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Issues, Not Image, Should Determine Recall Outcome

August 20, 2003

Re "Simon Retraces Steps on Campaign Trail," Aug. 18: The headline says it all. The same steps will lead to the same place: defeat.

Bill Simon boasts of being conservative and does what conservatives always do -- he slurs people to the center and left with the word "liberal," just as the Republicans did with the words "communist" and "socialist" in earlier times. Simon cannot make the people forget, however, that many of the problems of this state were caused by the conservative agenda: pro-energy companies, pro-oil companies and pro-excessive deregulation -- the very path that got us here. Add the fact that Simon is out of step with his anti-choice and anti-gay message and the result is clear: Simon loses.

Stan Coleite

Burbank

*

Re "They Want Their Issues Recognized," Aug. 18: Thank you for profiling the "unknown candidates" in the recall election. I found the comments of Ronald Palmieri to be direct, honest and insightful. This is more than I can say for the "known" candidates.

Alan Matis

Sherman Oaks

*

Re "Do Better Next Time," Commentary, Aug. 17: Recall advocates declare that this recall is democracy's finest hour; however, Bruce Cain illustrates the flaws in our recall system that exceed those of most other states.

Most troubling is that Gov. Gray Davis must win a majority to stay in office but alternative candidates need only have a plurality of votes. If Davis gets 49% of the vote in Part 1 and Arnold Schwarzenegger wins the second phase with 39% of the vote, Arnold is our next governor. To elect a high official with fewer votes than his opposition is tantamount to a coup d'etat. Of course, Americans are used to this after the 2000 presidential elections.

Jeff Webster

Huntington Beach

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Let's hope the members of the public will decide whom to support for governor based on their knowledge of the candidates and not on some cockamamie poll on the radio, on TV or in a newspaper. This election is too important to rely on popularity contests.

Ray Holm

Westlake Village

*

I think I can predict this election. Conan the Politician will snag the moderate Republicans. State Sen. Tom McClintock (R-Thousand Oaks) and Simon will split the conservatives. The Democrats, faced with no actors or talent, will support their party. The result: Boring, dull and unimaginative Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante will be the next governor of California, elected by about 25% of the popular vote.

Mike Buettell

Balboa Island

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A curse upon The Times for excluding Libertarian Ned Roscoe from the table of gubernatorial candidates' positions on state finances (Aug. 17). May Schwarzenegger win the election and plague your headline writers for years to come.

Steve Kelley

Hermosa Beach

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So Arnold and Rob Lowe are teaming up (Aug. 15). I can see the bumper sticker now: Cyborg and Seaborn. 'Cause that's who people are voting for. Scary.

Sharon Liveten

North Hollywood

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Arianna, you hired a high-priced lobbyist ("Huffington's Manager Also Works as a Lobbyist," Aug. 16). Arnold, you hired a tax-raising economic advisor ("Buffett's Property-Tax Remarks Stir Debate," Aug. 16). Either you guys didn't do your homework or you're hypocrites. Which is it?

Greg Steinberg

Los Angeles

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If Arianna Huffington is a serious enough candidate to merit a front-page story about her unheard-of offense of paying no more taxes than she was legally obligated to pay (Aug. 14), don't her positions on the issues also deserve front-page treatment? By the way, she isn't exactly the first patrician populist to come along; I seem to recall somebody named Franklin D. Something-or-Other, for example. But if your tastes run to populists with a more common touch, why not give a little exposure to Peter Camejo once in a while? He only made the best third-party showing in the state in over 60 years last year.

Jay Goldberg

Los Angeles

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