Letters to the Editor

Tuesday, Apr 16 2013 11:00 PM

It all comes down to campaign financing

By The Bakersfield Californian

With regard to the Los Angeles Times news article "Brown vows battle over prisons," published April 13 in The Californian, it is clear that the political posturing will never stop. Gov. Jerry Brown, the target of a scathing report by the federal judiciary, vows that if he finds a state employee "deliberately indifferent" to prisoners, that the employee "will be fired on the spot."

First, if that policy was followed years ago when it mattered, perhaps we wouldn't be in the shameful position we are in today, with the feds "baby-sitting" us because California cannot administer its own prisons.

Second, Brown knows he does not have the authority to "fire on the spot" any state employee for any reason. For political profit (to reward special interests and unions for donations and votes), our state's elected officials have given generous protections to employees so that, today, to get rid of the bad apples basically requires an act of Congress! The governor is posturing for those, like himself, who don't know the limits of their own authority and who are themselves responsible for the problems they now complain about.

They utterly fail to address the real problem: the need for meaningful campaign finance reform to stop politicians from selling themselves and the state in exchange for votes. Perhaps one day we will elect leaders who actually know something about the laws they're charged with enforcing and actually care about the long-term effects to taxpayers of selling themselves to the highest bidders.

Michael Allford

Bakersfield

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