State should require competitive bidding 

It was a shame the California Legislative Budget and Finance Committee refused to allow the nationwide standard for a competitive bidding specification law to be implemented in California.

The Legislative Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review put the bill forward, in order to stop massive scams of school and public construction dollars.

Nationwide, minimum good competitive bidding practice for best use of taxpayer money is to write in three different manufacturer’s products and the term “or equal” into contract specifications.

California only requires listing one overpriced product with specs designed to chase off good competition.

Janet Campbell, San Francisco

Muni schedules unrealistic

San Francisco’s Muni runs a slow-speed rail on The City’s streets, but management wants a higher-speed rail to increase the number of passenger fares to help cover a yearly budgetary shortfall. So when city voters mandated streetcar schedules be posted and maintained at least 80 percent of the time, the number of pedestrian and auto accidents went up, as did the cost of settlements for injuries and property damage.

A Muni driver’s letter complained he was given 38 minutes to complete his run across The City, but a private automobile that didn’t have to pick up passengers couldn’t drive across the city in 38 minutes. The unrealistic and unsafe driver schedules authorized by management indicate how far removed from reality they are in trying to justify their six-figure salaries and huge benefit packages.

Frank Norton, San Francisco

Liu too leftist for bench

Liberal Democrats are crying, “Shame on those Senate Republicans for blocking the nomination of Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu to the Ninth Circuit Court.” Can we stop pretending? All ethnic groups have their left and right. Goodwin Liu is firmly on the left. He actively supports preferences based on race, amnesty and benefits for illegal immigrants.

Philip Melnick, San Francisco

US is now a beggar

I was wondering why I can never go to my neighborhood grocery store without passing a beggar. Although it’s not always the same guy, there is always a beggar around. Then I realized, this is the new national symbol. The U.S. has now become a beggar on the world stage and believes that without more alms, the world will collapse.

But the only world that collapses would be the American world of borrowing money to provide its people with all kinds of junk they don’t need, instead of fostering a really meaningful and worthwhile life based on fiscal responsibility.

Peter Garland, Oakland

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