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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Focus State Priorities, Listen to the People

October 15, 2003

Re "Davis Signs Last Bills of His Term," Oct. 13: I was appalled after reviewing the list of legislation signed by the governor. In education alone there were two bills regarding the sale of sodas and one regarding clean bathrooms. Schools have locally elected boards to deal with mundane issues such as these.

California would be better served if the Legislature and governor spent their time dealing with real issues such as the shortage of fresh water, a failing energy system and the state budget deficit. We need leaders in Sacramento who look to the future, not more bureaucrats who spend their time worrying about how many sodas kids drink. Parents can do that!

Jim Davis

Glendale

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Will someone please remind conservative Republican Assemblyman Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield that warning Democrats to pay heed to the governor's recall works both ways. I'm just counting the days until the words "impeach Bush" or "impeach Schwarzenegger" become the new mantra -- in the spirit of peace and friendship, of course. Isn't working together great fun!

Helen Aragon

San Fernando

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Ron Oliver (letter, Oct. 13) says he would like those who voted for Larry Flynt to explain their decision. Here's why this voter cast his ballot for Flynt: He's a successful businessman; he took a bullet for our 1st Amendment rights; and, unlike most politicians, he is not a hypocrite.

Glenn M. Langdon

Garden Grove

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Re "A Winning Strategy in a Fractured State: Unite and Conquer," Oct. 12: Steve Lopez, one of The Times' most egregious promoters of polarization -- an avatar of smug and demagogic caricature of anything and anyone with whom he disagrees -- states: "We're politically polarized beyond caricature, undermining any useful problem-solving." Can anybody near Lopez present him with a mirror?

Tita Dobson

North Hollywood

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In "GOP Makes Gains Among Latinos" (Oct. 11), Democratic Party Chairman Art Torres notes increasing Latino support for Republican candidates and suggests, "When they assimilate, they embrace all the other American values because they earn more money and want to keep more money." You think, Art? If your party is threatened by citizens -- Latino or otherwise -- embracing classic American values and rejecting punitive redistribution of their hard-earned income, then what does that say about your platform? As usual, this is not a race issue. It's about people of all stripes identifying and, finally, rejecting the enemies of common sense.

S. Christopher Weir

Los Alamos, Calif.

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Thanks for "Schwarzenegger Picks a Diverse Transition Team" (Oct. 10), which brought reassuring news about the governor-elect trying to attune to a wide range of interests. Before the elections, though, he had promised to listen to the people's voice. So one wonders why he doesn't solicit suggestions from all voters. There must be among us a few civil servants, retired lobbyists and state suppliers with valuable insights on budgetary matters. During this period of uncertainty, perhaps The Times could perform a valuable function by canvassing readers and choosing the best ideas for the new administration.

Carmelo Gariano

Thousand Oaks

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