Fifteen thousand members of the press are covering the historic events at the Democratic Party convention in Denver.

Next week the same number will cover the Republican convention in the Twin Cities. After Denver, many of them may wonder how to cover the smaller, less exciting event.

Some may be tempted to do feature stories about Minnesota and its unique folklore, for example. Both F. Scott Fitzgerald and Paul Bunyan hail from the state. Others might want to write about hockey or the upcoming ice fishing season.

Rather than dwelling on such stories, however, we would like to suggest they focus on the real concerns of the American people. Here are some questions they might ask the Republicans at their gathering next week:

• What will the GOP do about infrastructure so the country never again experiences a bridge disaster like the one on I-35?

• How does the GOP plan to stop the outsourcing of American jobs?

• What are the Republicans’ proposals for trade, especially as they apply to workers’ rights here and abroad and to the creation of a just global economy?

• What will the GOP do to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to bring our troops home and to care for them properly after they get back?

• What will the Republican Party do to fix the economy, end the foreclosure crisis and stop the thievery on Wall Street? (If they tell you “more tax breaks for the rich,” tell them “wrong!”)

• What is the GOP plan to deliver quality, affordable health care to the 50 million now without insurance?

One last question — especially good to ask of the many “free market” advocates sure to gather at a Republican convention: Why not allow all workers to form unions?

Wouldn’t that be one of the best “free market” solutions to the problem of how to raise living standards and how to save the “middle class?” After all, unlike the powerful corporations behind the Republican Party, unions don’t get tax breaks or government handouts.

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