Letters to the Editor

'Backroom politics'

On Oct. 24, The Bee reported that Pete Mehas, retired superintendent of schools for Fresno County, had withdrawn his endorsement of Dr. Tony Vang and Valerie Davis, candidates for re-election to the Fresno Unified School District board. Dr. Mehas stated his concern was that the candidates signed a "pledge" when seeking support from the Service Employee International Union.

Assemblyman Juan Arambula, a member of the Voices For Excellence, also received the endorsement of SEIU and Dr. Mehas. Why didn't Dr. Mehas withdraw his endorsement of Assemblyman Arambula? Why would Dr. Mehas have different standards for candidates he supports? Everyone knows Dr. Mehas is seeking an appointment as Secretary of Education under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Is Assemblyman Arambula using his position as a Democrat with the ability to lead the support for Republican Dr. Mehas' confirmation, trying to influence Mehas' ability to endorse candidates?

The Bee should have asked Dr. Mehas if he had ever withdrawn his endorsement in the past. SEIU should have been forthcoming with a list of all candidates they have endorsed this year, such as Sen. Jim Costa and Assemblyman Arambula.

If we want to improve our system, we must get away from such backroom politics.

Michael O'Hare