True Democrats and some false "Republicans" precipitated today's financial crises, state and nationwide. From outrageous public-employee compensation schemes to 1977's "Community Reinvestment Act" (and its subsequent expansions and cover-ups), conniving politicians have socialized risk while privatizing benefits. They've enriched special-interest backers and themselves - while buying votes with your money.
Reliably liberal Democrat and earmark enthusiast Jerry McNerney, for example, scores 95 percent with left-wing "Americans for Democratic Action," exceeding even Barbara Lee's 90 percent rating. Appreciative unions and other liberal outfits have stuffed McNerney's campaign treasury.
The National Association of Realtors, apparently also expecting McNerney favors, has spent $510,000 promoting his campaign - hence, cascades of McNerney mailers.
Meanwhile, self-acknowledged moral liberal and self-alleged "fiscal conservative" Joan Buchanan, after 18 years of school-board activism supporting radical California Teachers Association objectives, wants a State Assembly seat. Buchanan's preposterous commercials claim she'll tackle California's budget mess, "with a record ... of watching every penny," and that she'll "take our priorities to Sacramento."
She's watched BILLIONS of taxpayer pennies vanish in overpriced building boondoggles and unmerited teacher-union raises. The priorities she'd take to Sacramento are those of labor unions craving more unaffordable giveaways.
CTA's "Gold Award" has saluted Buchanan's spendthrift maneuvers. And she's collecting so much special-interest campaign money that she declined allowable limits for ballot-pamphlet statements - so, no statement.
By far, the better Congressional and Assembly alternatives are two genuine fiscal conservatives - former Assemblyman and Board of Equalization member Dean Andal and present San Ramon Mayor Abram Wilson.
Mike Arata, Danville
Correcting Alamo errors
At the Sept. 18 Local Agency Formation Commission hearing on Alamo incorporation the following errors went uncorrected.
1) Claim: A town will need a firehouse. Fact: Fire protection services will be provided by existing providers.
2) Claim: A town adds a level of government and extra bureaucracy. Fact: Incorporation transfers services and responsibilities from the county government to a town government. For example: With incorporation, you will get a building permit from the town of Alamo; you will not have to go to Martinez to get a second one from the county.
3) Claim: The new town will just contract for most municipal services back to the county, so why have a town? Fact: The town can contract with any number of service providers, including private companies, using competitive bidding. Given the labor costs within the county, the county may not be a competitive bidder.
4) Claim: A town will need a town hall. Fact: A town government can lease commercial space to house town employees.
5) Claim: We don't know what we're going to have to pay the city council. Fact: State law specifies how much elected council members are paid, which for a town the size of Alamo is a maximum of $300 per month or less.
Incorporation is complex and often confusing, but it doesn't help when citizens spread misinformation and confusion, especially when presenting testimony to a county agency.
Alamo citizens: Please take the time to read ALL the information. Learn the facts before you form and voice your opinion. Relevant Web sites: www.contracostalafco.org, www.alamoinc.org, www.alamocommunity.org.
Charla Gabert, Alamo
Beware of Alamo incorporation
Simply put, the commercial tax base in Alamo is miniscule (i.e., the major store does not collect tax on food). Homeowners will be footing most all bills, small and large. Emergencies expenses will fall on homeowners. Most may require elections to vote and pay for repairs on streets a mile away. Potholes linger in many other incorporated towns.
A surplus of $200,000 or $300,000 will hardly be enough for a major emergency. Proponents of incorporation have underestimated the cost of a sufficiently staffed sheriff's department. They used minimum staffing to make the figures look acceptable.
Maybe it's not perfect, but the county has done a fine job in servicing our community. Don't suddenly expect perfection in running our own town. The headaches will only be more local and we may all need the aspirins.
It's been a great town. Why toy with Mother Nature? Unless you are really sure, Alamo incorporation deserves a "NO" vote.
Beulah Yalkut Schiller, Alamo
Shake roofs combustible
White Gate residents who are being forced to use only shake for roof replacement might be interested in contacting the South Lake Tahoe fire district. The 200-plus homes that are being rebuilt, after last year's devastating fire, are not allowed to have shake roofs. They are considered to be extremely combustible because any fire retardant is quickly destroyed by sunlight.
Frances Osborne, Alamo
Danville is a "Great Place" to live. When you hear about all the bad things going on in this world, I just wanted to share a refreshing story that happened to me last week. At a local gas station, I dropped my wallet when filling up my car with gas. About an hour later, I received a phone call from a number I did not recognize on my cell phone. The voice at the other end said that he had found my wallet and was calling me to return it. I was elated and relieved to receive this wonderful phone call. Losing all your credit cards, driver's license and other important "stuff" that is in your wallet is a frightening thought in this "wacky" world that we live. This is a testament to the high quality of people that live in our great town.
Thank you to this "Angel" that returned my wallet. It restores my belief that there are many great and honest people in this world. Unfortunately, you don't hear enough about them.
Mike L. Mc Colgan, Danville