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The electoral system

EDITOR: You perpetuated two mistaken notions about our federal government and electoral system in Saturday’s editorial (“California excels as the nation’s Big Blue Bastion”)

You wrote that inequities exist because California’s senators represent more people than Wyoming’s do, which creates an imbalance in the Electoral College. Our senators do represent more people, but that is balanced by more representation in the House.

Congress is bicameral, which our Founding Fathers instituted so the voice of less populous states is balanced against more populated ones. Inequity arises from the number of House members; allocating fewer per person would preserve the bicameral system, create more compromise and agreement and increase the populous states’ influence.

The Electoral College is a function of our constitutional federation: states elect the president. Its failure today is that most states bind electors to the winner of the popular vote. If electors voted for the winner within their districts, then the national election would be affected by conservatives in Bakersfield and liberals in Austin. Swing states would lose power. However, each state creates its rules for how electors are selected and vote.

To keep democracy relevant for our and future generations, we must continuously account for societal, technological and cultural changes.

PAUL TINCKNELL

Healdsburg

Olivares for change

EDITOR: Sonoma County sheriff candidates were asked to share their views of “yard counseling” at a recent forum in Healdsburg. There is a video on YouTube about this practice at our jail. It shows several deputies dragging an inmate to an outdoor area, putting him in what looks like a hogtied position, sitting on him and yelling obscenities at him as the inmate yells in pain.

How is this a part of the Sheriff’s Office culture? How does this promote trust? How is this a de-escalation of force? How is this humane? How will this inmate and the other inmates who witnessed this view law enforcement when released?

Use of this practice can easily step over the line of maintaining order to the abuse of power.

This is an example of the need for change in the culture of the Sheriff’s Office.

Ernesto Olivares, a candidate for sheriff, comes from a career with the Santa Rosa Police Department, not a sheriff’s department. He is opposed to this practice and would end it as our sheriff.

For real change, we need Ernesto Olivares for our sheriff.

ELLEN BAILEY

Santa Rosa

Essick for sheriff

EDITOR: As a resident of unincorporated Sonoma County, the sheriff’s race is important to me. Only one candidate has the breadth and depth of local experience needed for this job: Capt. Mark Essick.

From the Russian River to our Sonoma Valley farms, and the cities of Sonoma and Windsor, the Sonoma County sheriff is responsible for greater diversity of terrain and communities than any city police chief. Essick is the only candidate who has experience providing service outside a city.

The sheriff is also responsible for running the county jail; again, only Essick has experience in this area.

Essick supports community policing, with which he has firsthand experience. He started his career with the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy in the Roseland substation. He says this experience had a huge influence on him, as it gave him the understanding that community policing starts with building relationships through listening to community needs.

Essick also participated in drafting the Sheriff’s Office policy limiting its cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and he is mentoring two young Latinos as they strive to become police officers.

Our next sheriff must have the confidence of the Board of Supervisors. The majority of the board has endorsed Essick, as has interim Sheriff Rob Giordano. Please join us in voting for Mark Essick on June 5.

GINA CUCLIS

Sonoma

Silence on V-E Day

EDITOR: May 8 was Tuesday, and not a word about Victory in Europe Day from the illustrious editorial board. Pathetic.

JOE LOVELL

Santa Rosa

Saving on solar

EDITOR: Many people aren’t concerned with climate change, even though that threat is real and dangerous to our children and grandchildren. So I ask those people to consider the financial benefits of going green.

Contrary to the old adage, a penny saved is a penny earned, you will likely get a lot more from saving than earning. Why? The government doesn’t tax the money you save. So if you install solar panels to power efficient appliances and an electric car, the $3,000 or $4,000 a year you save on utilities and gasoline could be the equivalent of $5,000 or even more per year in earnings.

If solar panels on your house cost $15,000 to install, the payback on your investment can be fantastic. Also, there’s a high likelihood that fossil fuels will be taxed more in the future, making your solar investment even more attractive. Self-interest alone should compel people to install solar panels, and the sooner the better.

ANDY FERGUSON

Petaluma

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