Gas tax showed need for GOP
Re “Senate passes gas tax increase for roads” (Page 1A, April 7): Although I am a lifelong Democrat, I am afraid of the Legislature in its present form. The passage of SB 1 is an example of why.
Passed quickly before the working poor and other taxpayers could have any input, crafted through backroom deals to cut up the pie among those who will profit, using tax money to buy off recalcitrant legislators, the law came about with a total disregard for the working taxpayer.
That we have a transportation problem isn’t the issue. The total arrogance of the governor and the super majority is the problem. The Republican Party or independent parties must begin running qualified, rational candidates interested in a functioning – and affordable – state.
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Bruce Hancock, Carmichael
Californians shafted again
Here we go again. New tax for repairing roads will allocate $400 million to BART for an expansion, $100 million for a new extension from UC Merced and a new express way in Southern California. What do you think will be taken care of first, the aforementioned or the pot holes in your daily commute? Drive on Californians. You have been shafted again.
Albert F. Kammerer, Sacramento
Where did last gas tax go?
I and my fellow working, taxpaying citizens have paid and paid and paid at the pump. Truckers have paid billions in weight fees.
And where did that money go? I have a few ideas, especially given the new revelations about the Board of Equalization, and the thousands of superfluous employees at Caltrans collecting paychecks to do nothing, and whatever the hell it costs to be a “sanctuary state”.
Chris Hickman, Sacramento
Gas tax showed leadership
It doesn’t take much courage for conservative politicians to boldly proclaim they are bravely taking a public stance against new taxes. It plays to their base.
But what if your roads are dilapidated and the gas tax fees that fund their repair have not been raised since 1994? Does it then make sense to be against a new gas tax in 2017?
Rene Vercyussen, Durham
Gorsuch’s is a stolen seat
Re “GOP rewrites the rule book for Gorsuch” (Page 12A, April 6): It doesn’t matter how qualified Gorsuch may or may not be for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. In fact, his political views, while deeply troubling, are not the point.
Sen. Mitch McConnell chose to block President Obama from filling a Supreme Court vacancy during Obama’s term in office. This action was unprecedented, and done for purely political purposes. This was a stolen seat.
J. Scott Coatsworth, Sacramento
Nuclear option works both ways
The Republicans blame the Democrats for filibustering a Supreme Court justice who sides with corporations over people. In fact, the biggest filibuster was when the Republicans refused to even give Judge Garland a hearing because he was nominated by a black man.
But perhaps it is a good thing that the rules have changed. Now when the Democrats take over, we will raise the minimum wage, have a tax code that favors working people over corporations and make it easier for all people to vote rather than trying to suppress the vote as Republicans are doing. All we will need is 51 votes.
Gary Miller, Roseville
Taking long view on Gorsuch
Re “On Gorsuch, live to fight another day” (Letters, April 4): We need to figure out how to put Democrats back in a position of strength, but this was not a shortsighted fight. It was not about whether Gorsuch is qualified.
This was about a stolen seat, and whether the GOP or any party can get away with an unprecedented partisan tactic in which they refused – for almost a year – to hold a hearing for Merrick Garland, then tried to ram through Gorsuch’s nomination on a fast-track after an election whose legitimacy is in question.
This also was about a right-wing majority on the Supreme Court, possibly for decades, and some checks and balances on a right-wing Congress and administration. Fighting this nomination was taking the long view too.
Lindy Tillement, Rio Linda
Dark money in Washington
According to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, $7 million in dark money was spent to defeat Judge Garland in 2016 and at least $10 million went to a political campaign to support Judge Gorsuch’s nomination. I also blame dark money for the consistent voting of Reps. Doug LaMalfa and Tom McClintock against environmental and health protections.
I look forward to meeting LaMalfa at his public townhall meeting in Oroville April 17th. Why are the votes and decisions of our elected officials continually supporting corporate welfare over citizens’ well being?
Nikos Hunner, Nevada City
Sanctuary state backlash
Re “‘Sanctuary state’ bill approved in Senate” (Page A1, April 4): For shame, California. Deputy Danny Oliver and Detective Michael David Davis, Jr., were murdered by illegal immigrant Luis Enrique Monroy Bracamonte. And these traitors want to grant filth like him “sanctuary.” For shame De León. The blood of the innocents is on your hands.
James Cronin, Folsom
Two-tiered legal system
As a law-abiding resident of California and a lifelong independent, I see the world through the prism of “right and wrong.” I apply the same standards across the board, according to people’s behavior, not their color, creed, or ethnicity.
My question, to those that want to provide sanctuary for those that are not here legally is, “Why is it OK to have a two-tiered legal system?” As a legal resident, without a criminal record to this point, will I get a free pass if I run afoul of the law?
Joan Bach, Sacramento
Give sanctuary to citizens
Re “Sanctuary cities are wrong message” (Letters, April 1): Why are so many Californians determined to support those here unlawfully when so many California citizens require our support? Is it not similar to feeding, clothing, and housing your neighbor’s children while your own children go hungry, ragged, and homeless?
Sanctuary city? Yes, we need to be one – to those who already live here.
Jacquelyn Johnson, Sacramento
SSF responds to homeless cuts
Re “Homeless agency faces fund cuts as region’s officials doubt results” (Local, April 2): As board members of Sacramento Steps Forward, we commend the city and county of Sacramento for their innovative proposals to reallocate federal housing vouchers and public housing units to people who are experiencing homelessness.
These actions should create much needed capacity for homeless individuals. Furthermore, putting public resources where they are most effective is a shared goal in our collective effort to end homelessness.
SSF’s continued work – coupled with the city and county efforts – are positive signs that we are making regional strides in addressing one of the most complex issues affecting this country. Continuing to invest resources in the strong infrastructure we have already built at SSF, while working collaboratively to provide additional housing units and needed services, will ensure that we leverage what already works while strengthening those areas in which more must be done.
Chet P. Hewitt and Matthew S. Keasling, Sacramento Steps Forward Board of Directors
Tax for homeless services
Re “A step back for the homeless” (Editorial, March 31): The Sacramento City Council and County Supervisors wisely adopted positions in support of providing a limited priority for homeless people to public housing and housing choice vouchers. But that could take a year or more and is critically dependent upon continuation of federal funds for these programs. A substantial amount of seasonal emergency shelter and warming center capacity closed at the end of March, throwing people back onto the street full-time, even though data show that homeless people die on the streets uniformly year-around.
But “we the people” are capable of providing housing to the homeless people among us far more cheaply than solving many other issues in our communities. The 1,850 people estimated to be on the streets and in emergency shelters could be housed in rental apartments with limited services for about $20 million per year. This is a tiny share of the county’s $3.5 billion annual budget. Voters in Los Angeles and Santa Clara recently passed ballot initiatives to raise funds to build housing for homeless people. Do people in Sacramento care enough for their fellow men and women to do the same?
Michael Jaske, Sacramento
Syria deserved earlier response
Re “U.S. missiles strike Syrian military sites” (Page 1A, April 7): I support the missile attack on Syria’s military base as a result of the sarin gas attack. However, I don’t understand why children being blown apart by bombs is acceptable but sarin gas requires an immediate response. Killing and maiming innocent civilians by any means is unacceptable.
Mark Collen, Sacramento
Disinformation on the right
Re “Media’s image depends on political ideology” (Capitol & California, April 6): Of course, the folks on the right don’t trust the media. Right wing media have spent many years convincing viewers and listeners that only they can be trusted, that news from any other source is biased.
If you only listen to one source of “information”, or only get your “news” on the internet, you are bound to be ill-informed. Unfortunately, along with gerrymandering and voter suppression, that is how we got to where we are now.
Katy Pridy, Jackson
Moderates must force change
Re “A death knell for bipartisanship” (Editorial, April 7): It seems we need a third party of substance. For many moderates like myself, the time is right.
I am weary of both left and right wing extremism and inflexibility. Let’s force both Democrats and Republicans to the table for serious debate on issues, and collaborative resolution.
Mel Billingsley, Elk Grove
Pure power play
Re “Senate Republicans rewrite the rule book to secure Gorsuch Supreme Court confirmation” (April 6): Seems like the American people are bystanders as “my way or the highway” becomes the dominant political tactic in our government. Changing the rules to secure the Gorsuch nomination is just another blatant power play. When Harry Reid used the so-called nuclear option to forward more of President Obama’s lower court appointees, I doubt he foresaw that the Republican party would use any means necessary to secure a Supreme Court seat. Last year, President Obama was within his rights to nominate Merrick Garland after Antonin Scalia passed away, and it was dereliction of duty when Mitch McConnell refused to even hold hearings. Now he has done away with the Democrats’ only defense against majority rule in the Senate. The Democrats are certainly not innocent in all this back and forth, but I fear that the losers here will be the American people as our politicians become more interested in partisan power plays than in our welfare.
Dawn Wolfson, Cameron Park
Ashamed to be Californian
Re “‘Sanctuary state’ bill approved in Senate” (Page A1, April 4): If I were in law enforcement at any level in the state of California, I would tell Kevin de León to go to hell, quit the police force and move to a sane state. I’m ashamed to admit that I was born in California.
Wayne Doll, River Pines
Sanctuary nullifies oath
Elected officials swear to “uphold and protect the United States Constitution and the Constitution of California.” The U.S. Constitution overrides state laws. Now that our politicians have broken their oath with the sanctuary state bill, what good is that oath? They have rendered it meaningless.
Steve Sherman, Herald
Meters are juicy revenue
Re “All those quarters add up for Golden 1 Center” (Insight, April 4): Those quarters in parking meters do add up, courtesy of us little suburban car-dependent folks who are having to pay increased tribute fees to patronize the downtown/midtown area. But while the parking enforcement folks may have slacked off a bit last year and written fewer expired meter citations, those 75,882 citations at about $40 a pop translate into “real money” at over $3.5 million. (I know, the State gets their $12.50 share of each one).
Surely we’re not going to be naive enough to think the City Hall finance slickers will be slacking off on those expired meter citations in future years, when they represent such a juicy piece of revenue.
Bob Rystad, Citrus Heights
Elk Grove graduation parking
Re “Elk Grove Unified could face steep bill for its graduations” (Local, April 6): Not only is Elk Grove Unified wasting tax dollars on the Golden 1 Center, just as it’s done for years at Arco/Sleep Train Arena, but thousands of parents and friends get stiffed for all the parking fees that go with these big parties. The parking fees overwhelmingly exceed the rental costs. The District should avail itself of the many football fields and grandstands that are otherwise unused during that time of year. They’re local, free, and convenient.
Bill Tubbs, Clay
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