WHEREAS, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees individuals and organizations the right to express their viewpoints, without pressure or interference from government; and
WHEREAS, State Services for the Blind (SSB), a division of the Minnesota Department of Economic Security, is the state agency primarily responsible for serving blind Minnesotans; and
WHEREAS, throughout its 80-year history, the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota has worked diligently to improve the quality of programs for the blind in both the public and private sectors; and
WHEREAS, the Minnesota Bulletin, the Federation's statewide newsletter, contains frequent and informed discussion and analysis of SSB programs and policies; and
WHEREAS, using articles from the Minnesota Bulletin as a pretext, Earl Wilson, Commissioner of the Department of Economic Security, recently wrote a widely-circulated letter which contained vitriolic and unsubstantiated attacks upon the elected leaders and members of the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota and which inappropriately suggested that the NFB national organization should drop its Minnesota affiliate; and
WHEREAS, such heavy-handedness is both inappropriate and unprofessional for a public official of Mr. Wilson's stature and fosters an atmosphere of government intimidation by discouraging the free expression of differing points of view; now, therefore
BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota in convention assembled this fifth day of November, 2000, in the city of Mankato that this organization condemn the Commissioner of Economic Security Earl Wilson for his inappropriate, disrespectful, and unprofessional treatment of the elected leaders and members of this organization; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization call upon Governor Jesse Ventura to reprimand Commissioner Wilson for his reprehensible behavior.