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Unpopular Davis Not Root of All Problems

March 12, 2003

Re "Davis' Job Rating Falls to All-Time Low of 27%," Times Poll, March 9: Gov. Gray Davis isn't personally or even largely responsible for our country's sinking economy, a major reason for California's budget woes. Nor did he create our state's energy crisis. This was the work of Republicans and Democrats in our state Legislature who together voted for deregulation, however foolish this might have been.

All Davis did was publicly ask President Bush to cap energy prices during the price run-up two years ago. Bush's refusal cost California billions of dollars. Don't blame Davis if our taxes go up as state services diminish; blame Bush for thumbing his nose at us yet again.

Carol S. Siegle

Santa Monica

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The record clearly shows it was Gov. Pete Wilson and the Legislature in 1996 that insisted the utilities should be privatized, passing a fatally flawed law that permitted Enron and others to "game" the crisis. By the time Davis took over, the fat was already in the fire.

As an independent, I don't admire Davis for his fixation on campaign contributions and favors to the highest bidder, or his environmental double-dealing. Those issues will be settled at the next election, presumably. But to blame him for someone else's folly is unfair and incorrect.

Jack Morrow

Long Beach

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The Times mentions that in spite of the fact that the vast majority of Californians disapprove of our governor's performance, most do not support a recall effort. Perhaps your poll takers should come out to the San Fernando Valley. We would recall that nincompoop in a heartbeat.

Will Ray

Burbank

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California has a $35-billion budget shortfall. Departments are being directed to slash from their budgets 10% to 15%. The new director of finance, Steve Peace, has his wife hired, noncompetitively, at a nonessential $117,000 job (editorial, March 7). Twenty-one of Davis' staff members get hired at nonessential jobs (March 8). The same departments that are being directed to slash their budgets are getting their budgets pilfered to pay for these 21 positions.

Ernie Garcia

Redlands

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