Union Democrat staff

Washington awash in dirty money

To the Editor:

More dirty work in Washington! This is the "Leadership PAC." Unlike the other form of PAC's which have restrictions as to how the funds may be used, the Leadership PAC funds may be used by the Senator/Congressman for almost any purpose including personal expenses and even be taken with them upon leaving office. It's a formula for bribery, or even, extortion; to be exploited by our elected officials. I have sent the following letter to Boxer, Feinstein and McClintock. I doubt that they'll even respond.

"I have only recently become aware of the issue of "Leadership PAC's" and I must say that I am appalled to learn of this form of money collection by our elected officials.

I believe that there are already too many sources available to allow the wealthy and powerful to reach our elected officials to obtain influence and promote personal agendas.

Now to know that there is this form of PAC that allows funds for personal use and even to be taken on leaving office is a stunning development.

This is a total betrayal of the public trust. Over the years my wife and I have been contributors to many personal appeals for funding for local, statewide and national campaigns. We have given on the basis that perhaps our community and regional needs might be advanced. However, it would appear that our pittance is truly insignificant given all the forms of influence buying available to those with wealth and status.

I would urge you to join with any of your colleagues with a conscience to at least move to prohibit any form of PAC that can be used for personal enrichment. It is the least that you as our elected official can do to earn and keep total respect of your constituency."

Raymond J. Malispina


McClintock doesn't seem to care

To the Editor:

When votes were counted in the House of Representatives to end the government shut down, eight out of 15 Republican Congressmen from California put aside party differences for the common good of the country and voted to end the shutdown.

Our representative, Republican Tom McClintock, of Elk Grove, ignoring the severe financial hardships caused by the Rim Fire and the closure of Yosemite National Park, voted against ending the shut down.

Clearly, he cares little about the lives of citizens in Tuolumne and Mariposa Counties.

Carl Brownless


'ABC' weapons a wasteful expense

To the Editor:

The causes of the U.S. Deficit: The production, storage and deployment of 80,000 nukes, unnecessary wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. That adds up to nearly $16 trillion, almost the complete indebtedness of our government. There are billions of dollars budgeted for nuke upgrades (latest GPS, etc). The U.S. still leads in the production and storage of atomic, biological and chemical weapons.

There should be an international drive to coordinate the dismantling of all "ABC" weapons. There has also been a decline in the quality of American national leadership as has been witnessed in the recent U.S. federal government shutdown. Think Sarah Palin, who was close to becoming the vice president of the U.S. And now we have the Tea Party in government.

Would you trust Sarah Palin with decision making on when to use "ABC" weapons? Come to think of it, should we trust any human being with those decisions?

Dennis Schneider

Angels Camp