Of all the discussions surrounding the recall election, I find the question of candidates' qualifications to be the most irritating. As the long and eclectic Oct. 7 ballot illustrates, there are very few requirements to meet. Beyond this, the issue of qualifications is a matter for the voter's judgment and conscience. Yet many public discussions refer to a candidate's qualifications to lead the state as if there are a set of objective resume requirements set down somewhere. There are no such requirements.
Would Californians prefer an amendment to the state Constitution that would impose restrictive requirements and, thereby, certainly be considered discriminatory? As it stands, the matter of qualifications rests with California voters, requiring us necessarily to be informed. If that burden is too much, we can always look to the ballot initiative process and ask the Legislature to draft objective minimum requirements for elected positions in California government. Personally, I would rather sort out the yahoos myself; it makes for a much more amusing and lively election.
It is interesting to read about the big hitters from the Democratic Party coming to the defense of Gov. Gray Davis: Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.), Bill Clinton, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Al Gore and many others. When they are finished telling those of us who live in California how we should vote and why we should vote no on the recall, and then leave, they will not have to register their cars at high rates, pay the taxes that will be put on us, watch their driver's licenses become bogus and watch Davis with his slogan that you have to pay to play. Enough is enough. Let us decide without outside interference.
James R. Fisher
Don't like Davis? Did you vote against him last year? In other words, has anyone done a poll to find out what percentage of those who support the recall -- especially those who signed the recall petition -- actually bothered to vote in the last election?
Why hasn't it been suggested that we recall all the members of the California Assembly and Senate? One gets the impression that Davis has been operating in a vacuum, single-handedly causing the current situation. Let's recall the whole bunch or no one at all!
Karla H. Edwards
I have a question for the Republican Party potentates who urge state Sen. Tom McClintock to bow out: Do you really want Maria Shriver to be de facto governor?
Thomas F. Brands
Re Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar, being ordered by the court to return the money and claiming he can't because he spent it all (Sept. 24): If he spent $3.8 million in a little over a week, just think what he could do with our money!
Peter E. Jonker
What makes the recall proponents believe any Republican governor will change anything? The Democrats control both houses of the Legislature and can defeat any legislation that the Republicans propose. I see a period of "do nothing" for the next two to three years, and it will serve them right for previous and continuous Republican stonewalling. All the Republican hype to change matters will amount to zero.
Re "Millions of Micro-Managers Share Blame for State's Crises," Sept. 25: George Skelton needs to get a grip on reality. The underlying reason for the passage of Proposition 13, term limits and now the recall election is that most of us realize that with few exceptions, the politicians we elect are out for their own agenda and self-aggrandizement. It is not just Republicans or just Democrats; it is most of them.
Five years ago, there was no mention of Proposition 13 hurting the state; now it is the main reason for our fiscal problems. That reasoning is nonsense; Proposition 13 made the state and local governments live within a budget. It made those state and local governments account for and explain the use of tax revenue. Imagine that.