<b>Benghazi obsession</b>

EDITOR: To date, taxpayers have paid for 20,000 pages of documents in support of 13 hearings and 50 briefings on Benghazi.

A bipartisan report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence concluded that "there were no efforts by the White House or any other executive branch entities to 'cover-up' facts or make alterations for political purposes." The report did say the attack could have been prevented and blamed the State Department, military and U.S. intelligence community for failing to do so.

What new facts are there? None. I view the latest investigation as pathetic partisan outrage. Let's not forget it was House Republicans who denied the administration's request for additional embassy security funding.

Why do Republican leaders act like this? We don't live in a black-and-white world of sound bites. Regular working-class people don't prosper in this toxic environment. We demand good jobs for a fair wage, a house we can afford to raise our kids in and a good college for their education.

The Fox Bubble group wants you to be afraid of everything: Alert, alert, they are coming to get you. It's all a one-way ride to Crazy Town in a clown car.

Now back to Benghazi . . .


Santa Rosa

<b>Trust fades away</b>

EDITOR: I opened Friday's Press Democrat, saw the front-page photograph of Supervisor Efren Carrillo addressing the Roseland Annexation Subcommittee ("Carrillo conundrum") and realized that I've never trusted my locally elected officials less.


Santa Rosa

<b>Different rules?</b>

EDITOR: We all know it is no easy task to navigate the myriad rules and codes enforced by the Sonoma County Permit and Resource Management Department. However, I believe that we basically applaud its efforts for the planning and zoning of Sonoma County.

Our rural community of Franz Valley, which straddles the Napa/Sonoma border, has parcel limits of 10-20 acres. That is why I was mystified when I discovered an out-of-state landowner filed for six certificates of compliance that, if approved by the county, would allow her to divide her property into six lots of any size.

Neighbors are not notified. And amazingly the certificates aren't subject to California Environmental Quality Act requirements. It is all accomplished with fancy attorneys, loyal surveyors and the Permit Resource Managment Department. I was informed that savvy developers often use these certificates for major projects.

My question is, are the wealthy allowed to have different rules than the rest of us?



<b>Conservative views</b>

EDITOR: I can only assume that when Jeanne Delucchi concludes conservatives never espouse their opinions ("Conservative silence," Letters, May 3), it means she doesn't read The Press Democrat. Columns by Charles Krauthammer and George F. Will and cartoons by Lisa Benson appear regularly. How many letters have urged President Barack Obama's impeachment? Born in Kenya? And there's no end to Benghazi talking-point outrage.

I shake my head when Delucchi says the norm is "sitting back and letting the government take care of us by giving us food stamps, unemployment, disability and health care freely." Who's norm? Is her family doing that? Food stamps, unemployment insurance and disability insurance are decades-old programs, created by necessity and still needed today. If she knows someone who is abusing these programs, she should inform the authorities immediately. Like voter fraud, it is a canard to give the conservative base someone to hate.

I wish there were more conservative letters in The Press Democrat — not Fox News talking points but thoughtful solutions to real problems. We are all waiting.



<b>Missing the point</b>

EDITOR: Many Sonoma Countians are missing the point about why Efren Carrillo needs to resign now. It's not about the outcome of the trial, because "not guilty" does not mean "innocent." And while his admissions are reprehensible and don't represent our citizenry, the big problem for Carrillo is that he is absolutely, positively unelectable to any office, any place and for the foreseeable future. Any future opponent will salivate over the low-hanging fruit that came out of Carrillo's own mouth during the trial.

So if this is the end of his public service as an elected official, what is the motivation for his votes and actions now? Carrillo needs a job in two years, and we can't trust that what he does during his remaining time as a supervisor isn't for his benefit and not what is best for Sonoma County. If he needs some time to prove that he is a changed man, he shoul do it on his own time and not have us second guessing his motives.


Santa Rosa

<b>Visual pollution</b>

EDITOR: Perhaps voters should consider not voting for the candidates who are blanketing Sonoma County with oversize, brightly colored campaign posters. It doesn't do much for visitors or for residents either. In many instances, you can't even read what they are running for.


Bodega Bay