How taxpayers can hold politicians accountable 

Anyone interested in San Francisco budgets should read the 2005 San Francisco civil grand jury report, which alleged that then-Supervisor Kevin Shelly directed considerable money to a Chinatown nonprofit to build a community center that was never built.

The money went instead to Shelly’s political campaign for state office. The report is entitled “The Difference Between Grants and Contracts.”

Since this is commonplace business in big-government cities such as San Francisco, Shelly was allowed to step down quietly and clear up his pension deficiencies later. Crimes against taxpayers routinely go unpunished in San Francisco, unless of course you are of an independent mind and challenge the power brokers of elective office.

For example, former Supervisor Ed Jew is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence for trying to help a small business work through the impossible permitting process to open a tapioca store in his neighborhood.

Judy West, San Francisco

Facts completely left out

Monday’s San Francisco Examiner editorial, “Turning a deaf ear to energy-cost concerns,” blames the Obama administration for being unresponsive to the escalating gas prices.

President Barack Obama was even accused of being “determined to make the price of gas go up” even though he has voiced his worries that the high prices will jeopardize the economic recovery.

The editorial did not mention the trigger for these high prices — unrest in the Mideast. In fact, drilling has gone up and oil companies have increased their investment in nonconventional oil drilling.

Exxon’s production rose 13 percent last year, the largest increase since it acquired Mobil Corp. in 1999.

Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto

Stop importing oil

The U.S. should not pour billions into the space program. Our nation is trillions of dollars in debt and there are more important things to spend that money on, such as health care reform, education and making Social Security solvent.

I also feel that pouring billions of dollars into wars to help people who mostly hate us is really stupid. If these countries cannot give us oil at a fair price we should stop helping them.

Both political parties are not doing enough to help us become independent of foreign oil. We should do more drilling offshore and on land here than what we’re doing. In 10 years, we could probably become almost free from foreign-oil imports.

Jerry Morehead, Rehoboth Beach, Del.

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