Gov. Gray Davis has been diverting attention from his own failures for too long. First he harped on Bill Simon's tax returns, until Simon made them available. Then Davis harped on the jury's verdict against Simon's company, but now the verdict has been overturned (Sept. 13). What will Davis say next? God forbid, he may have to talk about his record.
Californians have been bombarded with negative speculation concerning the health of the Simon campaign (Sept. 9). At this point, voters know more about the smug conventional wisdom that downplays Simon's chances than about the real differences between him and the corrupt Gov. Davis.
If California is to remain a functioning democracy in which money doesn't always buy elections, the media must cover this race more responsibly. A candidate's fund-raising troubles and his skills as a campaigner tell us little about who deserves to be governor. Far more important are Simon's solutions to our deepening crises under one-party Democratic rule.
Almost everything governors or presidents do can be undone by their successors. The crucial exception is judicial appointments. Many Republican judicial nominees frighten me so deeply that I will never help elect a Republican to an executive position. Some have suggested that we vote Libertarian or Green or "none of the above" for governor. I'm a registered Green, and I will happily vote for Green candidates for lower offices, but to keep right-wing ideologues off the judicial benches I must vote Democratic for governor and president. For me, it's the courts, stupid!
The two men running for governor have spent millions advertising. I don't know why. People vote their party regardless, even when they know their candidate isn't the best person for the job. Guess we would have better people in office if we did away with the parties.
It is a sad choice we face in November. Let's encourage a proven winner, Richard Riordan, to run as an independent. He need only articulate his vision for California to capture the hearts of the voters and give them an exciting choice.