No election system can assure best candidate

A recent letter writer states that Oakland Mayor Jean Quan would not have been elected had it not been for ranked-choice voting. And she says the residents are disappointed in Quan's performance as mayor, so the voting system should be abolished.

I'd like to remind her and others that former Mayor Ron Dellums was voted in the old-fashioned way and he was also a disappointment.

People miss the point if they believe an excellent candidate will be assured under any system. All that ranked-choice voting promised is that a majority of voters would vote for the winning candidate. Don Perata had a plurality, not a majority.

By counting the second-place votes on the second round, Quan had the majority. Blame the voters, if you must.

Anne Spanier

Alameda

Another self-serving leader takes the reins

It seems that Thomas Frazier is more interested in helping himself to a big chunk of money than he is in getting to work cleaning up the mess at the Oakland Police Department.

Why should he get special treatment over other employees? Give him the same benefits package offered to the rest of the department and get to work. Take the benefits available, not a "cash equivalent."


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Who does he think he is? With a guy like this in charge, can we really expect true reform? It's another case of a leader taking care of himself first and the rest of us be damned.

Tom Hayes

Oakland

Which is worse: NRA or al-Qaida?

Which is worse, Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida or Wayne LaPierre and the NRA?

On 9/11, nearly 3,000 were killed. Since then, it's been reported that some 270,000 have died by guns (an average of more than 24,500 each year).

As President Barack Obama said, "Shame on us, if we've forgotten" (March 29).

Marv Tripp

Oakland

Fundamental problem hampers Republicans

A recent forum contributor used incendiary talking points straight out of Karl Rove's propaganda guide.

He began by advocating impeachment of President Barack Obama. Some might welcome an attempt to impeach the president, but it's significant that Republicans will never initiate the proceeding that's exclusively the House's responsibility.

He belligerently called America's twice-elected president "the chosen one." Such rhetoric is juvenile and demeans the author.

He condemned what he identified as Obama's "radical Marxist ideology," which he (Obama) intends to "impose on America." He should know that our Constitution prohibits the usurpation of power that he rails against.

He blathered that Obama's objective is to "trash the Constitution" and eviscerate the Second Amendment. Anyone who attributes to Obama the power to destroy the Constitution has been brainwashed by overexposure to the likes of bombastic blowhards such as Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal recently urged fellow Republicans to quit being the "stupid party." However, the GOP's fundamental problem continues to be its inability to comprehend and think rationally.

Ronald Entwistle

San Pablo

Long-term care rate increasing too much

My husband and I are among the hundreds of "victims" of CalPERS' long-term care insurance 85 percent rate increase planned for 2015, as is a fellow letter writer who addressed this issue recently.

We have responsibly paid for this insurance for more than 10 years, which equals to a $75,000 investment. Our monthly rates will increase from $633 to $1,171 in 2015, keeping our current coverage.

CalPERS' reason for the increase is "more people are using this insurance than current fees will cover. You will probably only use it for two years anyway."

Our choices at this point are: drop the insurance, go for lesser coverage for fewer years, sell our house and move where long-term care is covered (as in Arizona), or take our chances with Lady Luck. Go figure.

Linda Messick

Oakland