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Recall Effort Rocks State

August 16, 2003

In "Who'd Want This Job?" (Commentary, Aug. 11), Charles E. Cook Jr. puts the blame for much of California's fiscal crisis where it squarely belongs -- on the shoulders of its citizens. Too many of us forgot that our government is a representative democracy. We wandered into the risky operations of a direct democracy. Using the initiative process, we disempowered our elected representatives, directly installed some of the state's most important financial measures and now, through the recall process, are trying to extricate the state from the crisis we helped to create.

We must recover our good sense and get back to representative democracy -- selecting qualified leaders through the normal electoral process and entrusting to them the government operations during their terms of office. The only safe way out of the present mess is to defeat the recall now and do a better job next time of selecting the successor to our present leader.

Dewey Wasser

Thousand Oaks

*

I commend your Aug. 11 editorial "Criticism Alone Won't Do It: Would-be governors must now offer the voters some solutions" and Cook's commentary. It's time the candidates started addressing the issues and offering solutions rather than criticizing Gov. Gray Davis. If our governor is recalled, whoever succeeds him will face exactly the same problems.

Joan Irvine Smith

San Juan Capistrano

*

A week or so ago, I mentioned to friends that Arnold Schwarzenegger could bring in Warren Buffett, Bill Gates or Alan Greenspan -- it would not make a difference. Schwarzenegger, utilizing political special effects, has brought aboard Buffett (Aug. 14). I reiterate, Buffett and now former Secretary of State George Shultz (Aug. 15) cannot bring an economic remedy to California. At the bare minimum, it will take two to five years for recovery. This is not a movie. Economic recovery cannot be scripted.

Ernie Garcia

Redlands

*

Approximately 20% of those who voted for Davis want him out. Why? The job is too big for him. He never got the energy problem and vacillated about the size of California's deficit. He gave away the store to workers' comp attorneys (100% to 200% rate increases to business), and businesses are leaving the state. He sold out the schools and teachers. He hid when the going got tough, hedged his bets poorly and it caught up with him. 'Nuff said. Let's get him out of there.

Roland Cordobes

Ventura

*

I admit that I voted for Davis in the past two elections, to my great regret. In hindsight, it is difficult to understand how someone with so much knowledge and experience could not have foreseen many of the problems resulting from the deregulation of the electric utilities during the Wilson administration. The state Legislature surely deserves as much blame for the energy crisis as Davis, but the albatross of ever higher energy costs will surely result in Davis' recall.

When I opened my electric bill in early July and discovered a bill for $452 for the month, I instantly decided how I would vote on Oct. 7. I only wish that the voters had the opportunity to recall the entire Legislature.

Herman A. Inman

Cerritos

*

As an embarrassed native Californian, I have one small suggestion that might prove an invaluable voters' guide in October. The candidates who seek to replace Davis should be required to take a test to determine their knowledge of the 2003 California budget. The major features of the budget are clearly set forth on the legislative analyst's Web site. All the candidates would be assembled at the same time and given the same test, with monitors to ensure that there are no crib notes. I know cheating would hardly disqualify anyone in this circus, but it is worth a try. Then the results should be released to the public with at least one or two suggestions from the candidate as to how he or she plans to fix the budget.

Dick Hamblin

Sherman Oaks

*

I would like to respond to Davis' claims that the recall effort is somehow "shameful" and an "insult" to voters. Need we remind the governor that registered voters signed the petitions in the first place? If he had displayed some sort of leadership qualities and attacked the problems plaguing this state, then chances are the recall would never have been necessary. Don't tell us we're insulted by the recall.

He isn't getting the job done and the people of California need to take matters into their own hands and shake things up. What has been shameful and insulting is his performance.

Scott Sackett

Glendale

*

I understand the desire of California Republicans to win back the governorship, but someone needs to do a reality check. Schwarzenegger is no Ronald Reagan. Schwarzenegger has been vague about virtually every important issue. In fact, other than on taxes, he is barely a Republican.

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