Change vs. Backroom Deals; Sheila Kuehl for Governor …

by on December 21, 2009

To the Editor:

Regarding the article on “Change” and Backroom Deals: Progressive voters, you have been duped. Welcome to Chicago-Land. The Soros funded Obama Machine led you along and now you see the President for what he really is. Sad eh? Our Country is in deep shit.

Mark Simons
Martinez, CA

To the Editor:

Thank you for a concise, informed and hold-no-punches assessment covering an awful lot of political territory. You speak truth clearly. The one (minor) point I would address is, “I don’t recall how or when single-payer was taken ‘off the table,’ except that Senator Max Baucus said it was.” It’s my recollection that as the health care reform debate first began ,Obama himself took single payer off the table with, and I paraphrase, “If we were starting from scratch I would support single payer universal health care, but a system is already in place.”

Of course, this is a specious argument, since every industrialized country in the world had some sort of health system in place before reform provided single payer and/or universal coverage. I had entirely forgotten Obama’s campaign pledge to hold open door health care debates on C-SPAN. Thanks for the reminder. That the debate was never allowed to occur is yet another disappointment from a president already fraught with disappointment.

Regarding California’s health care fumbles, again I’m in complete accord with your read. Had only the 2/3 requirement been miraculously obliterated, and real political muscle been applied to Arnold, Sheila Kuehl’s SB840 universal health bill would now be law. However, that particular bugaboo I attribute to an ill-informed voting populace, an effective and well-financed right wing propaganda machine and progressive’s failure to to get Prop 13 scrapped.

Thank you again for this well researched, hard hitting and provocative piece.

P. Joseph Potocki
San Francisco

To the Editor:

I could not agree more with you that David Chiu did a masterful job of showing Nat Ford, the Mayor’s hired gun of MTA, how economies could be made in the latter’s budget to prevent fare hikes and cutbacks in service. Supervisor Chiu told Mr. Ford to sharpen his pencil and meet with him to work the matter out. Nat Ford did sharpen his pencil, but stuck it in David Chiu’s arm. The Mayor’s Office and Supervisor Carmen Chu ganged up on him as well, and, as the only advocate for passengers and public transportation services for all, he caved in.

MTA does not protect its funds from use by other city agencies as the police and the Mayor’s Office; it is cowardly in this respect. But it does bully the public with service cutbacks and higher fares. Their motto is: “Failure is our only option.”

Herbert J. Weiner
San Francisco

Paul Hogarth:

Your piece on Jerry Brown helped move me to do something. I’ve sent this out to everyone I can think of: It’s time for progressives to do something about the state of the California gubernatorial race. Having worked for several years more or less actively to promote Sheila Kuehl’s sensible, well-honed single payer universal healthcare bill, I’m very concerned that there is no progressive challenger to Jerry Brown. He seems to be moving aggressively to the right and there’s no one to challenge him on the left. And Brown has indicated he wouldn’t sign a single payer bill.

It seems obvious that we need to draft a progressive to challenge Brown, and I don’t think we can wait for a volunteer to come forward. Sheila Kuehl would bring both broad experience and integrity to the position. So yesterday I wrote to Kuehl, and I hope you and others will too if you agree. I can’t believe active progressives will just sit back and see years of work undermined by letting a conservative Democrat (or worse!) become our next governor. Will you ask anyone you think agrees to write to Kuehl also? I think with the organization that came together to get her California single-payer bill passed, and passed again, we could match with grassroots effort the dollars that Brown and Whitman will lay out. And if she’s unwilling, then I think we must come up with another.

Charlene Woodcock

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