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Randy Pope: A GOP conservative conservationists can do without

Among our readers, Randy Pope might be among the least popular non-L.A. city politicians in California.

The conservative city councilman in the Bay Area suburb of Oakley, according to Times reporter Mark Z. Barabek's article on Wednesday, shuns partisan politics and prefers to focus on local quality-of-life issues. But it was the way he articulated his conservatism and his aversion to big government -- saying, "I can't choose which toilet I want to put in my house. I can't choose which light bulb I want to illuminate my living room. I can't choose which shower head I'm going to use when I'm bathing" -- that irked readers.

In addition to the letter published in Friday's paper, several readers lampooned Pope for complaining about the limits placed on his consumption of resources. Few had anything to say about the rest of the article, which noted the California GOP's competitiveness at local government levels despite its irrelevance in Sacramento.

Here is what our conservation-minded readers had to say.

Upland resident Carl Rutscho said Pope's comments are symptomatic of a sick mind-set:

"I find Pope's comments indicative of the shortsighted and selfish view of many conservatives and libertarians. They seem to have difficulty comprehending that what the individual does affects the rest of us, albeit in a small way.  

"The efficiency of light bulbs, toilets, shower heads and other household items we use affect the consumption of limited natural resources. The individual conservative may not care about this, but many of us do. 

"So if the consumer can only select from appliances that use resources 'conservatively' (it's ironic that conservatives don't seem to care much about conserving), then that, to me, is a small price to pay for helping preserve our resources."

Cheryl Younger of Los Angeles warns of drying up wells and lakes:

"Pope lives in California, a drought state. Water is the key to our economic and personal survival. In some parts of the state, citizens are hauling in water because wells have dried up. Lake Mead is drying up, and Pope is worried about his toilet.

"Pope needs to comprehend the greater good, or at least act on behalf of it.  

"Can't our great universities provide legislators a course at the beginning of the session about the nature and history of the state and about how to act on behalf of the people they are suppose to represent?"

San Pedro resident Judi Jones said griping about big government is no way to govern:

"Oh, come on! Taking Pope's thinking as logical, one would also have to ask if he decided which stop signs to obey, what speed limits to heed and whether or not to smoke in restaurants. These sort of shibboleths do not add to the needed discussion about what is best for the community, which is what, after all, should govern 'governing.' 

"A specific light bulb, shower head or toilet may not suit Pope's tastes, but it may save water or fuel for another day's use."

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