Union Democrat staff

Senator Feinstein

To the Editor:

I was most disappointed to read the press release by Senators Boxer and Feinstein that appeared in the April 4 edition. I have always respected the integrity and fairness of Dianne Feinstein, but now must rethink my opinion.

The article read in part: "Democratic efforts to end tax breaks for big oil companies were blocked Thursday by Senate Republicans." In fact, the bill only required a majority vote. As we know, the Democrats have more than a majority and could have passed this bill with no Republican votes. The bill failed to pass because four Democrats voted against it. The vote was 51-47 (two of the 47 were Republicans). Whatever the merits of the bill, the failure to pass cannot be "blamed" on Republicans.

Shame on you, Dianne Feinstein.

Susan Thompson


Voters' rights

To the Editor:

Well, what do you know? We voted in California twice that marriage was between one man and one woman, but the "two judges" said, "unconstitutional." We were overruled. Gays have a right. Right? But you can't drive a car, buy cigarettes or alcohol unless you are of age. You can't even get married until a certain age. What constitutes a right? Don't the voters have a right?

But now we have bigger problems. Our President gave over $857 million dollars to a company named Solyndra, and it went bankrupt. Our Attorney General Holder gave guns to Mexico we call "Fast and Furious", and now the cartel has them. The Keystone Pipeline would provide thousands of jobs that we desperately need, but the President said, "No," and the President now breaks the first amendment of the Constitution of the "Freedom of

Religion." Incredible! This year we will go over the one trillion dollars more in debt. And people want to vote for the President? Will November ever come? And they say gas may well be over $5 by August.

We would call on god for help, but our President says we are not just a Christian nation.

Now what?

George Jameson

Former Calaveras County resident

Columbia issues

To the Editor:

Any reasonable person would think the Columbia Unified School District Board of Trustees would be more open and transparent after a series of inept blunders, dubious secrecy, endless defiance and exposing the district to a potentially costly lawsuit.

Remarkably, Board President Segerstrom added another link to a series of board missteps last month by muzzling public criticism of the Columbia School sex scandal. It appears he has misinterpreted a section of the Brown Act, California's open meetings law, in his decision to censure district critics from referring to the sex scandal during the public comments period of the board's regular monthly meeting agenda.

In fact, the law prohibits the board from censoring public criticism of a particular topic during public comments period. As a result, Segerstrom and board colleagues Jeff Wittman, Laura Phelan, and Jeff Costello have exposed the district to another potential lawsuit.

Trustee Jeff Tolhurst rejected Segerstrom's action and sides with the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech. Tolhurst has been the only sensible voice on the board during this ongoing controversy.

Meanwhile, the board's majority has circled their wagons around Superintendent John Pendley to save his job at all costs.

John Pendley got his son, Brennan Pendley, a job as an after-school teacher's aide, though he was unqualified for the position. Brennan then sexually assaulted a 14-year-old female student several times in a school classroom. A sham in-house school investigation found no wrongdoing and Brennan was given a job at another school.

Why in the world is John Pendley still the superintendent of the school district?

Robert Dorroh