whether his vote would affect his reelection or the amount of money he could raise. He voted his conscience even when it was not the popular thing to do. His vote on the Iraq war resolution was the crowning example of that.

Harriet Glickman

Sherman Oaks

*

I couldn't vote for Wellstone, but he spoke for me.

Hortense Friedman

Sherman Oaks

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