Wednesday’s Letters to the Editor
EDITOR: May I suggest that Art Hackworth (“Immigration plan,” Letters, Friday) search Google for the immigration reform measure passed by the U.S. Senate in 2013? The Senate passed a comprehensive immigration modernization act by a bipartisan vote of 68-32, and President Barack Obama would have signed it. The House of Representative refused to bring this bill to the floor to be debated and/or amended. House members turned their backs on it as they do so many critical issues we need our government to deal with.
Sound familiar? The past two months of embarrassing all-Republican rule have shown us a degree of disorganization, conflict of interest, sheer ineptitude and ignorance that is deplorable and not really what this usually great country is all about. How did we end up here? Is this what happens when you hate government? The current Republican Party is a pox on our country. Vote them out.
Special interest money
EDITOR: One doesn’t have to leave Sonoma County to witness the corrupt role that money plays in our political system.
Just as outside special interests funded campaigns for county supervisors during the November election, it is happening again.
Last year, a responsible Santa Rosa City Council approved a reasonable rent control ordinance. However, local and outside interests funded a misleading petition campaign in order to postpone the ordinance and arrange a costly special election in June.
Now, some of those same interests, either real estate associations or developers, have raised almost $400,000 to defeat rent control, previously negotiated and approved by elected members of the Santa Rosa City Council after extensive public input. The bulk of the money to defeat Measure C is coming from an association of realtors based in Los Angeles and a lobbying group in Sacramento for owners of large apartment complexes.
Don’t let special interests from Los Angeles and Sacramento undermine local attempts to address the housing crisis and provide relief for working families in Santa Rosa. While other measures need to be taken to provide affordable housing in Santa Rosa, Measure C is a positive start.
EDITOR: Vaughan Whalen suggested a tax on grapevines as a means to support county services (“A tax on grapes,” Letters, Sunday). As a vineyard and winery owner, I would whole heartedly support such a tax, just as soon as each of my grapevines can produce $2,000 to $3,000, or more, in product every year.
Emtu Estate Wines Forestville
EDITOR: After the rainiest winter in memory, many Sonoma County roads are in deplorable condition. The $65 million that the Board of Supervisors has invested in pavement preservation during recent years has enabled 300 miles of well-traveled county roads to largely escape the storms’ ravages. We thank the supervisors for addressing the decades of neglect that transformed the county’s road system into one of the worst in California.
But we still desperately need money to repair the 60 percent of the county road system that remains in poor or failing condition. Properly repaired roads will stand a better chance of surviving future rainy seasons.