To the editor: In the wake of the failed effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom, two reforms must take place to strengthen California's democracy.
First, the recall process must be reformed. It is proven to be a deeply flawed, undemocratic waste of resources.
Second, the Republican Party must be reformed. Currently it is an anti-science, anti-democratic, anti-immigrant, anti-reason cult that has little chance of winning a statewide election. Its candidates cry foul where none exists.
A fully functioning democracy requires the party out of power to make good-faith critiques of the government. Unfortunately, the Republican brand is so loaded with nonsense that it can only muster a cacophony of misinformation and discredited theories that an increasing majority of Californians isn't buying.
Californians want a state that continues to protect all its residents, has a healthy economy and works to solve the problems that confront us. Currently, Republican candidates only serve as obstacles to this.
Fred Burgess, Camarillo
To the editor: No, Gov. Newsom, we didn't all vote to approve the status quo.
I voted to say no to conservative judicial appointments. I voted to say no to a further loss of choice for those without a voice. I voted to say no to ensure our state wouldn't incur any more harm.
I didn't vote to keep you in power; I voted to keep the Republicans out.
Samantha West, Los Angeles
To the editor: The projected $276 million to put on the recall election was tax money well spent.
Think about it: California was forced to inject $276 million into the economy, creating jobs for election workers, PR firms and many others. In exchange, we got to tell the Republicans that almost two-thirds of our state firmly believes Newsom is a good governor.
During the stay-home order last year, I listened to Newsom's regular coronavirus updates. The governor's job sounds stressful in the extreme. It comes with an immediate recall effort, endless scrutiny by bad-faith actors who caterwaul about the governor's restaurant choices, and media who say he should apologize and change his style of leadership.
Why would anyone want that job?
Kathi Smith, Ojai
To the editor: Congratulations, Gov. Newsom, on beating the recall. I see that you believe yours was a victory for "all those things that we hold dear as Californians and I would argue as Americans," including "economic justice, social justice, racial justice, environmental justice."
How about adding to your list reducing crime, solving the homelessness crisis, improving forest management, planning for water and power shortages and supporting our small business?
I think these are more tactical and practical objectives that we hold dear as Californians.
Enough with the platitudes, governor — now do something for us.
Gary Rubenstein, Los Angeles
To the editor: Now that this waste of an election is over, I think the Republican Party and everyone who signed the petition for it should be billed for the cost.
Newsom will be up for reelection next year anyway. I see no reason why the majority of taxpayers who obviously didn't want this election should have to pay the millions of dollars it cost at a time when so much money is needed for wildfire fighting and ongoing COVID-19 problems.
There must be some members of the Republican Party who can behave like adults. They should stand up and reclaim their party.
Christin Rubesh, Port Hueneme
To the editor: I find it interesting that political pundits from both major parties read the same message from the recall result — move further away from the middle, policy-wise.
John Tarjan, Bakersfield
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.