Letters for June 2, 2016

Sanders or compromise?

To fully understand the differences between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, voters need only recall the momentous decisions they each made while serving together in the United States Congress on Oct. 10 and 11, 2002. On those two fateful days, New York Sen. Clinton swallowed the transparent lies of George W. Bush and cravenly voted to let him have his way in Iraq. Meanwhile, Vermont Rep. Sanders courageously stood up to Bush and voted against the immoral and unprovoked war that quickly became the worst strategic blunder in the history of American foreign policy.

In making their respective decisions, Sanders was guided by his high moral values, plain common sense and valuable lessons learned during a life-long career devoted to public service, progressive reform and social justice. Clinton, meanwhile, cast her vote after performing the pandering political calculus that her husband’s handlers referred to as “triangulation,” the cynical Clintonian formula that gave us NAFTA, deregulation and Hillarycare.

We Democrats have a clear choice facing us on June 7. We can opt for a dispiriting return to Clintonian ethics and compromising, or we can vote for Sanders, the most honest and inspiring candidate to run for president in over 30 years.

Michael Magliari


Talking pot

Medical marijuana doesn’t exist. It is and always has been a ruse.

And now growers want to be called “farmers.” Well, that’s not gonna happen. And by the way, growers are not the only ones who have civil “rights” and property “rights.” The rest of us do, too. Pot-growing is not “lawful” agriculture. It’s still against federal law.

Vote yes on Measure G to protect our real farmers and our family way of life. Vote yes on Measure H to protect family life and family rights. Give strength and vindication to Measure A supporters.

Bonnie Masarik


Thanks to measure A and the voters of Butte County, we had a nice, peaceful year since its activation. Drive-by shootings, home invasion robberies and gang activity are all down. The greatest plus was that one could enjoy a peaceful fall evening outside without the skunk odor of maturing marijuana plants. I would like to continue to enjoy these rights.

Measure H is needed to assist in enforcing Measure A.

Marijuana is not an agriculture crop. Ag crops are healthy products like vegetables and fruit. Marijuana is a mind-altering drug. Medically, it doesn’t cure any disease. It might make one feel better.

Measures G and H are necessary for a safer community. Measure G does not allow marijuana growers to claim agriculture rights. As long as the federal government makes marijuana illegal, it is an illegal crop. Breaking the law makes one a criminal. Figure it out.

Everett Gremminger


All about Doug

Re “Misleading ‘voter guides’” (Downstroke, May 26):

It seems that Doug LaMalfa is feeling the heat from membership of Northern California Republican central committees. A significant number of the committee members are not happy with his dismal record. The membership for these committees in Butte, Tehama and Nevada counties are up for election and most, if not all, of the incumbent members have pledged to spend under $1,000 as has been the case for as long as I can remember.

So to get only team LaMalfa on the committee, LaMalfa has teamed up with multimillionaire Charles Munger Jr. (under his political action committee Spirit of Democracy California) to stack the committees with his groupies. Munger has sent out mailers promoting LaMalfa’s loyalists to committee positions with LaMalfa actively endorsing them in the piece.

Many of them are either LaMalfa’s friends and relatives or people who have never been to a central committee meeting. Their goal is to take over Republican central committees, silence opposition to LaMalfa, and insert their agenda into our California Republican Party. Shameful.

Jim Ledgerwood


Weighing Measure E

On Tuesday, June 7, Butte County voters go to their polling places to choose their favorite candidates and propositions. Among the propositions on the ballot is Measure E, a proposal to ban fracking in our county.

Fracking requires the injection of chemicals deep into the Earth to force natural gas or petroleum to the surface for extraction. The chemicals used in fracking pose a danger to our water supply. Since water is among our most important resources, it is vital to protect it at all costs. Vote yes on Measure E. Ban fracking in Butte County.

Robert Woods

Forest Ranch

Two for Jim Reed

Back in the days when politics made sense, a Democrat and a Republican squared off every two years in the race for the House of Representatives. Now the election goes to the top two candidates. In our corrupt political system, that often means the most corrupt money-raisers.

In the unlikely event that Doug LaMalfa (the current congressman who has no qualms about taking government money to not farm) and Joe Montes (whose archaic ideas about abortion make him a likely hard-right gridlock supporter) garner the most votes, there will not be a Democrat running for Congress this fall.

Jim Reed, a libertarian-leaning Democrat, will bring real change. He has promised to meet with every member of the House to get the House back in order. Reed is a taxpayer’s advocate, committed to simplifying the tax code and ensuring that tax rates are not just minimal, but fair. Be sure to vote for Jim Reed for Congress.

Linda Valine


When a certain local hotel owner weighs in for Joe Montes in the contest for Congress in the June 7 election, we Democrats realize that Montes is just a younger version of Wally Herger, Doug LaMalfa, et. al. If the voters want our representative to be a positive force in Washington, listen to the creative ideas being advanced by Jim Reed. His votes in Congress will benefit the 99 percent of Butte County residents.

Paula Woods


First Republican vote

Joe Montes and Doug LaMalfa are ideological idiot-twins. But, carpetbagger Montes—who moved to Chico three years ago—has engaged in a “triangulation” strategy. Knowing we have an open primary, it made sense to challenge LaMalfa by getting Democrats to vote for a “more progressive” Republican.

And so, Montes schmoozed naive environmentalists. He “reached across the aisle” on a youth court. To great fanfare, he’s involved himself in Stairways, a slum-level shelter for the mentally ill. None of this makes any difference in how a reactionary would vote in Washington, but it’s smart politicking.

Regardless, Montes made his character known when he went to work for Wayne Cook and became a spokesman for homeless criminalization. Montes fully supports unconstitutional and sadistic anti-homeless laws. As a toadie for Chico’s landlords, Montes is a particularly odious sort of right-winger.

Doing the primary math, most Democrats will vote for Jim Reed, giving him the most votes. The Republicans will split the rest. If Montes comes in second to Reed in the primary, he’ll win in the general election. I’d rather not see the movie Carpetbagger Joe Goes to Washington. On June 7, I’m voting for LaMalfa—the only Republican I’ve voted for in my entire life.

Patrick Newman


‘Shameless act’

Re “Shots fired” (Newslines, by Howard Hardee, May 26):

Evil can be the only description for the hit piece from Doug LaMalfa on Joe Montes. This shameless act can only be performed by people completely without conscience or a sense of decency. For those of you who have not seen it, this “mailer” to many voters of District 1 is obviously intended to destroy the reputation of a very commendable man.

Montes has never been accused of or associated with fraud in any capacity except to condemn it in the courtroom as a judge. I have known Montes since he was 15 years old when he moved into my family’s home while attending high school. He is the most honest, law-abiding man I know. He strives for greatness by helping others help themselves.

This attack on Montes is from our congressman? This vile assault reveals the character of LaMalfa. They don’t come any “straighter” than Joe. There has to be a price to pay, and I believe removing LaMalfa from office is a good start. I pray that others will get to know both LaMalfa and Montes. There is no comparison in quality.

Annette Wagenman


I was disappointed to come across Doug LaMalfa’s political fliers, which used negative comments against his challenger, Joe Montes. Words like “dark money” and “transplant” saddened me. As a teenager, I had a father figure who inspired me to do my best. My father figure and his family became my family at a time when I really needed one. My extended family helped me morally and to reach my goals financially. Mr. LaMalfa calls this “dark money.”

I held jobs where companies made poor business choices or closed. Mr. LaMalfa would have held me responsible. I returned to Butte County where my loving extended family helped me to secure employment, rent a home and establish my life. Mr. LaMalfa would see this type of family encouragement and support as something sinister. My extended family taught me to be positive, so I will thank Mr. LaMalfa for encouraging me to pay closer attention to the current candidates in District 1.

I am now very proud to support Joe Montes for our next congressman.

Laurean Hernandez


Water is critical to our North State economy. Congressman Doug LaMalfa says he is fighting for our water, but he sponsored a bill to send it south. It’s doubly suspicious since he is in the practice of selling water. Water sales are great for those with the sales rights, but what about those of us with no water rights? What happens to our property values when the aquifer is empty and our area turns into a dry wasteland? What about all the jobs tied to those property values? Is he thinking of us or just lining his own pockets?

Now that the heat is on and LaMalfa has a real opponent in Joe Montes, he has resorted to sleazy personal attacks rather than debating the issues. I suppose that’s all he can do as his voting record isn’t very good. Montes is an honorable man who has helped people in our area. He’s also one of only three Latinos to ever run for this congressional seat. We should not stand by and let a career politician smear the reputation of a good man just to hold on to power.

Alberto Hernandez



For centuries, the thoughts of Voltaire have shaped many people’s perspectives on life. As we currently observe the shameful state of affairs in American political verbiage, there is one precious quote that must be re-examined for utility and validity. When the great scholar wrote, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to your death the right to say it,” the powerful thinker could not have possibly foreseen the odious level to which our political debate would descend.

It is now unacceptable to live by Voltaire’s insightful principles when, in truth, scarcely a single filthy and infectious roar from the big mouthy elephants can ever be defended. At least not when “trumpeted” in the direction of my own varied and multicultural family, friends and students.

Kenneth Keith

Los Molinos

More info, please

I appreciate CN&R election endorsements. Even more than a final decision, I would appreciate reading more about the pros and cons behind your decisions. For example, regarding U.S. senator: Why Steve Stokes over Kamala Harris? Unlike with the Democratic presidential candidates, these two differ vastly in experience and do not differ significantly in trustworthy consistency on issues.

Were she running, I would choose Elizabeth Warren over Sanders (and certainly over Clinton); so it is her endorsement of Harris especially that prompts this query.

Derek Sayre


More on weed

Is not the purpose of having a government but to resolve problems that arise among the people? Good governance helps to resolve social issues that if left alone fester and erupt into angry wounds. Twenty years after the passage of California’s Compassionate Use Act, finally, some regulation of cannabis comes.

Since the day of Proposition 215’s passage, opposition to any form of regulation has been provided by California’s law industry. Immediately upon its passage by the sovereigns, the all-zones meeting occurred. All of the busters (all of the chiefs of city police, county sheriffs, district attorneys and federal folks) met and agreed to fight any battle in order to stop any statewide regulation, and to basically ignore the new law—leaving defendants to the courts. Divide and conquer has worked well. I rest assured that our law industry will continue in its efforts forward.

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”—Upton Sinclair

All I want is swinging-door cannabis cafes in Chico. I enjoy cannabis, and I’m a good person.

Jay Bergstrom

Forest Ranch

Owls good, poison bad

Re “Natural selection” (Greenways, by Ernesto Rivera, May 26):

It is great that Matt McGuire’s students at Fair View High are making boxes for barn owls, our best natural rodent controllers. As part of that project, though, students should remind people that rat poison is taking a heavy toll on barn owls—when barn owls eat a poisoned rodent, they too are poisoned and can die or become very weak, ultimately leading to death. Barn owls can be our best ally in controlling rodents, but only if we do not use any rat poison.

Lisa Owens Viani