Time to shed light on where Ed Lee stands 

Now that Mayor Ed Lee has officially announced he is running for a full mayoral term, San Franciscans will have the opportunity to learn more about what policies he will champion in the future. The tone of civility he brought to City Hall is welcome. But his administration, thus far, has been a mixed bag.

His payroll tax exemption for technology companies in the mid-Market is good policy, but doesn’t go far enough. Why not exempt all businesses in every neighborhood?

Lee will have to explain why he attempted to pressure California Pacific Medical Center for $2 billion to obtain the necessary permits and zoning changes to build us a new hospital, and how he intends to settle this and keep CPMC in The City. He will need to explain why he tried to make property owners responsible for the maintenance of unwanted trees planted by former Mayor Gavin Newsom without permission of property owners.

He will also need to explain why he wants to increase San Francisco’s sales tax during high unemployment when many are barely getting by or must resort to public assistance and/or food banks.

Howard Epstein, San Francisco

Let voters have their say

Liberal activists must resort to unbridled judicial activism because they cannot win at the ballot box. In Michigan recently, two Clinton-appointed judges on the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the will of 58 percent of the citizens who voted to prohibit preferential treatment in affirmative action.

The ACLU, Young Democrats and BAMN (By Any Means Necessary) now plan to petition Gov. Jerry Brown to repeal Proposition 209 here in California. These “progressive” Democrats should be willing to engage Republicans in meaningful debate about the fairness of affirmative action preferences. Why don’t they?

Philip Melnick, San Francisco

S&P holds the blame

Standard and Poor’s decision to downgrade the United States credit rating has led to a lot of criticism of the company. The White House called the S&P performance, which included a miscalculation of about $2.1 trillion, “amateur hour.”

S&P didn’t just miss the housing bubble. They helped cause it. They made money from the banks by awarding their AAA stamp of approval to all manner of financial products that were anything but riskless. Ironically, this makes them an accessory to the resulting explosion of U.S. debt.

Ted Rudow III, Palo Alto

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