Saturday's Letters to the Editor

<b>A waste of time</b>

EDITOR: Friday's paper included two letters condemning Supervisor Efren Carrillo. Pre-trial publicity gave the impression of a major social transgression, not a minor misdemeanor. Prosecuting for "peeking" wastes our time and money. Misdemeanors include spitting (disorderly conduct) and gambling, yet few would insist that our district attorney spend her expensive time prosecuting a spitter, nor would she prosecute anyone in a football pool.

I wouldn't want to have these letter-writers on my jury. They cannot have all the facts and are themselves guilty of pre-judging, forgetting the basic premise of American justice: innocent until proven guilty, a status they themselves would insist on if they were on trial.

Even in Sonoma County, it is not unusual (or illegal) for a man to seek the company of a woman. Admittedly, Carrillo was presumptuous. Yet the police saw no evidence of intoxication, trespassing, vandalism or indecent behavior and could have sent him home with a warning. Charges can be dropped at the station, in a pre-trial conference and by our district attorney, who chose to prosecute this "crime" (albeit indirectly). The judge should have dismissed the charge. Why didn't he? By now, Carrillo has surely learned more appropriate behavior, anticipating the jury's verdict.



<b>The money race</b>

EDITOR: You recently reported on the money race for Assembly District 10, which includes all of Marin County and part of Sonoma County ("Money race heats up for Assembly seat," March 26). An old political adage says politicians "dance with the one that brung them." Looking at campaign finance reports is a good way to find out who's bringing a politician to the dance.

Assemblyman Marc Levine's dance card includes the California Chamber of Commerce, agriculture giants such as the Western Growers and California Citrus Mutual, Wal-Mart and big Pharma companies including Eli Lilly and Pfizer. It doesn't look like he'll be giving many dances to actual constituents in his district.

One of his opponents, Erin Carlstrom, appears to be no better. The Press Democrat quoted political analyst David McCuan saying that Carlstrom's fundraising makes her look "every bit the Chamber of Commerce Democrat that Marc Levine is." Who is she dancing with?

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