In your introduction to the Election '96 issue (Publisher's column), you said that "based on the candidates' depth of knowledge and preparedness, Frank Riggs and Margie Handley would win."
Yet with regard to Handley in particular, you offered absolutely no "facts" to support this conclusion -- nothing to demonstrate whether Handley has even a basic understanding of the state budget, no evidence that she will make a commitment to improving education and no indication that she understands the importance of moving Californians forward together.
Instead, you resorted to the same tactic you decry -- negative attacks on the opposition. You assert that "a single source of revenue, the teachers' union" financed Virginia Strom-Martin's primary campaign. As with many of the campaign faxes you appropriately criticize, this claim amounts to a half-truth at best.
I admit the role of money in politics troubles me. But if it's true you can tell a lot about people by the company they keep, I wonder how you could endorse Handley if you answered this basic question: Who is closer to our values -- Texaco or teachers?
Michaele Keagy, Ferndale
Editor's note: For the record, the Journal did not endorse any candidate.
It is ludicrous that Carl Yee of Bayside should be accusing the cautious North Coast Journal of "liberal bias" (Letters, October). His choice (of words) reveals his intellectual bankruptcy: "Liberal" has degenerated to a meaningless general-purpose cuss word with which right wing extremists and environment haters seek to smear anyone they disagree with. It is part of the hate mantra.
I applaud the Journal for putting the term "salvage logging" in quotation marks, drawing attention to its illegitimacy. "Salvage logging" is a meretricious term promoted by corporate timber to mislead us about the rate at which they are looting and destroying private and public forest ecosystems to the detriment of a healthy biosphere. The term was adopted with alacrity by bought politicians (example: Frank Riggs) and by co-opted government officials in state and federal agencies willing to betray the public trust....
The most egregious semantic fraud is perpetrated when "salvage logging" is linked with "forest health." That really turns science and truth on their heads. In practice "salvage logging" equals forest death. Every person concerned with forest health and forest jobs should fight "salvage logging."
It is disturbing that Yee's voice -- supporting Pacific Lumber's liquidation forestry and by implication the malodorous business ethics of Charles Hurwitz, who owes the nation $1.6 billion and is razing 1,000-year-old trees to retire junk bonds -- belongs to a member of the California Board of Forestry, a body that has a responsibility to uphold the public trust but is instead falling all over itself to put money into the pockets of a corporate criminal.
Kurt Volckmar, Garberville
In the October issue of the Journal, Assembly candidate Virginia Strom-Martin was reported to be opposed to "Three Strikes" laws mandating life sentences for third-time felony offenders. Strom-Martin supports the "Three Strikes" law as amended by the 1996 Romero state Supreme Court decision that gives judges discretion on the third-strike sentencing for non-violent offenses.
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