Readers write: Nov. 18

What Americans really want done

Since the midterm elections, Republican leaders have urged the president to “do what the American people want” rather than taking executive actions to initiate long-needed remedies for pressing problems. They condemn any such actions contemplated by the president as throwing gasoline on the fire.

However, numerous opinion polls suggest the American people want reasonable gun-control measures. By wide margins, they want to raise the minimum wage. A majority wants to pass legislation that permits undocumented aliens (particularly children) to attain a form of citizenship (not full citizenship) that allows them to remain in the U.S. and raise their families without fear of deportation. A majority of Americans believes the U.S. should take the threat of climate change seriously and do something to reduce or at least control carbon emissions.

Exactly what is it that the Republican leadership thinks the president wants to do that the American people don’t want?


There’s value in elected school chief

Kyle Wingfield recently wrote, “Remind me why we elect our schools chief” (Opinion, Nov. 13). Let me to explain. A handful of well-heeled corporations are attempting to cram a highly problematic federal education program called Common Core down the throats of Americans for the benefit of those corporations that will profit. They have acquired the support of Nathan Deal and some governors in other states who can carry out the agenda by appointing a school superintendent.

The people of Georgia elected a superintendent who pledges to maintain state and local control over education. That is what most Georgia citizens want. The last superintendent, John Barge, made the same promise while campaigning but reversed his position once elected. Our new superintendent, Richard Woods, can focus on the day-to-day education of our children while the governor cannot.


When legislation benefits legislators

How very nice that “legislators have the option of recusing themselves from votes on issues that might affect them financially” (“Ag tax vote aids legislators,” News, Nov. 17). At least one legislator quoted appears to understand he should recuse himself in such a situation. As for lawyers having a conflict on almost everything? Hard to believe.

Perhaps the newspaper could publish the number of lawyers in the Legislature. Not sure they are supposed to file financial disclosure statements with the range of fees earned from categories of clients, but that is the way it is done for lawyers, I believe. Of course, with no clear prohibition of conflict of interest in the Ethics in Government Act, we can expect more stories like this one. I appreciate the “sunlight” on this matter since, as Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said, “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”


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