Election smear campaign won

Chevron and the American Beverage Association spent nearly $4 million to defeat Measure N, the soda tax initiative, and two candidates of the Richmond Progressive Alliance, vastly outspending the opposition.

If that wasn't advantage enough, they stooped to spread half-truths and outright smears.

One of the worst was a glossy flier that was hung on my doorknob. It had a picture of Eduardo Martinez, one of the RPA candidates, with a dour look and sporting a large, ugly bandage on his face -- hardly an appealing image.

This flier was created by Moving Forward, a group with major funding by Chevron, according to the flier itself. What they failed to mention was that this was a shot of Martinez' Halloween costume, which they had lifted from his Facebook page.

This hit piece makes it clear to me that corporate influence in our elections is scarier than any costume I can think of.

Bill Pinkham

Richmond Pinkham is a member of Richmond Progressive Alliance.

Sowell offers nothing useful to newspaper

I totally agree with Bruce Reeves regarding Thomas Sowell.

Every time I have read his column, I have been sorry. It is filled with gobbledygook. I wish you would have some columnist who was worth reading.

I don't even bother to read it anymore because it will be filled with the same old outrageous, out-reality baloney.

Thanks, Bruce, for stating what I have so often thought.


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Sharyn Obrigewitsch

Antioch

Maybe we should try volunteer firefighters

With the defeat of Measure Q, local residents are left with the problem of having very few firefighters on hand if needed. If the defeat is due to the public's disagreement with or inability to pay outsize pensions, then we should consider moving to volunteer fire departments.

I grew up in a small town in a densely populated state, where every little town had five to 10 fire trucks, and dozens of local men and women willing to serve the community for free as firefighters.

In my town, and in many others like it, social lives revolved around the fire halls. We all knew the firefighters. They were our fathers, our brothers, our friends. We never felt or were unsafe. It worked then, and it works for most of the country still today (by some accounts more than 70 percent of firefighters in the United States are volunteers). We already have the trucks, maybe it's time to have some VFDs or partial VFDs in Contra Costa County.

Sharon Bach

Lafayette

Need to cut down on political spending

So the main election of 2012 is finally over, and we can rejoice in the ending of the onslaught of political mailers, TV "messages," and robocalls.

However, little comfort can be derived from contemplating the obscene amount of money -- upward of $6 billion nationally -- that was spent on this extravaganza.

The word "immoral" comes to mind when one considers the good to which this money could have been put instead in the areas of education, health, and welfare, to name just a few.

Isn't it really about time that some kind of limit is placed on how much can be spent on various political causes?

If all backers of candidates and issues have to abide by these limits, regardless of the sources of the money, the playing field would be level and freedom of speech honored, just as it is on Twitter -- one is free to say as much as can be said within the limits.

I know, I know -- dream on.

Robert Thompson

Orinda

Maybe Romney could finally share his plan

The elections are over. Mitt Romney ran a campaign based on the economy and his brilliant, surefire plan to create 12 million new jobs. He stated that his ambition to be president was inspired by his deep concern and commitment to the long-term welfare of the American people.

He also stated over and over that he can work across the aisle. Well, NOW is his chance.

I invite him to share his plan with President Barack Obama, Congress and with the American people. This would prove that he meant everything he said in his campaign. This would not only help polish Romney's legacy, but also would help struggling American people.

David M. Sale

Pleasant Hill