I really don’t care if the State Board of Elections decided that Senate Leader Phil Berger’s purchase of a townhome using campaign funds is legal. It may be “legal,” but it is certainly not ethical.
Paying rent on a property is understandable and doesn’t result in a financial advantage for the representative. But the purchase of a property is not necessary and could result in financial gain.
When Berger no longer needs his townhome and decides to sell, at a presumably higher price considering Raleigh’s growth, who’ll take home the profit from the sale? Will he reimburse his campaign fund? I somehow doubt it.
Berger is benefiting financially as senator. It may be legal, but ethically it stinks to high heaven.
Kathleen Kalinowski, Cary
Close the loophole
Sen. Berger’s housing deal exposes an election law loophole; let’s close it.
It’s also my understanding from Bob Hall’s complaint that Berger obtained a bank loan under the premise the townhouse would be owner-occupied. Unfortunately, his intention was to rent the property back from his property management firm. As an attorney, he knowingly violated his contract with the bank.
I think most people with a sense of right and wrong would neither skirt an election law by exploiting a loophole, nor obtain a bank loan under false pretenses.
Is this our best choice to lead the state Senate?
Gary Filippi, Holly Springs
Read to Achieve
As a WCPSS volunteer tutor, I have some insight regarding why Read to Achieve has not produced the desired results.
The basic problem is with the parents who do not provide preschool education to their children. When I tutor, I sometimes ask students if their parents read with them. The children whose parents don’t are the ones who are behind and have short attention spans.
The state needs to better develop parent participation in education. Pediatricians should be provided kits that they can hand out to new parents.
And, children should be tested at age 3 to determine their achievement level. If the child does not perform to standards, the state should provide additional educational instructions and the child may need to be assigned to a preschool.
Bill Jensen, Apex
Sexual assault bill
While the partisan bickering continues at the General Assembly, lawmakers managed to come together to do something positive. The House and Senate unanimously passed a package of sexual assault reforms that closed loopholes for incapacitation and withdrawing consent, increased the time victims have to sue abusers, strengthened mandatory reporting laws, and required training for school employees.
While not perfect, North Carolina has taken significant steps to protect children and adults while providing legal recourse for those who need more time to come forward. As a child sexual abuse survivor, I thank the legislature for putting aside differences and seeing that sexual assault should never be a partisan issue.
Katie Trout, Raleigh
It’s not Watergate
Regarding “Senate strategy,” (Nov. 6 Forum):
I agree with this letter writer about President Trump’s performance in office, but I differ on impeachment.
Nixon’s situation with Watergate is not similar at all. As evidence of the Watergate burglary cover-up piled up, Nixon’s guilt was increasingly clear, capped off with the final “smoking gun” tape recordings from his office.
In contrast, Trump’s attempt to extort help for his campaign looks like an abuse of power to me, but business as usual in the real world to his supporters. There is no consensus of a crime having been committed.
Also, unlike Nixon, there is very little erosion of support for Trump among Republicans and near zero chance that 20 Republican senators will ever join the vote to convict and remove him. The only way to remove Trump from office is to beat him at the polls.
Joe Swain Jr., Carrboro
At stake in 2020
The results of an acquittal by the Senate might have even more significant consequences for future presidents.
For example, could condoning the president’s use of the Department of Justice as his private law firm lead a future president to use them to harass/prosecute citizens perceived as “enemies”?
We may wake one day to the find that structures of government that have guarded our safety, freedom and security since our founding have all but disappeared.
There is more than an election at stake in 2020. The survival of our Constitution depends on the courage and conscience of those elected to preserve and protect it. I pray our representatives are up to the task.
Margaret Magnani, Cary
Trump’s a success
Regarding “Obama’s eloquence rebukes Trump’s crassness,” (Oct. 31 Opinion): President Trump may not speak with the eloquence of President Obama, but when he speaks he fulfills his promises and gets the job done. So enjoy your eloquent Obama while we enjoy seeing promises fulfilled and a job well done.
Patty Hunt, Raleigh