Reform campaign finance
Re “Latino choice to fill Boxer seat urged by caucus” (Page A1, Feb. 4): Whoever ends up replacing U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer after 2016, and whatever their background, it is essential that California have a representative who will champion the fight to get big money out of elections.
With the fifth anniversary of Citizens United passing just last month, the mega-donor domination of our politics cannot be overlooked. Campaign finance reform should be an issue all candidates have to address.
Whether Villaraigosa, Harris or someone else is chosen, they have a long list of potential reforms they can and should support. First and foremost, we need a national small-donor empowerment program with public matching funds for candidates who don’t rely on big checks from wealthy donors, and a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.
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Californians have consistently gone on record against big-donor domination of politics, and our next senator should emulate and build on Boxer’s legacy.
Anthony Nachor, Novato
GOP governs irresponsibly
Re “GOP’s mindless opposition to Obama’s budget” (Editorial, Feb. 3): Is it really surprising that the “GOP leaders are not keeping their pledge to govern responsibly”? Republicans governing irresponsibly is a tradition dating back to the “Republican Revolution” in 1994. Remember the impeachment efforts?
The GOP promised bipartisanship when it had control of only the House and then proceeded to vote to repeal Obama’s Affordable Care Act 54 times. Today saw vote No. 55. Senate Republicans became so obstructionist in filibustering Obama’s judiciary nominations that the Democrats passed the “nuclear option” allowing a simple majority vote, not the traditional two-thirds, to clear the logjam.
Will the new Republican majority in the Senate vote to reverse the “nuclear option” it ever so piously opposed when the Dems were in the majority?
Lee Lipps, Sacramento
Obama fights for middle class
The GOP opposition to Obama’s budget is not mindless. It is clearly focused on continuing their efforts to reduce taxes on the wealthy at the expense of everyone else. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, accused President Obama of engaging in the politics of envy. I think a little envy might be in order from a father struggling to feed his children who observes the Koch brothers promising to spend $899 million to finance their continued purchase of the U.S. Congress.
The people of this country have accepted GOP tactics with resignation and surrender. Instead of voting for their own self-interest, people have “stayed home” and allowed the fervent believers in small government to determine our future. If this continues, we will have no future.
Marlene Aderman, Roseville
Trillions for us or for war?
Re “Ambitious Obama budget has lots for state, including Natomas Basin” (Page A1, Feb. 3): President Obama proposes that half of the discretionary budget be spent on past, current and future wars. While the president claims $500 billion for the Pentagon budget – a staggering number in its own right – it leaves out billions of dollars connected to wars.
With 38,800 troops in Germany, hundreds of bases in Japan (many of them unwanted by locals) and 28,500 troops in Korea, taxpayers are still paying dearly for long-ago wars. Future costs loom: Treatment of seriously injured troops during the Middle East wars is estimated at $1 trillion.
Let’s solve problems without violence and war, and invest in America instead.
Gary Meyer, Sacramento Area Peace Action
Re “Inquiry into Nazi symbols in Davis goes on” (Our Region, Feb. 3): As a member of Jewish Voice for Peace, I anguish over the recent painting of swastikas on Jewish fraternity buildings. I abhor it, I oppose it and I know divestment activists had nothing to do with it. Our hearts go out to Jewish students who feel threatened by this vandalism.
We don’t know who painted this hateful graffiti or their motivations. Supporters of divestment are not vandals. We are motivated by desire for peace and justice and by love for the Palestinian people.
Palestinians’ homes are not just being graffitied. They are being destroyed with bombs and bulldozers, some made by companies in which UC invests. Sick as those who painted the swastikas are, they will not stop us from fighting for the rights of Palestinians and all people to live in peace.
David Spero, San Francisco
Anti-Semitic campaign at UCD
If divestment proponents were concerned about human rights, they would be focusing on the world’s worst human rights violators, such as China, Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia. But no, Israel is the only country targeted. The Boycott Divestment Sanctions campaign at UC Davis is blatant anti-Semitism.
A comment posted on the Divestment UCD Facebook site after the vote that “Hamas and Sharia law have taken over UCD” is clear proof of the true intention of the BDS movement, which is not about boycotts and divestments, but rather anti-Semitism and delegitimization of Israel. Those swastikas defacing a Jewish fraternity stem from the same motivations and hate. It is time for Jews and non-Jews of good will to stand up against anti-Semitism and to speak out against all forms of bigotry, racism and hatred.
Rabbi Reuven Taff, Mosaic Law Congregation
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