October 10, 2002 (Ira Pilgrim)
Gov. Gray Davis has been doing his level best to persuade Californians that Republican challenger Bill Simon is a bumbling novice and corporate crook, while Simon has been damning Davis as a political sleazebag and an incompetent manager. Both, oddly enough, appear to be succeeding.
Dan Walters 9/3/02
The Green Party's gubernatorial candidate Camejo's principal qualification is that he is not Democrat Gray Davis nor Republican Bill Simon.It is a distinction that he and I share with only 34 million other Californians."
Pete Golis, 8/11/02
This year I am going to vote for Bill Simon for governor of California. Why would I, a lifelong Democrat, vote for not only a Republican, but a Republican who, as Gray Davis's TV ads say, is not qualified to run the State of California? The ads are correct, and not only is Simon not qualified to run the state, but he may not be qualified to run anything. I will vote for him anyway. He has no track record in politics, which is in his favor. No governor at all would be a distinct improvement over Gray Davis.
I helped to get Davis elected governor; I voted for him. Now, in order to expiate my guilt for this monumental mistake, I want to do everything that I can to see that he is not re-elected. Davis represents everything that I detest in a politician. He is at the services of anyone who will pay him. At least the corrupt mayor Dailey of Chicago gave destitute people jobs. Davis's only benefactors are the moneyed interests that pay into his campaign fund. He is at the services of everyone except the people of California. In short, he is as crooked a politician as I have ever encountered. Considering that dishonesty is the hallmark of many successful politicians, Davis is a consummate professional.
So why wouldn't I, as my first instinct dictated, just vote for Peter Comejo the Green Party candidate? The answer has to do with arithmetic. First of all, Camejo doesn't stand a chance of winning, just as Ralph Nader stood no chance of winning in the last presidential race. If I thought that he was even a long shot, I would vote for him. If I vote for Comejo or don't vote at all, which is the same thing, I deprive Davis of my vote. If I vote for Simon, I deprive Davis of my vote and add a vote for his opponent. That, sort of, makes two votes against Davis. If I could cast 50 votes against Davis, I would.
As I learned from Davis's TV campaign, which dynamited Richard Riordan's nomination by the Republican party, the important thing is to get rid of the man who might give you trouble. The man I want to get rid of now is Gray Davis. Simon will probably be relatively easy to get rid of four years from now. By then, the Democratic Party might have a worthwhile candidate. And, who knows but that Simon might do a credible job. He might even appoint some competent people to important positions.
If this column has persuaded a few of my readers to vote for Simon, then I will have added more votes to my vote against Davis.
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