Writer should get the facts straight

First, let me make it clear that I am just an ordinary voter and have nothing to do with Rep. Adam Schiff’s reelection campaign.

But the commentary of Lynn McGinnis regarding Schiff was so laden with innuendo and lacking substance that I felt compelled to reply (“Schiff needs to quit the partisan politics,” Community Commentary, Aug. 25).

McGinnis’ question about what Schiff will do with his excess campaign funds left me puzzled. I suppose she’s making an accusation of some type of mischief on his part, but why ask the question without making the accusation?

I’ll answer my own question: because the entire commentary was nothing more than a political screed.

Nothing wrong with that, but she would do well to get her facts correct.

I’m glad McGinnis mentioned Schiff’s service in the inquiry into the U.S. Attorney scandal, calling it a partisan political attack on Bush, as this gives me the opportunity to set the record straight.

McGinnis conveniently omits, or perhaps is unaware, that a young, inexperienced lackey of Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales named Monica Goodling, fresh out of Pat Robertson’s college, did much of the hiring and firing.

Upon receipt of the congressional subpoena, Goodling invoked her Fifth Amendment right to refuse to testify.

After her resignation, she did testify before Schiff’s committee, admitting that the Justice Department indeed did hire and fire U.S. Attorneys based on politics.

On July 28, a Justice Department report concluded that Goodling had violated federal law and Justice Department policy by discriminating against job applicants who weren’t Republican or conservative loyalists.

Only a fool would believe that this young lady acted on her own.

In fact, I’ll bet President Bush told her “You’re doin’ a heckuva job, Goodie.”

In regard to gas prices, Schiff has recorded several yes votes on tax incentives for energy production, energy conservation and renewable energy.

As for gridlock in Congress, McGinnis should look at the record of the White House and Bush vetoes of such bills as stem cell research, U.S. troop readiness, veterans’ care, water resource development and the most heartless veto of all — children’s healthcare.

And I hope McGinnis is intelligent enough to know that nothing can get done in Congress without the votes of 60 Republicans in the Senate, an almost impossible task.

I will be proudly and happily be voting to send Schiff back to Congress in hope of ending the gridlock by adding to the Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress.



City critics must beware of warnings

It taxes all reason that Richard Espiritu’s motive seemingly has been in harboring ill will toward the Police Department since 2001, and just now, seven years later, decides to expose a picture depicting the ethnic insensitivity of a police officer.

What the article in the Glendale News-Press confirms is that the photograph of the police car with the Armenian designation is evidence in an ongoing investigation (“Doubts cast over activist,” Aug. 26).

Had Espiritu been interested in retaliating against the Police Department, he would be studying records on the ethnic makeup of the Police Department, current and past lawsuits against the city, trends in hiring and promotions, details on the efficacy of sensitivity training to sworn officers, and perhaps 101 other ways.

What is most troubling in this episode is not so much the public exposure of some alleged isolated ethnic insensitivity at the Police Department, but official efforts to reduce the credibility of a city critic.

The outing of Espiritu in public is a not-too-veiled warning by city officials that if you dig too deeply and expose weaknesses in their policies, that they in turn could use their official investigative powers to dig and publicize as much dirt as would be fit for printing.

City critics beware.

It seems as if we’ve just turned to the Nixonian enemies page or the Valerie Plame chapter of governance.

This much is self-evident in the last few months: Oral communications has been pushed way back into the late night, we’ve seen a concerted effort to impugn the reputation of Barry Allen Silvarman, followed by an overt exposure of old misdeeds by Espiritu, and maybe some weaknesses of Mike Mohill would be next on the list.

Well, it’s been said that he who is without sin should throw the first stone, and I would question why members of this council are warming up their pitching arms, glass houses not withstanding.



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