I was shocked and angered to read Joseph Serna's story "Berardino: City is not to be trusted" on Dec. 15 in which union boss and recent Orange County Fair Board appointee Nick Berardino moved to cut Costa Mesa's ties with the annual Barrett-Jackson auto auction.
For those who don't know, Berardino is the $200,000-a-year head of the Orange County Employees Assn. and was recently appointed to the Orange County Fair Board by Gov. Jerry Brown as a payback to big labor for getting the governor elected.
What boils me so much over Berardino's comments are that they are clearly politically motivated. He is angry with the city for reining in our outrageous employee pension benefits and for balancing our city's budget without dipping into reserves. Fiscal sanity is Berardino and big labor's enemy. Berardino is clearly using his position representing us all on the Fair Board to exact a political vendetta against our city.
Berardino, maybe union-style machine politics and political payback still work in Chicago, but they have no place in our great city. Our residents are not pawns in your great union game. You were appointed to represent us and make events like the Barrett-Jackson auto auction a success. Clearly, you have demonstrated that you lack the temperament to represent the citizens on this important body. It is time for you to resign.
Repeal House resolution on Turkey
On Dec. 13, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted House Resolution 306, "Urging the Republic of Turkey to safeguard its Christian heritage and to return confiscated church properties." Introduced by Rep. Ed Royce (R-Orange), H.Res. 306 implicitly alleges that Turkey destroys its Christian heritage, and urges the Turkish government to return some undefined properties to Christian religious institutions.
The false allegations in H.Res. 306 conflict with the reports by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and by the European Union, both of which commend the freedom of religion in Turkey.
During the past years, in cooperation with the European Court of Human Rights and the Council of Europe, Turkey unilaterally restored several properties to Greek and Armenian religious congregations, including the Greek Orthodox Church at Buyukada, the Akhtamar Church in Van, the Holy Savior Cathedral in Ani, the Sumela Monastery and others.
Furthermore, H.Res. 306 contradicts not only the relevant U.S. and international reports, but our own Constitution. While the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment prohibits any federal or state establishment from preference to a particular religion, H.Res. 306 formulates a policy to demand privileged treatment for Christian faith in a foreign land.