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Looking at California Through a Recall Glass

August 18, 2003

For the first time in my 60-plus years, I am not optimistic about the future of California. As a fifth-generation native Californian, I have always been so proud of this beautiful and progressive state. We are now the laughingstock of not only the U.S. but the world.

Besides having a Republican administration bent on drilling, draining and paving over every national park in the country and doling out huge financial rewards to political contributors, the president even goes so far as to say, referring to the Terminator (I cannot bear to even type his name), that he thinks he would be a "good governor." We have a California Legislature that is so inept that certain members cannot remember to turn off microphones in meeting rooms and are in office solely for their own self-aggrandizement, certainly not for the good of the people. A pox on all of them.

Jo Ann Michetti

Rancho Palos Verdes

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So Gov. Gray Davis is seeking counsel from Bill Clinton and Arnold Schwarzenegger is bringing in Warren Buffett (Aug. 14). It looks to me like Schwarzenegger is making a serious effort to get a handle on the state's fiscal situation, whereas it looks like Davis' primary goal for Clinton is to figure out the best political moves to save his butt.

I voted for Davis in the last election, but that was because Richard Riordan was dumped by the Republican right in California and there was no realistic alternative. Now, there is.

Frank Shofner

Mission Viejo

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I would like to pose this question to Buffett: Would you hire as chief executive of your company a man who had absolutely no experience or background in that field?

Joy Picus

Woodland Hills

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I'm sick and tired of the Eastern media elite gleefully using the terms "chaotic" and "circus-like" to refer to our recall election. Are they afraid of true democracy? (They may, in fact, be covering up a fear that if our recall succeeds, other of their liberal darlings will face the same fate.)

All democracy is at times messy, and California-style democracy may at times be clownish, but it is not chaotic.

Richard Showstack

Newport Beach

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The recall election in California is not, as many apparently believe, the result of a populist grass-roots movement. It was financed by a well-heeled Republican politician with clear designs on gaining the position he could never have won in a regular election. Second, if campaign lies and misleading information were automatic cause for recall, one George W. Bush would be out of a job right about now.

Bob Loza

Burbank

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Y'know, I don't particularly like Davis, and I didn't vote for him, but I think this recall election is a costly mistake. Maybe we'd be better off with "Aahnold" or whomever, but I don't see how anyone can fix the huge California fiscal problem anytime soon.

Everyone seems to be looking for a scapegoat for our financial woes, and Davis is the obvious target for finger-pointing because it happened on his watch, but I'd say that the collapse of the stock market, the Al Qaeda attacks and those slimy weasels at Enron (and the other crooked energy companies) are more to blame. Too bad we can't recall all those, eh?

Thomas Shudic

Burbank

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Another California to recall: Almost a century and a half ago Mark Twain wrote of "a splendid population ... that gave to California a name for getting up astounding enterprises and rushing them through with a magnificent dash and daring and a recklessness of cost or consequences, which she bears unto this day -- and when she projects a new surprise, the grave world smiles as usual, and says, " 'Well, that is California all over' " ("Roughing It").

Donald B. Beard

Banning, Calif.

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