Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 11/30

Overturn DOMA

Regarding “McCarthy is again asking to join court fight against gay marriage” (Nov. 21):

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) has been federal law since 1996. Basically, it makes the only federally recognized form of marriage to be between one man and one woman. Some say this is a states’ rights issue, to be decided state by state, but DOMA trumps that at the national level.

The business community is starting to voice concern over the “costs” of DOMA. Businesses must discriminate among its own employees in the benefits provided because DOMA makes married same-sex employees ineligible for more than 1,000 federal benefits. Businesses must incur added expenses and administrative burdens for calculating taxes on benefits that different-sexed married couples receive tax-free (e.g., health insurance for spouses).

Business owners bear the burden of explaining to employees why some are being discriminated against.

The Obama administration refuses to defend DOMA, saying that it is unconstitutional. Rep. Kevin McCarthy wants the House of Representatives to defend DOMA for the 10th time this year (currently at a cost of $1.5 million tax dollars).

Please contact your national legislator and request his or her support in ending discrimination by overturning DOMA.

Steve Click


Renounce Norquist

The last time I looked, Grover Norquist was not on the ballot for any elective office at the local, state or national level.

I also don’t remember any of the candidates stating that, as their first official act in office, they would declare their allegiance, not to upholding the Constitution, but to Norquist’s draconian no-tax pledge. It is a brief, misguided missive that has already done a lot of damage.

We don’t need politicians who abrogate their responsibility for fear of retaliation when exercising their judgment conducting the people’s business. I urge Katcho Achadjian, Kevin McCarthy and others to renounce their support of Norquist and return our state and country to fiscal health and common sense.

Robert C. Pavlik

San Luis Obispo

Important Medicaid

The state and federal governments are looking at Medicaid cuts to help balance the budget. Medicaid is important to me. It is an extremely important program to people with disabilities and senior citizens who cannot get other insurance. A lot of insurance companies won’t cover their needs. States will be able to restrict eligibility and get rid of life-saving services.

Some of these optional services are necessary for survival, and cuts will be disastrous. Medicaid can save money and help with needs if it is reformed. If Medicaid is not reformed, expensive nursing homes are the only solution. Conservative Forbes publications have said that home-based services costs are one-half to one-third the cost of a nursing home.

Medicaid must be reformed right. Tell our leaders that people whose lives are at stake should be listened to. Let your voice be heard directly.

It only takes five minutes for you to send a personal message to each member. It is discriminatory and expensive to put people in nursing homes.

Katie Phillips

Arroyo Grande

Other side not heard

I’m writing in response to Bob Cuddy’s Nov. 6 column. Mr. Cuddy’s column berates the Grover Beach Police Department for getting a grant from a Homeland Security grant program to purchase a license plate reader and then refers to the grant program as a “pork-barrel operation.”

Mr. Cuddy alleges peace officers may abuse the license plate reader to violate citizens’ rights under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments and to do “everything from keeping tabs on an old girlfriend to monitoring the movements of political enemies.”

Mr. Cuddy interviewed representatives from the Heritage Foundation and the Electronic Frontier Foundation to support his false claims of abuse of the license plate reader.

Mr. Cuddy did not interview the Grover Beach police chief, other police chiefs or a representative from the Homeland Security agency.

Obviously, he was not interested in hearing the other side of the story for his column.

Steve Yamaichi


A rotten system

The Congressional “supercommittee” was an anti-democratic maneuver by Obama and the top “Dempublicans” and “Republicrats” to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid without having to vote that way in open session.

Democrats are selling out their base again by even considering cuts to these vital programs. No one seriously believes that the bloated “Offense Department” budget will be significantly cut, if at all, except maybe for cutting benefits for rank-and-file military personnel, and it will be a miracle if the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy are touched.

Likewise, really ending military involvement in the Middle East and all around the world is a pipe dream that was never truly intended — it’s just too profitable. The plutocrats and oligarchs who pull the strings in this country — the top tier of the 1 percent -— know what their class interests are, even if most others do not.

Those who still hold on to the illusion that there are significant differences between the 1-percent-serving major political parties need to think again. From D.C. to Sacramento to good old SLO Town, it’s the same, and they’re making you and your neighbors and all the kids, parents and grandparents take the hit for the collapse of their corrupt and rotten system.

Jim Griffin

San Luis Obispo

Smart vote

I would like to applaud council members Dan Carpenter, John Ashbaugh and Jan Marx on their recent vote to move ahead with the Downtown Maintenance and Beautification Project.

When I voted for Measure Y, this is exactly the kind of project I hoped and expected to see. This highly visible project in the heart of our city is well worth the investment and will be further enhanced by its connection to the Garden Street Enhancement Plan, which is being funded by the developers of the Garden Street Terraces.

Smart vote. Thank you.

Karen Tillman

San Luis Obispo