The California DISCLOSE Act of 2012 is up again for a vote in the Assembly. It amends the California Political Reform Act of 1974 by requiring television political advertisers to display the name and logo of the top three funders, for three seconds and with no audio. Current law permits small print at the bottom of the screen, burying the top two funders in the middle of text, and distracting audio. Similar specific reforms would apply to radio, mass mailers and committee websites.
No less than 84 percent of California’s voters, regardless of party affiliation, agree that initiative sponsors should be required to more clearly identify their major funders. Even a majority of the state’s legislators supports the bill. However, passage takes a two-thirds vote, and in a prior effort the bill missed passage by just two votes.
The League of Women Voters of California advocates passage of the California DISCLOSE Act. So does LWV, San Luis Obispo County. We believe the bill highlights the public’s right to know and helps combat corruption and the appearance of corruption. We urge all interested voters to contact their state legislators to register their support.
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Sharon G. Whitney, Patricia A. Dale and Vera Wallen
League of Women Voters, San Luis Obispo County
‘Doctor of spin’
I have been trying to figure out how to respond to Paul Krugman’s lunacy, regarding his commentary “This Republican economy” in your Opinion page on June 5.
First, I wonder why you continue to publish this so called “economist,” who quite possibly must live in a parallel universe. His training surely wasn’t in economics, but maybe as a “doctor of spin.”
To say the problem with the economy is not the 16 trillion in debt, the $1.6 trillion annual deficit or the out-of-control entitlement spending we now have — and for Mr. Krugman to claim that it is the Republicans’ fault for keeping the lid on President Barack Obama and to say that the answer is more spending — is patently absurd.
The last two years of the George W. Bush presidency and the first two years of President Obama’s term were totally controlled by a Democratic House and Senate. President Obama had free rein for the first two years to push through any measures to fix the economy. So if you are trying to blame President Bush for any of this mess, then you have to blame President Obama for his failures.
Keynesian economics, which Mr. Krugman pushes, has never worked anywhere.
Of late, there has been a discussion here of the appropriate role of public education in our society. Some claim taxpayers should not support education that does not directly prepare one to assume a role in our economy. This raises fundamental questions about the role of government in society.
When I recall the Declaration of Independence, I don’t remember much about education and livelihood (but perhaps it is implicit in the pursuit of happiness?).
We could consider that human culture, its creation and evolution, is the primary and continuous work of mankind (and how we make our livings is a part of that). So an education is socially utilitarian if it enables one to positively contribute to that work.
So what is a positive contribution? Is it that which is “selective” in a Darwinian sense? If so, how do some of the greatest activities of human culture (philosophy, music, art, etc.) measure in the measure of being “selective”?
If we think back to the emergence of life itself, does it imply a possibility of the existence of thinking man? And when we think of ourselves, what possibilities might we imply? Are we free to choose, and do we share in the responsibility for the eventual outcome, partial or complete?
As Clyde Barrow asks Bonnie in Arthur Penn’s film, “Ain’t life grand?”
Hearing aid needed
I think more aging Americans would love to have hearing aids to hear their families and friends. It isn’t fun to be isolated, but the cost of hearing aids is out of sight. The Tribune article, “Aging America turns deaf ear to hearing aids” (June 2) listed the high cost of hearing aids among several reasons for the elderly not using them.
As somebody who wears a hearing aid, I believe the primary reason for not wearing hearing aids is their high cost. Hearing aids start at $2,000 to $5,000 each and typically last three to five years. Many of us seniors are on a set income.
As the article stated, hearing aids are not covered by Medicare and most private health plans. There was a bill in Congress for deaf and hearing-impaired people, the Medicare Hearing Enhancement and Auditory Rehabilitations (HEAR) Act of 2009, but WashingtonWatch.com states, “This item is from the 111th Congress (2010-2011) and is no longer current.”
Now this is distressing. If this bill had passed, I believe many more elderly, hearing-impaired people would use hearing aids. In the meantime, this silent minority is being discriminated against by our government. I know, for I am a hearing aid user but cannot afford a much-needed second unit.