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The Smoke-Filled Room

July 26, 2002

Gov. Gray Davis believes we should trade $12.5 billion in tobacco-settlement money for a one-time payment of $4.5 billion so this year's California budget balances ("Burning the Tobacco Windfall," July 24).

I know that $8 billion doesn't buy what it used to, but apparently there's hope it's enough to buy another term in Sacramento. What planet is this? Somebody, please, take me to a leader!

Craig Haffner

Studio City

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