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Defeat of Proposition 1

June 15, 1985

It was predictable that two days after Proposition 1 went down in flames, you would offer up a simplistic editorial explanation (June 6), "Getting More Police Protection--Somehow," for the resounding defeat of a measure your paper sacrificed integrity to support. Proposition 1 lost, you said, because Los Angeles residents worry more about taxes than they do about crime.

That is a simplistic explanation. It's also dumb--and insulting.

Proposition 1 lost, in part, because the voters were not convinced that hiring more cops would reduce crime in Los Angeles.

Proposition 1 lost, in part, because the voters know that police protection can be substantially improved in Los Angeles without levying new taxes, or hiring more cops.

Proposition 1 lost, in part, because voters resented being told--by a police chief who chases prostitutes while rapists go free--that they must either submit to higher taxes or live with the lousy service they're getting from their Police Department.

Proposition 1 lost, in part, because voters resented being told--by a mayor and a City Council too gutless to hold the chief accountable--that if they want better police protection, they'll have to pay the ransom the chief of police has demanded.

In sum, Proposition 1 lost for a variety of valid reasons. But the size of the No vote ought to send 'em a message at City Hall: the people of Los Angeles don't believe everything their "leaders" tell them!

SAMUEL M. SPERLING

Los Angeles

Sperling is president of Public Employees for Lower Taxes.

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