The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

February 10, 2009
A message to Speaker Karen Bass from a letter writer

Some of our sharpest op-ed writing comes from local letter writers, who are quick to spot contradictions and hypocrisy on the part of elected leaders.

Here's a letter we ran today from Steven Swan of Sacramento. He was commenting on Speaker Karen Bass' response to a threat by Republican activists to censure any GOP lawmaker who votes for a tax increase:

Bass is quick to call out Republicans for their party's resolution to censure any dissenting opinion for their platform that new taxes should not be part of the state budget deal.

I would like to remind the speaker that she employed a similar tactic when she banished Nicole Parra, D-Hanford, from the State Assembly building to a small legislative office in a building across the street for withholding her vote toward the Democratic proposed budget in August 2008.

All lawmakers are voted into office to represent the best interests of their constituents. These elected officials should be able to do so with impunity, and any method engaged by party leaders to force a party-line vote is shameful as well as contrary to the democratic process. I expect my representation to reflect my district's interests, not those of the party to which they are affiliated. If my community's representation is only an extension of their party, we might as well elect a single lawmaker from each party to represent the entire state.

If you'd like to submit your own letter to the editor, go here.

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About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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