McClintock is out of touch

To the Editor:

When top Republican strategist, Steve Schmidt, who played a key role in the presidential campaigns of George W. Bush and John McCain comes out in support of Jessica Morse, you realize that Tom McClintock is very out of touch with his constituents. Maybe that’s because he doesn’t even live in the 4th District.

In December 2017, McClintock was the lone California Republican to vote no on the wine country and Thomas fire disaster relief bill.

According to an Aug. 8, 2018, article in the Sacramento Bee, McClintock has repeatedly voted against fire protection and relief. He voted against a supplemental spending bill in December 2017 to provide relief to areas struck by hurricane Harvey, Irma and Maria as well as victims of the 2017 wildfires in California.

McClintock opposed the bipartisan budget deal Congress struck in February, which included tax relief provisions for wildfire victims and other wildfire recovery funding.

Not sure why McClintock made a token appearance to the Ferguson fire when his voting record is an obvious reflection of his lack of support and understanding of catastrophic fires in California.

Ellie Owen

Groveland

Have a heart for immigration

To the Editor:

It’s time to use our heads and have a heart about immigration. When employers hire the undocumented, they are inviting them to stay; many have lived here for years. These are people just like you; they work hard and they have families. They are not any more likely to commit crimes than anyone else. These are good people who are good for our country. It makes sense to find a way to legalize their stratus. That would benefit us more than mass deportations, and ICE could focus more on border security and smuggling.

The dishonest, hateful speech used by President Trump for political purposes has turned immigration enforcement into a thinly-veiled persecution. This loss of moral compass led to a policy of delaying the processing of legitimate asylum seekers at points of entry and then calling them criminals who had to be separated from their children after they crossed the border to turn themselves in. We’ve lost our way; we really need to think this through.

We absolutely need to enforce our immigration laws. We don’t have room for everybody who would come here. Perhaps stricter laws are needed concerning employment, or we might need temporary work permits for seasonal workers. What we don’t need is hate and prejudice.

My mother’s parents came from Finland to start a dairy farm in Wisconsin. She learned to speak English in grade school and she was the first person in the history of her family to graduate from high school. I never thought of myself as anything but an American. That’s my American story and it might be like yours.

This fall, let’s vote for a candidate with heart who cares about people and isn’t afraid of doing the right thing. Jessica Morse for Congress.

John Watson

Columbia

Fires in California

To the Editor:

California is being ravaged by fire yet our politicians are in denial about their complicity. They invoke the mantra of the environmental religionists that it’s the fault of climate change. They apparently don’t know about the 100 year megadroughts of the years 850 and 1140 that happened long before CO2 was a climate change issue.

The environmental left and their political lackeys have stymied good forestry practices in the name of not harming nature. The forests have never been as dense as they are today. “Fire in Sierra Nevada Forests” by George Gruell provides a detailed photographic interpretation of the ecological change in the Sierra Nevada since 1849. The photos show that forests were more sparse 100 years ago so wildfires were less frequent and less severe.

We are told fires are more violent today because of fire tornadoes. Not true. Large fires have always created their own weather. My company used to sell portable weather stations that forestry agencies deployed around fires to predict their behavior. I guess journalists and politicians have forgotten about the Oakland firestorm that destroyed 3,280 residences in 1991.

Environmentalists are concerned that forest management will both upset nature and pollute the environment. It has been estimated that the 2017 California fires emitted more CO2 in one week in the Bay Area than all of the cars emitted in a year.

President Trump’s tweet on the fires was half right. Manage the forests. California spent over $300 million on electric car subsidies and about $30 million on dead tree removal in 2017, according to the Wall Street Journal. Congressman McClintock recently stated that a major cause of these fires is improper management. Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein took issue with that. The old saying, “Nero fiddles while Rome burns” couldn’t be more appropriate.

Darwin Throne

El Dorado Hills

TCEDA anomalies draining county budget

To the Editor:

I fully support economic development in Tuolumne County. I am concerned by the Grand Jury report on the TCEDA, which exposed many anomalies in CEO Larry Cope’s business practices. I am convinced that if I worked for a public or publicly held entity and committed one of the management indiscretions attributed to Larry Cope, it would be grounds for dismissal. Yet members of the TCEDA board and our County Board of Supervisors continue to defend their lack of oversight. How can this be?

I have looked at the Ca.gov statistics on our county job creation since 2009. Employment stats are pitiful, not reaching pre-recession levels. Median salaries are still below a livable wage. Yet both the TCEDA board and BOS approved Mr. Cope’s $163,000 salary (which was $95K when he started in ‘09) and $460K TCEDA budget. They trusted his reports, enjoyed dinner with him (on the taxpayers’ nickel), and served on each other’s boards. Now they need to look at the results over the past 9 years, put aside personal relationships and serve their constituents. I want numbers. I want to see results to justify continued taxpayer funding in the face of the Grand Jury allegations.

Our county approved a high-priced outside law firm to defend TCEDA and Mr. Cope in a lawsuit over lack of data to support TCEDA reporting. Yet our county administrator suggests a TCEDA audit at the “least expense” by an Econ. Dev. Association, which may not be impartial.

For county leaders concerned about budget, your best bet is to suspend TCEDA funding, hire a business auditor, avoid legal battles, and replace board members with professionals who take their role seriously, oversee policy and set metrics to record and report business activities and results.

Diana Cooper

Soulsbyville

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