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Mailbag: Ortiz, Steel stances on the coronavirus, other issues draw controversy

Huntington Beach City Clerk Robin Estanislau swears in mayor Kim Carr and mayor pro tem Tito Ortiz.
Huntington Beach City Clerk Robin Estanislau swore in Mayor Kim Carr and Mayor Pro Tem Tito Ortiz in December. Daily Pilot readers write in response to Ortiz’s continued refusal to wear a face mask as the coronavirus pandemic.
(Screencap by Matt Szabo)

Boo hoo, Tito Ortiz is so “emotional right now.” Huntington voters must be so proud of him. He berates a local institution for following the guidelines that keep us safe and now he’s sorry. If this is his response when he’s upset, what kind of decision-making is he doing on our behalf as a member of the City Council?

Dianne Leever
Huntington Beach

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This guy needs to go. The fact that this hulk received the most votes in city history tells me how pathetic, shallow and ignorant people are in this city.

Ortiz is an embarrassment and should be boosted off the Huntington Beach City Council. Not wearing a mask is just the beginning of his ignorance and non-complying ego. Ortiz is the worst example to our impressionable youth. Adios, Ortiz.

Lynn Marie Copeland
Huntington Beach

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While I applaud the concern of our new representative in Congress, Michelle Steel (R-CA 48), for order and safety and the role of law enforcement in providing it in the wake of the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, she must respond to all of the takeaways from that horrific event.

Steel states “Our leaders have a responsibility to calm, not instigate.” That is true. However, it was legislative members of her own party who helped incite the wave of civil unrest that swept over Washington D.C. that day. Far from calming their constituencies and supporters, their divisive rhetoric and obstructive actions only served to inflame the situation. It put the law enforcement heroes who she lauds in an impossible position. Steel must address that fact and others as well.

She must acknowledge that the president she wholeheartedly supported played a role in instigating the disturbance and that he should be held accountable for his actions. Her support for “law and order” is hollow without the rule of law being embraced and defended.

She must also acknowledge support for law enforcement is earned through the trust we have in their ability to “protect and serve.” As we have learned in our recent troubled times, it is not a blank check.

Only when we have legislative representatives who go beyond mouthing support for law enforcement to actively working to make it responsive to our public safety needs will we be able to respond to their exhortations.

Tim Geddes
Huntington Beach

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We respond to the commentary by U.S. Rep. Michelle Steele published in the Daily Pilot, “Support for law enforcement critical after Capitol riot.” We are in full agreement with Steel. We too “watched in horror as hundreds of violent and destructive rioters smashed through the windows and doors of the U.S. Capitol to hurt and destroy.” We applaud Steel for her pledge to make sure this kind of right-wing vigilante attack never happens again.

However, not a word of the commentary by Rep. Steele mentions the clear cause of this organized attack on our Capitol. Former President Donald J. Trump incited this crowd to riot and must be held to account for it. We will be watching as constituents to see if our U.S. representative votes to impeach the former president for this clearly seditious act on his part. Trump must be punished and convicted by a bipartisan group of legislators for his intent to overthrow the legally elected government of our great nation. There is no doubt about it.

Trygve B. Sletteland
Sonia A. Madeira de Ley
Laguna Beach

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So Trump incites an angry and dangerous mob to insurrection against our nation and our democracy, leading to five unnecessary deaths, but Rep. Michelle Steel doesn’t even bring up his name in her article. Is she in denial or is she just frightened of Trump?

It’s sad to think that I’m represented by such a coward. How can democracy work when our representatives can’t or won’t acknowledge the obvious?

Geoffrey Wulfe-Addoch
Huntington Beach

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People died and were injured by the violence of Jan. 6, including scores of police officers and other law enforcement members. For Rep. Michelle Steel to write a commentary that was little more than a personal puff piece cloaked in empty rhetoric about supporting law enforcement is genuinely offensive.

This is a moment of great disappointment, both in my new congressional representative, Michelle Steel, but also in the Daily Pilot.

Steel was slow to condemn the violence that took place at the U.S Capitol. She then avoided the House vote to confirm the Electoral College results (even though proxy voting was available for members like her who were quarantining due to COVID-19), and even now, she continues to avoid calling out her Republican colleagues who along with the former president incited the violence by lying about the presidential election results for months.

Until Steel publicly condemns both the lies and the liars who knowingly fueled the violent rioters who stormed the Capitol, her words are empty and meaningless.

As for the Daily Pilot, while I understand you might feel obliged to publish every word from our elected officials, please do better. A good portion of this piece was little more than campaign advertising rather than meaningful commentary. Constituents should hear from our leaders at this moment of national crisis, but please spare us the campaign-style bios and meaningless political applaud lines and platitudes. If Steel wants to advertise, she and her campaign should pay for advertising just like everyone else.

Steve Shepherd
Huntington Beach

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Orange County’s new Congresswoman Michelle Steel said over the weekend that COVID-19, which has killed over 429,000 Americans and thousands of people in her district, is “a very good way to lose your weight.” While she was referring to her own bout with the disease, the deaths of her countrymen and women, her constituents, are nothing to joke about.

She said this despite contributing to the spread of the virus by encouraging violation of simple public health orders. Were it not for this advocacy that she and others have spread, this country might have been able to contain the virus as many other countries have (New Zealand, Vietnam, Korea, Taiwan, Senegal, etc.). But instead it rages on, affecting our health and our livelihoods and continuing to depress the American experience because our “leadership,” including Steel, refused to follow advice that has been proven to work in many places around the globe.

Since she doesn’t support either the health of her constituents or democracy and the peaceful transfer of power, then Steel should resign in disgrace immediately or be recalled if she won’t. She was never capable of representing this district or this country and has already shown it in just her first weeks on the job.

Jamie Dow
Newport Beach

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I support law enforcement that serves as a true and lawful guardian to all people. However, Rep. Michelle Steel’s commentary in support of law enforcement is disappointing for some of what it says, but mostly for what it does not say, which could deceive the reader into thinking that she is on moral high ground and that law enforcement is not in need of improvement.

Steel says she created a Law Enforcement Appreciation Day in Orange County after months of unrest last summer. Was she referring to the Black Lives Matter protests against a police officer using excessive force in the death of George Floyd? Though there was some destruction of property and violence, the vast majority of the protests were peaceful. If she was referring to these protests against excessive police force, that doesn’t sound like the basis for an appreciation day, but it does sound like something law enforcement needs to address and improve.

Steel points out that some law enforcement officers were injured during the insurrection at the Capitol while trying to keep members of Congress safe. However, she fails to mention that President Trump, who she has consistently supported, contributed to the riot by telling his supporters to go the Capitol with the hope of disrupting or changing the electoral vote count. She also fails to mention that the police command was responsible for underpreparing to keep the peace and that there are reports that some police officers sympathized with the insurrectionists. This is very serious, and I don’t think Steel understands the high risk to our democracy of pro-leader non-governmental paramilitary intermingling with official police and/or military.

Also, Steel fails to mention that she was not present for the electoral vote count nor the actions of the insurrectionists. I don’t think she fully grasps the seriousness and contradiction of her concern and appreciation for law enforcement versus her support for Trump. This contradiction negates her moral high ground.

Steel’s commentary is an example of half-truth deception and is not the kind of representation we need in the 48th Congressional District.

Charles Mooney
Costa Mesa

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