Star Tribune Letters: Stifling Free Speech

In a June 22 letter to the editor, Jason McGrath writes: »Thanks to Doug Grow for exposing Parks Superintendent Jon Gurban’s threat to arrest Minneapolis Park Board candidate Jason Stone for “campaigning for the Park Board in a park (Star Tribune, June 19).”

After searching for some information on this event, I’ve concluded that while the Park Board supposedly requires a permit (however unconstitutional) for distributing any kind of “papers” in the parks, there is no procedure for applying for such a permit, nobody knows of anyone ever receiving such a permit, and in fact such a permit does not seem to exist in any accessible form.

The only plausible reason for the parks superintendent to choose, apparently for the first time ever, to enforce the requirement is that this particular “offender” is challenging, in a democratic election, a member of the autocratic Park Board majority that hired the same parks superintendent.

On second thought, thanks to Gurban for making the case for the dysfunction of the Park Board and the urgency of Park Board reform even more effectively than “offending” reform candidate Jason Stone ever could.«