By costing Placer County an estimated $500,000 to $600,000 in an election that could have been avoided if Mr. (Ted) Gaines would have curbed his enormous ego, he has demonstrated that conservative politicians cutting costs apply only to the needy not the greedy when it suits their purpose (“Ted Gaines wins Senate race,” Journal, Jan. 5). It appears he is following in his mentor’s footsteps (John Doolittle) as he manipulates the election system to again spend $500,000 to $600,000 in another election in an effort to get his wife elected to the Assembly seat he vacated. This will then be a classic case of a GOP politician double-dipping into the public coffers again with double salaries and of course the claiming of double daily per diems despite only living 20 miles from Sacramento. This coupled with the latest increases in insurance costs to nearly everyone will also benefit the Gaines’ insurance business and confirm that fiscal conservatism means that it does not apply to greed but only to those in need. Gene Martineau, Roseville Editor’s note: Ted Gaines pledged earlier this week not to accept per diem money.