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Dissecting the Political Lives of Gray Davis and Bill Simon

October 18, 2002

I was not surprised by The Times' endorsement of Gov. Gray Davis (editorial, Oct. 15). However, it was not a very flattering endorsement. You highlighted his "obsessive pursuit" of campaign dollars and his inability and slowness to "grasp the lead on critical issues," including his failure to act in a timely manner to head off the energy debacle. You implore him to drop the "perpetual fund-raising" and take the lead in finding solutions to the many problems that have escalated during his term.

In contrast, you describe Bill Simon's campaign as "one amateurish gaffe and disaster after another" and allude to his "constant campaign stumbles." Simon may not be a career politician. However, he is focused on the issues and ready with ideas to address our Davis budget deficit, energy debacle, education failure and transportation congestion. Davis may have experience, but he has used it solely to serve his own political ambition. Simon -- honest businessman (that lawsuit was thrown out) -- has earned my vote.

Colleen Hinman

Rowland Heights

*

Your editorial states that Davis will not be raising money for his next campaign so he will have time to govern during his second term. Historically, he has gone from one elected job to another. What will happen to this state if he really kicks fund-raising into high gear and spends 2003 and 2004 campaigning to get on the Democratic presidential ticket?

Barbara Rendahl

Torrance

*

In your series on the major party candidates for governor I didn't expect you to paint Simon as a blithering idiot with views to the right of Pat Buchanan. But after the hatchet job you did on Davis (Oct. 10-12), I didn't expect a love letter ("Simon Forged His Future in Dad's Formidable Path," Oct. 15).

Simon's blunders barely took up a paragraph, and even then were dismissed. Other gaffes, such as his backing off on gay issues, were not mentioned at all. Maybe The Times is afraid of being accused of having a liberal bias, but after you painted Davis as a cold, calculating man with no friends I guess I expected a similarly harsh article on Simon.

Daniel McVey

Los Angeles

*

Michael Ramirez's Oct. 15 editorial cartoon depicting Davis as a prostitute is insultingly one-dimensional and personal. Does Ramirez implicitly support limits on campaign contributions or the freedom to exercise one's right to support the candidate of one's choosing? Perhaps more government regulation is the answer. Can he name one candidate in the U.S. who does not so "prostitute" himself? Could one not apply the same simplistic brush to Bush's acceptance of contributions from Enron's Kenneth Lay for his influence on this administration's energy policy?

Dain Olsen

Los Angeles

*

Elect either one, then recall him and try again.

Rodger Lowe

Long Beach

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