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Brown's Bid to Head State Democrats

December 25, 1988

Congratulations on John Balzar's (Dec. 18) objective article on ex-Gov. Jerry Brown, warts and all, but give "the gong" to Dianne Klein for her (Dec. 22) one-sided puff piece for the returning Phoenix.

Now, how about informing the public on the true grass-roots candidate for the state Democratic Party leadership: Steve Westly, whose Democratic leadership record is little known in Southern California.

Steve is the brilliant young man who has earned the post by working his way up through the state Democratic chairs for 8 years, always an advocate of building grass-roots organization, usually against the wishes of the controlling state leadership that has led us to Pyrrhic defeats.

Brown, on the other hand, has a demonstrated record of management ineptness, of capricious appointments and poor political judgment. His handling of the state's reserve fund and tax policy helped bring about Proposition 13 and the Gann restrictions, which have been crippling state operations since.

His disregard of political realities set up many good people for failure. The prime example is the talented Rose Bird, who would still be on the Supreme Court if she had been appointed as a member, with the experienced and liberal Stanley Mosk as Chief Justice. Instead, with the furor Bird created, two other staunch defenders of people's liberties were lost.

He talks populist philosophy and acts against majority concerns, such as transportation and abortion. He blatantly ignored the Democratic Party while in office rather than building it.

With characteristic arrogance, Jerry Brown returns from 6 years' egocentric hibernation while we struggled to build a party of community service and announces his willingness to ascend the throne with a throw-away mea culpa. He is the best target the Republicans could get, besides already creating divisiveness in the Democratic Party.

I repeat: How about objective and equal reporting on the people's candidate, Steve Westly, and the internal struggle against the party domination by a small special-interest clique.


Huntington Beach

Chauncey Alexander is a member of the California Democratic Central Committee.

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