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Republicans’ dilemma

EDITOR: Most Republicans are glad the president escaped Senate conviction. Yet the president’s actions set precedents harmful to both Republicans and the republic.

The Senate deemed not impeachable President Donald Trump’s efforts to enlist Ukraine’s aid in investigating the Bidens. Then what stops a future Democratic president from doing the same thing?

Likewise, Trump’s consistent noncooperation with House oversight (the 2020 census, fast-tracking security clearances, transferring nuclear technology, etc.), could lead to a future Democratic president systematically stonewalling congressional Republican oversight.

Thirdly, the president’s vengeful tweets against FBI officials, the Mueller investigators, House impeachment leaders, etc., set another damaging example. How would Republicans feel if, after investigating a future Democratic president but not securing Senate conviction, that president threatened House Republicans and the FBI with investigation and punishment?

Putting loyalty to the president and his supporters first may be politically expedient in the short term, but it risks lasting damage to our country and to the Republican Party. No president of any party should trample the rule of law, and no political party should look the other way when democracy itself is being damaged.

What kind of a country do you want your children and grandchildren to inherit?

PETER L. STAFFORD

Windsor

Misleading mail

EDITOR: I recently got two pieces of campaign mail on the same issue: for and against Measure I, the renewal of the SMART sales tax. The anti- Measure I mailer from Molly Flater, et al, is extremely misleading when it describes the issue as “a two billion dollar sales tax increase.” Now, I know that Flater has a lot of money to throw at this issue, but she’s not entitled to her own facts. The truth is that Measure I would extend the existing SMART sales tax that has been in place since 2009. We have already seen the benefits of this sales tax, with rail service in place from the Santa Rosa airport to the Larkspur ferry, plus major segments of a parallel bicycle path. Major extensions are planned to Windsor, Healdsburg and, some day, Cloverdale. Rail is not cheap, but it lasts a long, long time.

JOE GAFFNEY

Rohnert Park

Democratic policies

EDITOR: A article in last Sunday’s paper indicated that statewide Republican registration is down to 24% (“Dems gain voter edge in House fights”). No party preference is gaining.

For seven consecutive years, California has lost population, with 691,000 leaving and 501,000 arriving, a net loss of 190,000 in 2019. Seventy-one percent say the high cost of housing is driving them away, 58% indicate high taxes, and 41% say the political culture motivates them to leave.

The supermajority of Democrats means that its candidates get elected and policies approved. In education, our state is now No. 38 in the country; we’re No. 1 in poverty. Fifty-three percent of the entire country’s homeless live here; cost of living is third highest after Hawaii and Washington, D.C.; and 25% of the country’s illegal immigrants live here.

Do you like the Democratic policies that give us these grim statistics? That the bullet train is going nowhere and costing millions and months over contract? That no more charter schools are permitted? That our sanctuary state cares more about the illegal immigrant criminals than it cares about its own citizens? Open borders anyone? Free stuff? Nothing will change when you keep voting in the same politicians. It’s insanity.

SANDY METZGER

Santa Rosa

No on Measure I

EDITOR: A no vote on Measure I, renewal of the SMART train sales tax, doesn’t mean that the train will stop running. This is a tax liability that the counties of Sonoma and Marin will be living with for generations to come. Voting no on Measure I simply sends a message to those making decisions regarding the SMART train that we, as the taxpayers supporting the train, have a right to expect oversight of the board and accountability of the millions of dollars being spent.

Voting no sends a message that in order to extend the tax beyond the nine years it still has left, supporters of extending the tax will have to put forth a measure that includes provisions for oversight of the board, accountability of all money spent and assurances that the funds will only be spent on transportation projects.

Vote no on Measure I.

PATTY MURCH

Petaluma

Looking past the debates

EDITOR: The Democratic debates aren’t debates. There isn’t any discussion of ideas by the candidates, just personal attacks. Intelligence, willingness to compromise, willingness to listen to informed advisers, humility, morality — this is what we need to see in the candidates. None of these traits are evident in the debates.

We need to look beyond what we are seeing — zingers and nasty rhetoric — and choose the candidate who might not do well in these debates but has the qualities to make American decent again.

MARYL LINDAHL

Windsor

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