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Budget battle was a loser

August 23, 2007

Re "After 51-day stall, Senate OKs budget," Aug. 22

I see a photo of two men grinning. Are these part of the group of Republicans who feel that their ideology supersedes the needs of the people of California? Some agencies are having to shut down, people are losing jobs, others are not getting the support needed while several people hold up the process. Even when a Republican governor asks them to approve the present budget, they refuse.

While many people are losing out, these dissidents are still earning their $116,208 annual salary plus $162 per diem. I wish we could fine these people triple the daily pay for each day the budget is delayed. I have lost count of how many times in the last 20 or 30 years the budget has not been on time. What good is a constitutional requirement if it is consistently ignored?

Lou Wiener

Santa Clarita

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When asked what kind of government the new United States had, Benjamin Franklin answered: "A republic, if you can keep it." California has not been able to keep it. The two-thirds-vote requirement on state budgets has given a decided minority the power to appropriate writing the budget through sheer, often wildly ideological, obstinacy, disenfranchising even a 66.65% majority in the process. This profoundly violates the principles of republicanism (with a small r!) that the founding fathers made a cornerstone of our Constitution. It is time to end this madness and make the legislative simple-majority responsible for the budget. If they go against the public will, Republicans will find electoral traction, making their lazy reliance on a constitutional abomination unnecessary.

Martin J. Kotowski

Sherman Oaks

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Re "Yacht, plane, RV owners once again will be able to glide past sales tax," Aug. 22

Had I known the principles the GOP state senators were fighting for, I would have been more supportive of their stonewalling passage of the state budget. University fees will rise, the poor and elderly can do without, and funds to improve California's transportation system have been diverted, but at least the hated sales tax on new yachts has been averted. Thanks for looking out for our interests, guys.

Donald Kerns

Garden Grove

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I see compassionate conservatism is alive and well. The last time I was impressed by Republican action was when Gov. Ronald Reagan closed mental hospitals and we had homeless people on the streets. I wonder what will happen now with the reduction of aid to the elderly and the disabled? Oh, I know, all those yacht owners will no doubt contribute the equivalent of the sales tax they would have had to pay for those yachts to charities that will help those folks.

Dolores M. Minerich

Costa Mesa

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