Newport Beach Mayor Pro Tem Evelyn R. Hart--challenger of Assemblyman Gil Ferguson (R-Newport Beach) in the June 7 Republican primary--Tuesday accused Ferguson of failing to act to remove Assembly Speaker Willie Brown (D-San Francisco) from his powerful post.
Hart said Ferguson and other Assembly Republicans should use the so-called "Gang of Five" dissident Assembly Democrats to bump off the Speaker, long a thorn in the side of GOP assemblymen. The dissidents Monday joined with Republicans to form a 41-30 majority to extract a bill from committee for the first time in 28 years over the objections of the Assembly's leadership. The bill would expand the use of the death penalty for child murders. The move was a serious blow to the Speaker's power.