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Power Brokering Can Break Down

April 03, 1986

Your article on the influence of special interests in Long Beach (Southeast / Long Beach sections, March 27) was at once timely and scary, showing anew how democracy can be manipulated by self-seeking power interests. The candidates you enumerated have all "sold-out" to these special interests because pressure groups are paying attention to their own interests, Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Voter is not. But every once in a while the system of "power brokering" breaks down, given a good candidate and an outraged voter populace.

That can happen in Long Beach on April 8 if people are not misled by the media's tendency to pass off as front-runners only those candidates with the largest campaign contributions, and if more than the typical 30% of the registered voters actually vote, thereby diluting the relatively limited number of votes "owned" by these special interests.

And may I add one slight correction to this story? At the March 9 (forum sponsored by the) Coalition to Preserve Historic Long Beach, it is incorrectly reported that "about 15 candidates said they would try to save the city's landmark buildings." Actually, only one pledged himself to repeal of this ordinance, with the others dealing in "me-tooism" on this issue only in terms of generalities. I know because I was that one. And the printed responses to the coalition's Q and A prove me right.

--JOHN CARL BROGDON

Long Beach

Brogdon is a City Council candidate in District 1.

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