Letters: City Council says no to integrity

Re "Filling up at public trough," Column, Oct. 30

Bravo to Steve Lopez for expressing disgust at the L.A. City Council proposal to increase the limit on the value of gifts that council members can accept.

It brings to mind my experience with Robert Mueller when he served as the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California, when I was the regional director of the Anti-Defamation League in San Francisco.

While Mueller — who would leave in 2001 to head the FBI — was in San Francisco, my staff and I met him for lunch to offer the ADL's assistance in tracking the white-power extremists active in the region. When the check came, I picked it up, but Mueller insisted on paying for himself. We're talking about a few dollars, but honesty and integrity don't have a price.

This is a man I trusted; I'd like to be able to say the same about our council members, who should not accept gifts of any kind.

Barbara H. Bergen

Los Angeles

Hurray for Lopez. There is only one way, if there really is a way, to rid our elected officials of corruptive influences, and it is certainly not to increase the value of gifts to council members.

There is absolutely no place for gifts of any kind in a clean, honest government. All decisions on the part of an elected body (and the individual members thereof) should be based solely on the merits of the item being decided.

Council President Herb Wesson says, "Times have changed and I think $150 is appropriate." Sorry, Mr. Wesson, but zero is appropriate. Folks like him who think otherwise should not be elected.

Jim Weyant

Big Bear City, Calif.


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