Suffering under Prop. 47 – Orange County Register

Re: “Prop. 47 a tough lesson in initiative’s weakness” [Opinion, July 30]: Former Assemblyman Mike Gatto explains some of the myriad problems with Prop. 47, especially how it has virtually eliminated punishment for so many crimes.

I wish he had referred to this wrong-headed proposition by the deceptive title used when voters were sold this bill of goods: “The Safe Neighborhood and Schools Act.” Except for those Californians who spend too much time in the statehouse rather than their own neighborhood, it’s unimaginable that anyone would now argue that we’re safer as a result of Prop. 47. Theft and break-ins have soared in my neighborhood.

Could the growing homelessness problems in Orange County have anything to do with Gatto’s assertion that Prop. 47 eliminates judges’ ability to compel drug offenders into rehab to avoid a felony conviction? This certainly merits consideration.

What’s readily apparent now is that former LAPD Chief Bernard Parks had a valid point when in reference to Prop. 47 he said that drug addicts who don’t have regular jobs would benefit. It gave them an attractive and convenient, low-risk way to support their addiction.

Good, law-abiding Californians are now suffering the consequences. Yes, Prop. 47 does need fixing and that’s something that our leadership in California should be spending time on.

— Steve Shatynski, Brea

Shady recall effort

Re: “More shady politics from Sacramento” [Opinion, Aug. 6]: I choked on my coffee reading Jon Coupal’s column. Living in Brea, I was witness to the multiple signature gatherers who lied to folks telling them that they were signing a petition to recall the gas tax. This campaign was funded by outsiders to regain a Republican seat and had nothing to do with Sen. Newman’s performance representing the 29th district.

Now, Mr. Coupal cries foul that the Democrats are not “up front” about their political agenda. People are frustrated and cynical about politics but this column by a person who is central in this recall ruse — that is cynical. I would propose that we pass a bill to outlaw paid signature gathering. If a person is passionate about an issue they will volunteer their time to gather signatures but the current law allows big money interests to hire folks to deceive us. Mr. Coupal’s dishonesty is egregious and the reason that many are cynical and disgusted by the political process.

— Theresa Ullrich, Brea

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