Readers React

Unemployed in California – not if you're a politician

To the editor: In California, the civil service exam that one must take before applying for a position such as motor vehicle representative, a job that can pay less than $30,000 annually, has not been given in more than a year. There is no date scheduled for the next exam, leaving little hope for those seeking employment. ("Lending skills or taking refuge? Ex-state lawmakers take Capitol jobs," April 16)

But termed-out legislators need not worry about finding work. It's nice to know that the opportunity for them to be "helpful" by working in high-paying appointed positions trumps the need for them to apply for unemployment or worry about taking the exam for a job to feed their families.

Meanwhile, California's unemployed, who wait for the possibility to qualify for a state job by taking the civil service exam, can be helpful in their communities by volunteering in "outreach" programs or in a "community event" — like the ones that ex-state Sen. Sharon Runner helped set up as an aide paid by the state of California.

Carmen Valdes, Long Beach

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To the editor: Former legislators getting good-paying Capitol jobs is our reward for term limits.

We elect someone we trust or whose policies we share. That person serves a couple of terms in office. At that point, when experience has shaped our representative to become really useful to constituents, we toss them out and substitute an absolute greenhorn.

If you were that highly experienced "ex-state leader" and newly unemployed, what would you do? Would you sit in a corner and suck your thumb?

Mary Rouse, Los Angeles

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