State Sen. Milton Marks of San Francisco changed his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat and President Pro Tem David Roberti (D-Los Angeles) quickly appointed Marks as chairman of the Democratic Caucus. Sen. John Garamendi (D-Walnut Grove) protested this hasty elevation of a newcomer to such a high leadership post.
In 1940 a similar conversion took place. Wendell Willkie, a former Democrat, was nominated as the Republican candidate for President. Willkie bragged about his success to Sunny Jim Watson, the Senate Republican leader from Indiana. Watson's put-down was a classic for such situations.
It went about as follows: "Wendell, as a fellow Hoosier, you remember the little Indiana town where the local prostitute was invited to church. One Sunday she showed up, but they didn't let her sing a solo in the choir that first day."
DAVID G. FERRELLY