"A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it is but a prologue to farce or tragedy or perhaps both." (James Madison, father of the U.S. Constitution).
In this new "Citizen's United" era, our communities are banned from knowing who was behind the numerous phony organizations that endorsed Rex Bohn last May. Bohn failed to report the occupations of his top donors, many with well-known ties to the development community. Were they responsible? ("Picking a Bohn," NCJ, Blogthing, June 4).
Our democracy's farce and tragedy have become so corrupt that most journalists avert their eyes, along with over half of the eligible U.S. voters who now abstain or are unregistered in nearly every election, (U.S. Census). Only once in living memory has the political dominance by the local development community been officially exposed ("Interested Parties," NCJ, Oct. 14). With a minority of voters participating, developers have been free to harvest our infrastructure like an entitlement program, building our county and cities into moratoriums with homes beyond the reach of 75 percent of local incomes, and beyond the infrastructure capacity of roads, sewers and emergency services. Everyone else is required to pay the full consequences of sprawl; skyrocketing sewer bills; record fatalities of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists; increased poverty, crime, drug abuse and homelessness from the chronic lack of affordable housing, and further delays to updating our 1980s General Plan. The local transfer of public wealth to the wealthy is the sad equivalent of our nation's corporate bailouts, job exports and offshore tax havens.
"Joe" Bonino claims he is running against Linda Atkins because "without two candidates, you have Russia" ("Watching Ward Two," Oct. 11).
However, with five like-minded Eureka city council members, we'd have the product of a tyranny forewarned by this nation's founders.
George Clark, Eureka
I live in the Eureka City Council district where Linda Atkins, the incumbent, is running for office and one of her opponents is Joe Bonino. In the beginning he said he was running because he didn't think anyone should run unopposed. Might that be the first lie Joe Bonino tells us?
I think he is running because his buddy Rex Bohn (the county supervisor in my district) asked him to and has contributed generously to his candidacy. Interestingly, Bonino's signs so resemble Bohn's. Bonino's other major contributors are developers including Kramer Investment Corp. And Bohn is the supervisor who at the last minute ran out and bought a house when he found out the office he wanted was outside the limits of his home. Wow! I wonder how many of us can afford to do that?
Now I'm not saying Rex Bohn did anything illegal. A member of the board of supervisors can legally contribute to the candidacy of a person running for city council. It seems like it is stacking the deck a bit, but it isn't illegal. And I'm not saying Rex Bohn hasn't done nice things in this community. But his generosity seems a bit over the top for "nice."
Eda Bachrach, Eureka