Monday, December 3, 2007


I received this e-mail from Alan Maki. As usual, Alan adds his own particular brand of humor in distributing three Letters to the Editor from the Star Tribune including his own, concerning a very important issue to Minnesotans: Saving the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant.

While Sam Webb has attacked me, calling me the "bitch from Duluth," he continues to attack Alan Maki and the "Gus Hall 8."

After reading these letters which were a response to an Editorial and article published the week before, I don't think there is any question remaining that Sam Webb has a room or two for rent upstairs with a lot of space between his ears.

I called the Star Tribune and asked how many Letters to the Editor they received on this issue in response to their editorial and the associated Opinion Piece. I was told, "So many we don't have the time to count them all for you." I then asked, "How many of the letters were for saving the plant?" I was told, "Every single one of them except for a handful."

Hey, hey folks--- something is out of whack here. Sam Webb sits in his New York office which used to be occupied by Gus Hall who would have been in and out of Minnesota a dozen times on this issue meeting with folks all over the state encouraging this unprecedented development surrounding saving the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant and there sits Sam Webb on his butt in New York taking pot-shots at all of us for raising our voices and our concerns on this important issue as he contemplates his navel as if he is awaiting an award from Hillary.

Again I think Alan has it right.


From: Alan Maki []

Sent: Monday, December 03, 2007 3:44 PM

To: Sam Webb

Subject: Letters to Editor from around the state on Ford Plant in Sunday Minneapolis Star Tribune

Perhaps Dean Gunderson, Sam Webb, Dan Margolis, Scott Marshall and Mark Froemke would like to submit their own letter to the editor of the Star Tribune on this issue.

Dean Gunderson already wrote the letter; he might as well send it in. All that needs to be done is take off “Alan” and replace it with ”Letter to the Editor:”


The closure of the Ford plant in St Paul is a done deal.

There was an agreement reached regarding the affected

employees signed by the UAW and Ford Motor.

The campaigns we (St. Paul Club of the CPUSA- alm) are involved with in St Paul do not

center around the closure issue. Both Mark Froemke and

Scott Marshall have advised our district that there is nothing

we can do regarding the closure.

Dean Gunderson, Chair, St. Paul Club, Communist Party of the United States of America

A suggestion: Dean Gunderson might want to conclude his Letter to the Editor by saying: “Don’t worry; be happy. Brother, can you spare a dime? Vote for Hillary.”

Such a Letter would allow Sam Webb to work in closer alliance with his coalition partners in the Democratic Party, the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce and that ever faithful coalition partner--- the Ford Motor Company. I am sure UAW President Ron Gettelfinger and his top man in charge of Ford bargaining, the stalwart labor protagonist, Bob King, would be tickled pink--- a slight pun intended.

Anyways, here are three Letters to the Editor that were actually published in the Sunday, December 2, 2007 Star Tribune “Opinion” section page OP4:


Note: I give the PWW and PA the right to reprint my letter, “State Should Own It” in its entirety. Failing publication in the PWW and PA I might turn it into bookmarks for the Gus Hall Action Club to distribute as a promotion for Gus Hall’s book: Working Class USA. Of course it would carry the following warning: Dangerous factional material; do not allow to get into the hands of working people. Beware of the “Gus Hall Eight.”

State should own it

Your excellent editorial of Nov. 25 on saving the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant missed one important point.

For all practical purposes there is little chance of saving this plant unless it is brought under public ownership; free enterprise has failed to save the plant and the jobs.

Taxpayers already have a huge investment in this plant. More tax-dollars should be invested to save this plant and these important manufacturing jobs. What taxpayers finance they should own.

Minnesota legislators have a fiduciary responsibility to see to it that this plant survives through public ownership.


What's the real cost?

As a strong supporter of electric vehicles, I applaud David Morris' Nov. 25 column. However, I question his statement that an electric vehicle can be operated at a penny per mile as opposed to 13 cents per mile for gasoline.

Do the math: Assuming it takes 10 hp to maintain a vehicle at 30 miles per hour; in the two minutes it takes to go a mile, that's 7.5 kW times two minutes or about 0.25 kWhr. Xcel charges me about 10 cents per kWhr. Assuming 30 percent efficiency in conversion from power plug to battery to drive wheel, that puts the cost at closer to 8 cents.

Even if the power company gives a generous discount for nonpeak power, the penny per mile figure seems a little optimistic. And don't get me started on depreciation of a costly battery.


A diesel pickup

David Morris' commentary on the St Paul Ford plant was right on target, maybe more than he realizes.

Ford is known for its pickups, especially the diesel-powered F250. It's a nearly 6,000-pound behemoth, known for durability and for the powerful and efficient diesel engine. But for most of us who don't have a real need for a vehicle capable of hauling several tons, whether for work or for play, the F250 diesel is not a reasonable choice.

Almost completely unknown to North American automotive consumers is the fact that Ford manufactures and sells a powerful and highly efficient diesel-powered Ranger pickup. Unfortunately, this is sold only in South America.

Ford could, as it has done a number of times in its history, revolutionize the automotive industry, by manufacturing and selling this high-efficiency diesel-powered small pickup. My guess is that this diesel-powered Ranger would operate in the 40+ mpg range. Ford dealerships would be inundated with customers.

There are always concerns about meeting emissions standards with a diesel. But given our nation's environmental and energy challenges, I'm confident that this pickup would spawn innovation both in the automotive marketplace and in more home-grown approaches such as biodiesel.


Here are the links to the articles responded to; it seems Minnesotans by and large are a factional bunch:

An excellent editorial:

A suggestion on the use of the Plant:

Alan L. Maki

58891 County Road 13

Warroad, Minnesota 56763

Phone: 218-386-2432

Cell phone: 651-587-5541


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