SAN FRANCISCO — Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, presenting a likely blueprint of his expected gubernatorial campaign, on Friday criticized Gov. George Deukmejian and his State of the State address by calling him a "make-believe leader" who exudes "mediocrity."
Speaking before a well-attended political breakfast sponsored by Assemblyman Louis J. Pappan (D-Millbrae), Bradley said he was "disappointed" in Deukmejian's Thursday night speech.
Deukmejian spokesman Larry Thomas, from his office in Sacramento, quickly dismissed Bradley's comments as "politically inspired. Not even a sour and gloomy assessment by the mayor will change the fact that Californians feel good about their state government and leadership and I doubt they're impressed with leaders whose vision extends only to the next election."
Bullish on Economy
In his annual State of the State address, the Republican governor was bullish on the state economy and promised no new taxes, more money for education and a quick cleanup of toxic waste.
"I see the governor as a make-believe leader and I know some other Californians do also . . .," the Democratic mayor said. "He is the most disappointing governor California has ever had."
The state's toxic waste program under Deukmejian, Bradley said, has gone from "A-OK to FBI."
Bradley has repeatedly attacked Deukmejian for problems that the state has encountered in trying to dispose of toxic waste.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has also been critical, and the FBI is investigating state contracts at three sites--the Stringfellow Acid Pits near Riverside, the McColl dump in Fullerton and the Purity Oil site near Fresno. The auditor general, at Deukmejian's request, is conducting another inquiry into the contracting procedures.
Bradley Has Problems Too
Bradley, however, has had his own problems of sewer spills into Santa Monica Bay, for which the city has been fined more than $180,000. And, The Times reported Friday that the FBI is also investigating the city-run and state-financed cleanup of the Capri Pumping Services dump site in Los Angeles. The investigation is aimed in large part at suspected political influence in awarding a contract of more than $1 million to a company with executives who may have had ties to both city and state officials.
Later Friday, in Los Angeles, Bradley said of the Capri question, "I think that that kind of an issue which suggests that there may be some impropriety, some wrongdoing, some illegality--whether in this city or statewide--has to be investigated by the appropriate authorities and I applaud it."
In Northern California, Bradley said Deukmejian has set a pattern of "mediocrity" during his four years in office.
On another issue, Bradley sought to blunt the criticism he has received for his overseas travel by turning the issue around on Deukmejian.
Repeating his charge that the governor has cost the state millions by not courting foreign trade, Bradley said, "'Our governor doesn't know his way to the passport office, says he's never traveled abroad, and he's proud of the fact."
Deukmejian proposed in his speech Thursday night that the state establish trade offices in Tokyo and London.
Bradley called his likely rival a "tag-along" in education, who now supports educational spending and pro-schools legislation that he once opposed.
Thomas said Deukmejian has increased funding for education, but did not support certain legislation in the past that was "not well thought out."