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Letter: Tribune editorial on Ahmann was naive

This letter is late and it’s long overdue. It is in defense of Willmar City Councilman Steve Ahmann, whom you publicly admonished a few weeks ago as “naïve and ill-advised.”

Steve and I forged what has become a lifelong friendship during the eight years in the 1970s and ’80s when I had the privilege of working alongside Jack, Bud and Joe and KWLM.

I remember one winter morning when the three guys opened their daily “hot-stove league” on the air and Bud greeted his audience with the friendly welcome, “Hello, gang.” A few minutes later a woman who identified herself as a social worker called and criticized Bud for “glamorizing gangs,” to which Bud laughed and told her his term had nothing to do with Mafia-related meanings but was rather a term of neighborhood camaraderie.

I’m reminded of that conversation years later while reading your editorial blasting Councilman Ahmann. You see, that social worker with her liberal policies of creating an entitlement mentality would create a society of perceived haves and have-nots whereby the have-nots are granted public favors because of their immigration status and nationality. And the social worker’s sentimentalism took exception to Bud’s “insensitivity.”

With that new, wretched paradigm of culture working against Mr. Ahmann, he still had the guts to step forward and call a spade a spade and point out that there is a high percentage of those in the hospitality business across the nation who are in this country illegally; they commit a disproportionate amount of crimes and draw a disproportionate amount of public handouts.

So why in the world does your conscience allow a local business to draw on public funds to perpetuate this nonsense and illegality? It is truly the Tribune’s opinion editor who is naïve and ill-advised, not Mr. Ahmann.

Steve Horner

St. George, Utah