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Bradley Enters Governor Race, Strikes Populist Note

February 25, 1986|BILL BOYARSKY | Times City-County Bureau Chief

SACRAMENTO — Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley began his second try to become governor of California today, declaring "California doesn't need a governor who is a caretaker for the rich and privileged."

Sharply attacking his opponent, Republican Gov. George Deukmejian, Bradley struck a decidedly populist note in a speech before supporters in the lobby of Sacramento's old Senator Hotel, once the hangout of powerful old-boy lobbyists and now an office building.

Bradley, during a private session with lawmakers in the Assembly lounge, gave a speech that Speaker Willie Brown Jr. (D-San Francisco) said did much to heal the differences between Bradley and Democratic lawmakers that had hurt his 1982 race against Deukmejian.

"We are part of the operation," Brown said in an interview. "He has asked for our support. That did not happen in 1982."

Bradley continued a major theme of his attack against Deukmejian, saying he has failed to crack down on toxic polluters. "Yes, we can have a governor who owes his allegiance to all of the people and not to a handful of toxic polluters," Bradley said.

But nowhere in his speech did he deal with the most difficult issue facing him, his anticipated position on California Chief Justice Rose Elizabeth Bird, whose confirmation in November is being opposed by death penalty advocates who say she has blocked executions with her interpretations of the law. On Monday, Bradley said he will announce his decision within 60 days.

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