Fong deserves credit for drop in homicides 

In all fairness to Heather Fong, it was at the end of her term as police chief that the San Francisco homicide rate had dropped by 50 percent. George Gascón walked in as new chief when that had already occurred. Ken Garcia was mistaken in his Jan. 13 column when he wrote that Gascón “dropped the homicide rate nearly in half.”

Peter Vaernet, San Francisco

Party switch is weak

The San Francisco Republican Party is called the few and the proud for good reason. Not everyone will fight when outnumbered 6 to 1. George Gascón has now switched to the Democratic Party that thrives at the public trough.

Mike DeNunzio, Chairman, Republican Assembly, San Francisco

SF politics needs balance

It’s unfortunate that those seeking elective office in San Francisco often change their political party affiliation. The Republican Party, in particular, needs direction from leaders who are progressive on social, environmental and transportation issues. San Francisco also benefits from a high-profile presence in both major political parties.

Almost exactly a century ago as a reaction to years of corrupt city leadership, San Franciscans banned party designations from local elections — making all city and county offices non-partisan. Our local elected and appointed officials must always put the needs of San Francisco as their top priority, even if such a stance results in positions could put them at odds with some of their party’s national policies.

Michael Antonini, San Francisco

Hate-speech patterns

Gregory Kane’s Jan. 14 column on demagoguery got my attention. If there is blame on political rhetoric for the sad events in Tucson, the right must own up to its share as well as the left. But Kane and his ilk refuse to even acknowledge this.

Instead they find scapegoats to divert attention away from right-wing hate speech.

Kane is also anti-Mexican. This isn’t the first time that he’s managed to include something negative about Mexicans or Mexican-Americans in his columns, and it has nothing to do with demagogues.

Gordon Robertson, San Francisco

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