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In Wednesday's Letters to the editor

February 11, 2009 | 11:27 am

Wednesday's Letters to the editor offer yet more ire for our representatives in Sacramento.  There are the usual complaints about the budget, yes -- but also grumbling about the unseemly behavior reported in this Times story about legislators' campaign donation funded junkets (a.k.a conferences). 

Writes Michael Lohnberg, of Agoura Hills:

I wonder if state Sen. Ron Calderon (D-Montebello) truly believes that "no tax dollars are attached to the expenses"? How much of his and his wife's junket money was charged to corporate expenses and therefore an offset against corporate taxes? And did he pay federal taxes on the non-business benefit derived from these extravagances?

Furthermore, if these conferences only consume a half-day each day, did the legislators only take a half-day's pay each day? And who paid for the tennis and golf?

If the state's economy is in such trouble, why can't our legislators attend all necessary conferences in California and help our economy?

There clearly is a double standard in Sacramento. My personal experience in the private sector was that I could not even buy a cup of coffee for a Department of Insurance examiner -- whether it came out of my pocket or my employer's.

Readers also thank The Times for its report on Los Angeles' crackdown on pet abusers.  Elaine Livesey-Fassel, of West Los Angeles, asserts that there is a

... real and horrific link between those individuals who abuse animals and other forms of community violence.

This cycle of violence is often accepted by society as "boys will be boys," but as sociologists and others are coming to understand, those who abuse vulnerable animals are just warming up, and animal abuse is a profound indicator of future antisocial behavior.

I am glad that this is now being taken seriously by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles City Council.

Jean Bennett, of Sun City, is more direct, writing of an alleged animal beater:

The thing that kicked and beat the puppy is something, but a man he is not. I would categorize it as a subhuman, lower than slug slime species.

Diversity vs. merit in UC admissions, Leon Panetta, and more on Bless Me, Ultima, too.

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