Letters to the Editor

Sad day for California

Sad day for California

Re “Gov. Brown signs assisted-death bill” (Page 1A, Oct. 6): What a sad day for California. Our governor signs an extremely controversial bill, not based on a widely held (or even a narrowly held) moral principle, not based on a perceived benefit to the common good (however that is defined). Rather, he signs the assisted-suicide bill based on his personal druthers to a future hypothetical possibility. God help us all if politics have degenerated to this low state of imperial preference.

Lawrence Niekamp, Citrus Heights

Suicide impacts others

I can understand Gov. Brown’s signing message that faced with death from prolonged and excruciating pain he would not know what he would choose. I’m sure suicide would enter a rational person’s mind, as would palliative hospice care.

But I have difficulty in seeing how it would comfort him to have the option. One can carry out their own death easily enough without this law. To get another to kill you means you irrevocably place that act on the conscience of another human being. How does any one of us know how involving another in our death would ultimately impact that other?

Joseph R. Symkowick, Sacramento

Governor’s finest hour

I have worked around politicians since Gov. Brown’s second term. The signing of the death-assistance law represents his finest hour. Millions do not know if we would choose this in the end, but will live our lives less fearfully knowing it is there. Brown’s signing statement revealed much about him. He studied the issue, considered sincere opponent arguments and weighed them against his personal convictions and the predictable impact on quality of life. If only this were the template for other political decisions.

John Adkisson, Sacramento

Fake ethics reform?

Re “Sacramento needs real ethics reform, not city’s fake version”: (Viewpoints, Oct. 5): Let’s wait and see what the reform language actually looks like. I commend the League of Women Voters, Common Cause, Gary Winuk (who, while at the FPPC, prosecuted the mayor three times and won) and Bill Edgar (former city manager) for working with the city staff and getting a framework adopted. Collaboration is not as bad as Powell seems to think.

David R. Miller, Sacramento

Hardly ‘gruel’

I watched the Sacramento Integrity Project carry forward solid ethics reforms informed by six months of public input and research on policy best practices. Proposals included an independent redistricting commission, comprehensive ethics codes, a means of enforcement with an independent ethics commission, and increased transparency including a sunshine ordinance and more disclosure about City Council ad hoc committees. Next will be review by the council’s law and legislation committee, open to public vetting. Hardly “gruel,” as Eye on Sacramento bewails in its slanted commentary; these are broad reforms that rewrite Sacramento’s status quo.

JoAnn Fuller, Carmichael

Real ethics commission

Eye on Sacramento is correct in its commentary that the city’s ethics proposal will most likely be ineffective. Having the mayor appoint the members of the ethics commission with ratification by the City Council does not make the commission independent. The commission is not given the power to investigate all ethics violations; its power is limited to what is already subject to the state Fair Political Practices Commission. Given recent incidents involving the mayor and two council members, the citizens of Sacramento deserve real reform and a commission that can be effective in dealing with misbehavior of city officials. Anything less is a waste.

Sharon-Jane Matthews, Sacramento

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