Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 8/9

Laird understands

John Laird has a long history of working across party lines to resolve issues that impact the residents of California. As a member of the state Assembly, he served as chair of both the Assembly Budget Committee and the Special Session Committee on Budget Process. Laird was chair of the Assembly Budget Committee in 2006, which was the last year the Legislature passed a budget on time.

As a University of California professor and former California Community College Trustee, Laird understands that access to higher education is critical for the residents of California. He is committed to increasing funding for our schools because California is lagging behind every other state in several key indexes.

Our state ranks 49th in the ratio of high school students to guidance counselors (809 students to 1), 41st in high school graduation rates with 62.7 percent, and 50th in number of students to teachers. The average number of students per teacher in California is 21.3 to 1, and in every other state that number is 13.8 to 1.

Without adequate funding, our schools cannot address these critical issues. Please join me in voting for John Laird for state Senate on Aug. 17.

Andrea Devitt

San Luis Obispo

Some perspective

Recent Tribune letters have been filled with opinions questioning tea party motives and tactics. These have received considerable push back. Extreme dialogue on both sides has exposed frustration, even rage.

Emotions disengaged, however, the underlying debate is rooted solely in perspective. Few of us, though, have the time or inclination to fully grasp the complex mix of subjects underlying major political issues, and letters to the editor are inevitably one-sided — a poor way to resolve anything.

At the root of the problem are columnists and talk-show authorities who simplify things and provide compelling arguments. Using a smokescreen of crafted information, some feed receptive individuals a preferred perspective, typically spun to stir the pot.

Despite this approach (akin to the subtle dishonesty of TV commercials), some tea partiers have managed to crystallize substance out of deception. And understanding differences is half the battle.

Sadly though, a major political party has taken up the pundit’s demagogic strategy. Amid this party’s two-faced rhetoric, a campaign cry that emerged as a whisper has amplified: Where’s the change?

As we approach November, my question then for the “Party of No” is: Where’s the evenhanded way forward, or do they intend to return to the tactics of the McCarthy era?

Mike Broadhurst


Let Prado plan stand

We elect our City Council members, and they seem to work together passing projects and laws in our best interest. Some are liberals, and some are conservatives. They make decisions on issues that take enormous time and effort. They compromise.

Good job!

The only problem is, why do we vote for them when many of their decisions have been reversed by special interest groups? We voted for them, thinking they would do their best for San Luis Obispo, so why are we unable to trust in them and let their decisions stand?

Let the Prado Road extension go on as planned. The City Council did not arbitrarily come to this judgment. They didn’t pick straws. They skillfully studied and approved this matter, so let it be.

Diane Tomkins

San Luis Obispo

The ‘experts’

On July 29, an article stated that Republican candidate Meg Whitman would, if she became governor, eliminate the capital gains tax in California (“Whitman plans to ditch capital gains tax”). The article also said that the “economic experts” claim that such a move “will leave a hole in California’s budget.”

Hmm, I wonder if these are the same experts who helped create the $20 billion budget deficit?

Gary Maier

San Luis Obispo