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Davis Sees a 'Power Grab' Behind the Recall Effort

August 22, 2003

Re "Davis Concedes Mistakes but Fights 'Power Grab,' " Aug. 20: With two-thirds of the electorate firmly against Gray Davis continuing as governor of California, clearly there is no Republican conspiracy. Rather, the recall is about Davis' inability to effectively lead the state in difficult economic times, his incompetence in handling the energy shortages two years ago and, most important, his dishonesty about the state budget deficit during his reelection campaign last year.

Davis is right about one thing: This recall may lead to more recalls here and elsewhere. Or, perhaps, instead it will lead to politicians being more forthright and courageous in carrying out their responsibilities. If Davis really cares about California, he will step aside immediately rather than fight the recall.

Glenn Fout

Ojai

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I am a Democrat and despise the recall but find I despise Davis even more and will likely vote to boot him. His so-called mea culpa, along with his newly found "heart," is just another move from his political playbook. He should have admitted mistakes years ago and shown humanity much earlier. He's a phony Tin Man who still needs a real visit with the Wizard.

David Marsh

Silver Lake

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It's about time good ol' Gray spoke up. What makes these people who support the recall think that we have money for this nonsense? We are in debt enough as it is and we certainly can spend $64 million on something else, like education. Davis didn't ruin California; those money-hungry Republicans did. I vote no on the recall and support Davis 100%. Education is the most important thing, and I strongly doubt Bill Simon is thinking of that.

Brooke Illes

Lawndale

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It appears Davis has taken Bill Clinton's advice a little too much to heart, especially regarding the whole "right-wing conspiracy" angle. Davis stated, "What's happening here is part of an ongoing national effort to steal elections that Republicans cannot win." This is very similar to the strategy Clinton used in fighting his impeachment. In Clinton's case, it worked, because he had a natural constituency who really did see a conspiracy. Davis has no such constituency -- he has no friends, the state Democratic Party is furiously trying to figure out whether to fight the recall or back Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, and even the labor unions are hedging their bets.

Davis had an opportunity in his speech on Tuesday to demonstrate leadership and accept responsibility, but he did neither. The voters won't forget this on Oct. 7.

Steve Joslin

Newport Beach

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Steve Lopez's columns are one of the best things about The Times, but I think Wednesday's Davis-bashing column misses the mark. This recall is nullifying my (and every other voter's) November 2002 vote. This recall drive was funded and driven by special Republican interests. The Florida 2000 general election fiasco was also engineered by Republican interests, as is the current attempted coup in the Texas Legislature. Coincidence? I think not. Davis is correct to fight this. Every voter and politician (and every columnist), of every party, should be up in arms over any special interest's widespread attempt to overturn and nullify the results of legitimate elections.

Judy Graff Fisher

Burbank

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Fortunately, it's too late for Davis to do what he should have done to change our perception of him: Change his name to something like "Red" or "Rocky," cut his hair and mess it up a little, join Toastmasters and take assertiveness classes.

Jerry Earle

Los Angeles

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