Almanac

Viewpoint - June 15, 2011

Letter: Ruskin elected despite opposition to death penalty

I was concerned to read that Ira Ruskin has an "incurable brain tumor," but am encouraged to learn that he is focusing on recovering.

I first met and communicated with Mr. Ruskin in 2004, when he was pursuing the 21st Assembly District seat. An issue to me and in the state at the time was the formation of the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice. A moratorium on the death penalty was being sought until the commission completed its work.

Mr. Ruskin's Republican Party opponent on the ballot was Steve Poizner. Mr. Ruskin responded in a survey that not only was he in support of a moratorium, but that he was opposed to the death penalty. Mr. Poizner responded that he supported the death penalty. As is known, Mr. Ruskin won the election, and served admirably during his terms. Moreover, his election verified that individuals who oppose the death penalty can run successfully for public office.

It is hoped that Mr. Ruskin's recovery will be fast and without complications. His personal and family interests are of primary concern, of course. Nevertheless, I hope he will recover and seek public office again. The public sector will always need individuals of such compassion and competence.

Henry Organ, Euclid Avenue, Menlo Park

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