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Deukmejian's Refusal to Debate

July 14, 1986

While I agree with your editorial (July 3), "Silly Excuse," that a debate between Gov. George Deukmejian and Mayor Tom Bradley would prove beneficial for the public to know where each candidate stands on essential issues, I take exception with your characterization of the governor's refusal to debate Mayor Bradley as "silly."

A candidate must risk some bad exposure by debating his rival. However, the candidate for an office does not have to subject himself to purely personal attacks rather than a meaningful discussion of pertinent issues.

As we have seen in the last few months, Bradley has mainly been attacking Deukmejian with false assertions and half-truths.

Clearly a meaningful debate of the issues is warranted. And as you pointed out, it would probably not hurt the governor at all. However, the governor should be allowed to wait until Bradley is ready to debate issues, rather than simply have a mudslinging contest.

BRIAN H. KRIKORIAN

Sherman Oaks

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