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Deukmejian Signs Bills

October 11, 1988

I noticed in your article on Gov. George Deukmejian's signing of bills during the crunch period that occurs every September, your reporter stated, "Deukmejian is known to be a governor who actually reads the bill in their entirety unlike his predecessors Edmund G. Brown and Ronald Reagan who relied heavily on their staffs for advice on relatively routine legislation" (Part I, Sept. 26).

Nothing could be further from the truth about Gov. Brown. I know; I served as his deputy legislative secretary and as his chief of staff. The reporters who covered the governor for your paper at that time can fully testify to the fact that the governor's obsession with every detail in every bill used to drive us, literally, up the wall during September, following the end of the legislative session. Gov. Brown was notorious for calling analysts up in the middle of the night and getting them out of bed to justify their opinions either for or against a bill.

Therefore, I was able to explain to opponents and proponents of legislation that was being considered by the governor that there was no guarantee that his position would be consistent with the Administration, so that one always had a chance to turn the governor around even on Administration bills. I know this for a fact because on more than one occasion, I was selected to go and somehow explain to a legislator that we had vetoed a bill that we had asked him to carry.

B.T. COLLINGS

Sacramento

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