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To Beat Davis, Simon Should Take On Immigration Issue

July 30, 2002

Just as Steve Lopez showed courage in writing about how the Catholic Church leadership has betrayed millions of Catholics, he now is showing formidable bravery in bringing up the issue of excessive immigration into California, a very politically incorrect topic ("The Immigration Bomb: Bill Simon, Are You Listening?" July 26). Having left California in large part because of the smog, the population explosion and the automotive nightmare, I can only applaud his good sense in the face of California's insanity.

When back in the once-Golden State recently I was appalled at how much worse everything had gotten in just one year. There has to be recognition that the state has become an ecological and demographic catastrophe. That Bill Simon cannot, under these circumstances, be elected against Gov. Gray Davis is evidence of the stupidity of the Republican Party generally and of Simon in particular.

Norman Ravitch

Savannah, Ga.

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Lopez, as usual, is right on. The 200-pound gorilla in our living room is illegal immigration, and politicians are terrified of taking it on, lest they lose the Latino vote. What they don't seem to realize is that Latino voters are just as concerned about overcrowded schools, closed trauma centers, polluted beaches, housing shortages and freeway traffic as anyone else. They are aware that these problems are increased by overpopulation.

If Proposition 187 had been enforced in accordance with the will of the voters, these problems would have been greatly diminished. But that's dead, thanks to our current governor's decision not to appeal it to the Supreme Court on behalf of California voters. Instead, our state Legislature has thrown out the welcome mat, offering illegals benefits including in-state college tuition, while U.S. citizens from other states have to pay the much higher out-of-state rate. Very few politicians of either party have the courage to call this the insanity it is. If Simon took on this issue, he could win.

Cleo Sopp

Whittier

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Lopez feigns to offer up a wedge issue on a silver platter to the failing Simon campaign. But what he is really doing is succumbing to the litany of media sensationalism. Here's a news flash: California is not overpopulated! In fact, the East Coast is far denser, given a similar geographic area.

Instead of relying on flawed logic, i.e., our housing shortage is caused by a contemporary surge in immigration, Lopez should look toward Proposition 13 and the tax revolt as the sources of his frustration. Californians have unwittingly created an incentive for cities and counties to favor commercial construction at the expense of housing, with property taxes that go directly to Sacramento. A decrease in services is the natural outcome when a citizenry wants a high level of services without having to pay for them. What California needs is a reassessment of how it chooses to structure its finances.

Ryan E. Mendoza

Hacienda Heights

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