Letters to the Editor

Campaign money, Trump, salaries

Babulai Bera, father of Congressman Ami Bera, was sentenced to 12 months and one day for election fraud on Aug. 18.
Babulai Bera, father of Congressman Ami Bera, was sentenced to 12 months and one day for election fraud on Aug. 18. lsterling@sacbee.com

Legal campaign contributions?

Re “Bera dad gets year in prison” (Page 1A, Aug. 19) and “State’s GOP donors not giving to Trump” (Insight, Aug. 19): The article describes the sentencing of Babulal Bera for illegally contributing $268,726 to his son’s runs for U.S. Congress in 2010 and 2012. He was fined $100,000 and sentenced to a year and a day in prison.

In startling contrast, the “Data Tracker” story reports that real estate developer Geoffrey Palmer contributed $2 million to the “Rebuilding America Now” super PAC to support Donald Trump’s candidacy. This contribution is entirely legal.

The law is the law and people should be penalized for breaking it. However, what we presently have in America is a legal system, not a justice system. Campaign funding regulation must be revised to be rational and fair.

Brian K. Davis,

Carmichael

Seems like ‘shady’ comparisons

Re “Could this be shadiest election?” (Local, Aug. 21): Marcos Breton seems to equate Scott Jones’ performance in the sheriff’s office with Rep. Ami Bera’s debating skills and his father’s conviction for election fraud. Beyond basing an accusation (shady) on an unproven assumption of guilt in Bera’s case, Breton has compared apples to oranges.

If Breton is looking for relevant comparisons, why not compare Bera’s performance in office to Jones’ performance in office? Or compare Jones’ relatives to Bera’s relatives, or debating skills to debating skills. These uneven comparisons seem unfair to me, but leave me waiting for the next installment: comparing the amount of money Jones has cost the county to Bera’s hair style.

Donald Yost, Fair Oaks

Trump’s business prowess explained

Re “Trump’s empire a maze of debt and partners” (Page 1A, Aug. 21): Thanks for The New York Times story defining Donald Trump’s prowess and depth of understanding of the economy and international business. What a welcome contrast to Hillary Clinton, who can claim to have made millions selling access and influence, helped run a private foundation that supported her political ambitions and lavish lifestyle, and hid her shenanigans on a private email server mixed in with State Department business.

Gary Incaudo, Sacramento

High salaries are hurting taxpayers

Re “City workers’ pay lags salaries in the suburbs” (Local, Aug. 21): It is amazing that whenever there are reported government salary disparities, the lower level salaries are always lagging. Why isn’t it reported that other government salaries are always too high?

If you want to see disparity, see the differences of the average highlighted city workers in California compared to similar sized cities across the United States. Union collective bargaining has increased the debt load that taxpayers have had to pay. Where are the elected officials who should be protecting the taxpayer?

John Hightower,

Orangevale

Putin’s ambitions are politically skillful

Re “Kremlin’s critics worry poison is Putin policy tool” (Page 17A, Aug. 21): I eschew murder of one’s adversaries as a policy tool under all circumstances but want to instead comment on one assertion of the article intended as an aside; namely, Putin’s ambition to restore Russia to what he sees as its rightful place in the world by investing in his country’s image abroad.

Putin’s goal and methods of doing this are politically skillful and have succeeded in large measure in dividing the West and even our country’s presidential candidates. We should strive to remain united and counter Putin’s moves with determination and foresight, especially among our NATO allies.

John R. Williams,

Rancho Cordova

Cautious support of mural art

Re “Painting a picture of the future of Sacramento” (Opinion, Op image, Aug. 20): I like the idea for mural art in midtown. But a note of caution: More than a year ago, artists spray painted the side of a building in our neighborhood, and it was not a good thing.

It was called an “art mural” by the makers. To us, it was graffiti. To city code enforcement it was an unauthorized work that contained “known gang monikers.” The artists left a terrible mess, and spilled paint still stains that sidewalk.

Before committing paint to walls, let’s make sure the neighborhood and individuals representing art-in-public-places have input on the design.

Ted Ross, Sacramento

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