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Primary Party Endorsements

September 15, 1987

In your Aug. 24 editorial ("Party Time") you endorse the recent court ruling which permits the official party organizations to make endorsements (which includes financial support) in the primary elections. Your view is that this will open up the nominating process.

In fact it will close it down even more than it is now, institutionalizing for the foreseeable future the sad state of the two major parties in California.

The power structure of the Democratic Party in the Legislature will continue to control that party. The right wing of the Republican Party has been assured by Democratic Party redistricting to be strong in their own districts and weak in the Legislature and statewide.

Under California law, parties are controlled by state committees which are controlled by elected officials and nominees. At a time when effective government needs a strong two-party system more than ever, we will be condemned indefinitely to what has become a virtually one-party (Democratic) state.

An effective two-party system in California requires a resurgence of the Republican Party. Because we have a Republican President and a Republican governor people are surprised to learn of the weakness of the party.

We have a Republican President and governor not because of the strength of the Republican Party but because of the weakness of the opposing Democratic candidates. President Reagan as governor left the infrastructure of the Republican Party in California as weak as it has ever been.

The Republicans in the Legislature were reduced to the lowest number in a century after he left Sacramento.

This weakness of the GOP set the stage for the extremely partisan redistricting by the Democrats after the 1980 census, the most radical gerrymandering in California history.

It turned over the Republican Party to the right wing, contented in safe districts and weak in the Legislature and statewide. The recent court ruling virtually authorizes control of the nominating process by the official party structures.

Far from a blueprint for beneficial change, the court action which your editorial supports will perpetuate the status quo, a crippled two-party system.

N.B. MARTIN

Visalia

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