A step to limit big money in politics
Re “Lawmakers raised big money for ballot measures – but didn’t spend much of it” (Data Tracker, March 3): The article by The Sacramento Bee’s Jim Miller highlights the need to close loopholes that allow politicians to skirt individual campaign-contribution limits.
I authored Senate Bill 1467 last year to limit the use of candidate-controlled ballot measure committees. The first version of the bill would have made such committees subject to the same contribution limits as candidates for state offices. But some legislators felt the bill went too far.
So I amended the bill to improve its chances of passage. The revised bill would bar candidates and elected officials from using money from candidate-controlled ballot measure committees to promote themselves, their candidacies or other candidates. Yet the Legislature’s Democratic leadership shelved the bill.
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Any real campaign-finance reform begins with the reform of candidate-controlled ballot measure committees.
Sen. Patricia Bates, R-Laguna Niguel
Congress’ action will hurt business
The U.S. Senate soon will vote to overturn a U.S. Department of Labor rule that makes it easier for states to establish retirement savings plans, such as the Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program being implemented here in California. Striking down this rule would have a chilling effect on California’s Secure Choice program and would be especially harmful to small businesses.
Secure Choice would provide an easy and affordable option for small businesses, which is why they strongly support it. We urge the U.S. Senate to consider how these programs can help small businesses and uphold the Labor Department’s rule.
Mark Herbert, Sacramento
Cities’ alternative to housing crunch
Re “High housing prices suffocate growth” (Editorials, March 7): Senate Bill 35 would trample local control and the ability of citizens to be involved in decisions that affect their communities. It would shortcut vital environmental and local government review, which help ensure new housing and new neighborhoods are well-planned and fit the fabric of a community.
Local elected officials understand our role in helping ease California’s housing crisis, and that the current local planning and environmental review process can be cumbersome. That is why the League of California Cities is promoting Senate Bill 540, which would streamline the housing-development process and create a blueprint for new-housing construction, especially near employment centers and transit.
SB 540 would promote needed housing construction without eroding the basic tenets of citizen involvement or local control.
David Sander, Rancho Cordova City Council
McClintock isn’t listening to voters
Re “McClintock parrots Trump – but at least it’s face to face” (Marcos Breton, March 8): Marcos Breton has given the best description of Tom McClintock I’ve ever seen. I have never felt represented by this representative, probably because I don’t share his ideology. I’m beginning to think it’s not even good of him to face opposition at town hall meetings if nothing comes of his attendance.
Jean Starns, Newcastle
Don’t dismiss ‘minority’ views
I read how Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove, appreciates town halls as a way to hear the “minority” viewpoint. It is sad to see such a dismissive attitude toward the opposing views of almost 1,300 of his constituents who attended the town hall.
Gail Erwin, Galt
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