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GOP 'Friends': Show Compassion

January 30, 1994

* Fair weather friends could precisely characterize the local Orange County legislators who "heartily object" to tax increases to help our neighbors in the north in repairing our freeways. ("State Lawmakers Warn They Won't Stand Still for Earthquake Tax Hike," Jan. 23).

The earth hadn't stopped shaking before the Republican legislators used the opportunity to use the "No Tax" increase phrase as a catalyst into the primary election in June.

As representatives of the people in the state, these legislators ought to be proposing ways to assist and help the victims.

Indeed, it was only a few months ago that south Orange County was seeking fire relief funding from state and national agencies. How quickly our representatives forget. After reading their responses, one could surmise that if it comes to a tax increase, there would be absolutely no help for those in need.

For the fair weather friends, where is the compassion for the individuals who suffered and are still suffering from the earthquake? The most unkind and least compassionate statement, and most politically convenient remark, was from Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach), who said that he plans to introduce legislation that will require disaster victims to show proof of legal residency before receiving funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. "Once people realize that there is free money available, the line will be never-ending and will reach all the way to the border," he said.

What if the earthquake had struck Orange County and rattled the windows in Oceanside, where one of the legislators resides? How about in Huntington Beach? What would our fair weather friends say then about taxes?

I suggest that we all visualize the creative ways we can build a greater society together and use the earthquake experience to better the lives of everyone.

LEE WALKER

Laguna Niguel

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