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VISIONS OF CALIFORNIA : Sen. Green Is Odd Man Out in County but Not Capitol

January 24, 1988

State Sen. Cecil Green says he doesn't like to dwell on partisan politics when it comes to matters affecting Orange County.

No wonder.

Green, a former Norwalk city councilman, is the only Democrat to represent a portion of Orange County in the Legislature. When the local delegation gets together for breakfast, he's outnumbered 12 to 1.

"They invited me, and at first it was a little strained," Green said of the breakfast meetings. "But it's gotten to be pretty friendly."

Despite his lonesome status in the Orange County delegation, Green is far from alone in Sacramento, where the Democrats control both houses of the Legislature. And Green, who was guided to power by Senate President Pro Tem David Roberti (D-Los Angeles), says he doesn't mind being in the minority at home as long he's in the majority at the Capitol.

If the Republicans were to seize control of the Legislature, Green said, he would expect them to implement a program similar to the line Gov. George Deukmejian has pursued through one term and the beginning of another.

The state's worker safety agency would probably be shut down, he guessed, and budgets for public health programs would shrink. He opposes both of those changes. But Green points out that most political observers expect the Democrats to control at least one, if not both, houses of the Legislature for some time to come.

Green says he has tried to work cordially with his GOP colleagues in the Legislature, obtaining access to powerful Democrats for them while asking for a little something in return.

"If they could bring the governor and I could bring the leadership of the Senate, we could have a pretty good thing going," he said.

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