The blame game has begun again
Re “Clinton news spoiled my vote” and “Trying to ruin voter turnout” (Letters, June 8): The ink is barely dry on newspapers proclaiming Hillary Clinton’s overwhelming victory in California and the blame game has begun. Bernie Sanders supporters are already crying about the early proclamation that declared Clinton the presumptive Democratic nominee.
It seems that when Sanders won, it was because of his followers. When he lost, somehow someone had “fixed” the outcome through nefarious means. This time, however, their complaints lack merit. Since Clinton had been proclaimed the victor it is far more likely her supporters would not have voted. On the other side, Sanders saw this election as the key to persuading super-delegates to swing his way.
A massive turnout by his people was necessary. Then why didn’t they vote in droves?
Eileen Glaholt, Sacramento
We need transparency bills
Re “Legislature’s transparency bills criticized by initiative backer” (Capitol & California, June 8): Proponents of the California Legislature Transparency Act have submitted over 1 million signatures, so the initiative should qualify for the November ballot.
It has received endorsements from a wide-ranging, bipartisan coalition of good-government groups, taxpayer advocates and business groups. By contrast, the new 11th-hour legislation offered by politicians only complicates the issue and does nothing to improve transparency. It preserves legislators’ ability to change legislation at the last minute before a vote and does nothing to reduce the power of special interests in Sacramento.
SCA 14 and AB 884 are flawed proposals that attempt to confuse voters and weaken the ballot initiative that already has the support of more than 1 million California voters.
Tom Hudson, Elverta
Missing the point on Citizens United
Re “Hypocrisy saturates money bill” (Capitol & California, June 5): Dan Walters’ column on our Citizens United legislation misses the point. The primary objection to Citizens United is that it opened the floodgates for unregulated political spending in campaigns, with no limits and virtually no accountability or transparency.
Campaign fund-raising has become an unfortunate necessity in politics that takes up too much of legislators’ time and attention. But at the very least campaign fund-raising is subject to caps, limits and strict rules about disclosure. Under a system such as ours, no single donor or organization can have too much influence over the process.
The Sacramento Bee has reported extensively about the extraordinary role that special interest money is playing in the current election. That is what we’re trying to address. We’re surprised that Walters doesn’t see the difference between raising money within a regulated system vs. a largely unaccountable and unlimited system of independent expenditures.
State Sen. Ben Allen,
State Sen. Mark Leno,
Mismanagement caused fish’s peril
Re “Delta smelt’s state gets more dire with index at record low” (Local, June 7): It is appalling that the Delta smelt population has reached a record low level. Biologists counted only 13 adult Delta smelt, once the most abundant fish in the estuary.
The gross mismanagement of water by the state and federal governments has led to the demise of the smelt, an indicator species that demonstrates the health of the Delta. For decades, the pumping facilities have shipped massive quantities of water south to corporate agribusiness interests and water agencies, destroying the habitat of smelt and other fish.
Ironically, Gov. Jerry Brown continues to forge ahead with the Delta tunnels, a project that will only hasten the extinction of Delta and longfin smelt, Central Valley steelhead, winter-run Chinook salmon and green sturgeon.
Dan Bacher, Sacramento
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