As MBA students, we are taught that, when evaluating financial statements, the devil is usually found in the details ("Simon's Disclosure Raises New Doubts," July 24). Had the media and public been given only two hours to look over Enron's books, Kenneth Lay would probably still be riding in a limousine to the office. Bill Simon should give Californians a reasonable opportunity to decide whether he has the acumen and ethics to lead our state. He should make his tax records completely available and then allow us to give fair judgment. I hope Simon steps up in his effort to win the job he seeks.
I find Simon's limited disclosure of his tax returns indefensible, but why didn't The Times or other newspapers send reporters who are certified public accountants? It's silly to complain, as Patt Morrison does (July 24) that political reporters are ill-equipped to cover the Simon taxes.
I was sympathetic with Simon's desire to maintain some degree of financial privacy--especially in light of Gov. Gray Davis' obvious compulsive, obsessive money cravings. But then President Bush came out with the most inane statement. After all the market losses--probably not started but certainly furthered and accelerated by greedy, wealthy fellow business persons--he states younger people would like to invest their Social Security in the market so they have control (July 25). He doesn't get it. That's the statement of someone who doesn't know the world most of us live in.
Somebody has to beam him down. I'm approaching 60. I have to put three kids through college. I could have retired in a few years. Not now. I have a lot of lost ground to make up because of these greedy individuals. So what is my feeling about Simon now? I want to see a complete statement of his assets and income. Anyone who has too much is from another world and is not fit to govern real people.
Re George Skelton's July 22 column, "California's Show-Me-the-Money Governor": That is precisely the point, Mr. Skelton. Precisely because Davis has disclosed his financial affairs and all campaign contributions, you can write a column jumping all over him. Sure, he has received funds from questionable sources. Sure, he should--maybe, probably--return some of the funds. But you know all these details because Davis has disclosed it to all of us. Not Simon. Again, what is he hiding? A very big difference between the two.
So this is how it ends, with the mostly disliked and incompetent Davis and the hobbling Simon--who campaigns and responds as slowly as he fills out his tax return. It's not going to be long before Davis beats Simon in an election that will probably have the lowest turnout in the history of California.
Former L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan, can't you come back and run in this race as an independent?
Having the choice between Davis and Simon is like having a choice between those two guys in the movie "Dumb and Dumber." Both are incredibly annoying. Why don't we just call off the election with the stipulation that each of the candidates donate the proceeds of his campaign war chest to the state? And with the added stipulation that Davis (since he'd get to keep his job) go around and raise funds for the state budget. That's the one thing he's really good at, and he does it all the time anyway.