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Monday, May 16, 2022

LABJ FORUM – Land of Fruits and Nuts

LABJ FORUM – Land of Fruits and Nuts

Just when it looked like Florida, with its hanging chads, shark attacks, gnarly weather and families refusing to return refugee children to their parents, had usurped California’s spot as the wackiest state in the union, along comes the recall. The national and international media had a field day covering the 135 candidates actors, porn publishers and career politicians vying for the top spot in the most populous state. So the Business Journal asks:

Has the media been unfair during the recall campaign in its characterization of Californians?

Wayne Williams

President

Williams & Associates

I understand the concern, but I tend to feel it’s an overreaction by the media, and, as with many things treated that way, probably will not become the new wave in politics. I do not believe it will have an effect on people’s travel plans or the hotel industry or conventions here. That is strictly a function of the economy, not the perception of the state. We’ve just become the new Florida, and I don’t think Florida’s hotel industry has suffered because of the 2000 presidential election.

Dan Levy

General Manager

DNA Search Inc.

I hear it all the time because I work back East. It’s clearly unfair, that’s not what California is all about. There’s clearly a group that fits that mold, but that’s not the majority of people. Most people own businesses large and small. They work and care about their families that’s who we are. It also affords a lifestyle for those who don’t have families and want to enjoy other pursuits, it gives them that opportunity. You don’t find that everywhere. I moved here 26 years ago from New Jersey and I love it.

Nancy Diedrich Strauch

Owner

Face Facts Skin Clinique

That’s how the rest of the country sees us. I’ve heard it from colleagues. Unfortunately they don’t know the people of California. I know it’s just a select few people that are like that. We’re stable Americans who love our freedom and our country and work hard for our families and they give us a bad rap.

David Spivak

Partner

Spivak & Harrison LLP

It’s accurate. We’re allowing bad things to take place in our electoral process. I think this recall was unwarranted, and sets a terrible precedent for future elections where any extremely wealthy individual or group can have an elected incumbent thrown out of office whenever his popularity is low, which happens at least once during every incumbent’s tenure. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Democrats tried to have Arnold Schwarzenegger recalled if his popularity dips. But I don’t think Californians really care about what people in other states or countries think of us because we’re such an important state in the economy of the country.

Michael Collins

Executive Vice President

LA Inc.

If it has done nothing else, it reminded the world that California is the entertainment capital of the world, whether that entertainment comes from our industry or our politics. There is such a thing as bad publicity, but this isn’t, and we certainly haven’t let the world down. I’m not embarrassed. My hometown is New York, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see there’s a little too much eagerness to find folly in California.

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