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Campaign Talk : A Weekly Window On The California Elections.

October 19, 1990|Times Editorial Researcher Michael Meyers

Big trouble: For those facing apoplexy over the size of the Nov. 6 ballot, public television station KCET (Channel 28) in Los Angeles has produced a one-hour program that focuses on many of the 28 propositions. "Campaign 90: The Propositions" premieres Wednesday at 9 p.m. and will be repeated several times before the election. It has also been offered to public television stations statewide. "We are trying to help people cut through the minutiae," said Stephan Michaels, the program's senior researcher. Consider the alternative: The secretary of state's supplemental ballot pamphlet explains the measures--in 224 glorious pages.

CAMPAIGN FACT

* In the general election of 1914 the California ballot contained a record 48 measures. Coming in second is the 1922 general election ballot with 30 measures. Next month's general election will feature 28 propositions.

Helping slap: With friends like this one, who needs political enemies? The Beverly Hills group Women For in its October newsletter gave its gubernatorial endorsement to Democrat Dianne Feinstein. How is this for enthusiasm? "We view her as opportunistic and feel her positions are formed by public opinion rather than by deeply held convictions," the group said. What of her GOP rival, Sen. Pete Wilson? "We think giving the edge to Republican manipulation under Wilson as governor would be no improvement."

Money loopholes: Critics of Proposition 73's campaign contribution limits had predicted that the measure's many loopholes would render it useless--a contention vigorously denied by its authors. A new analysis by Capitol Weekly, a newspaper of state government, found that campaign contributions to incumbent legislators were reduced slightly--from $21.5 million to $20.8 million--for the first half of this year compared with the same period in 1988. But when loans and non-monetary contributions were included, fund raising actually increased from $7.9 million to $8.3 million. The measure has been declared unconstitutional, but its limits remain in force for legislative candidates.

Unseen debate: Victor Biondi, executive director of the California Broadcasters Assn., who spent nine months lining up broadcasters for the first of two gubernatorial debates, said he was pleased that the face-off was carried by 33 television stations and 33 radio stations in all 12 of the state's media markets. "It should show everybody that if broadcasters make these things available to people, they'll watch them," Biondi told the Political Pulse, a Sacramento political newsletter. So far, however, no Los Angeles TV station has committed to carry the second debate live. The rub? The tentative Oct. 25 air time would compete with the Cosby show and "The Simpsons."

SENIORITY IN THE CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE

Listed below are the California legislators with the most seniority. Tenured legislators as well as other veteran statewide office holders are the targets of two separate term limitation measures on the November ballot. Proposition 131 seeks to limit state legislators to 12 successive years, while Proposition 140 would limit members of state Senates to two terms and Assembly members to three terms. SENATE

Year Elected Legislator Previous Service Party 1966 Ralph Dills (Assembly 1938-'49) D 1966 Nicholas Petris (Assembly 1958) D 1966 Alfred Alquist (Assembly 1962) D 1967 Milton Marks (Assembly 1958-'66) D 1971 David Roberti (Assembly 1966) D 1973 Alan Robbins D 1974 Newton Russell (Assembly 1964) R 1974 Ruben S. Ayala D 1974 Robert Presley D 1975 Bill Greene (Assembly 1967) D

ASSEMBLY

Year Elected Legislator Previous Service Party 1964 Willie L. Brown Jr. -- D 1966 John Vasconcellos -- D 1958-64, '74 Tom Bane -- D 1970 Peter R. Chacon -- D 1972 William H. Landcaster -- R 1975 Teresa Hughes -- D 1976 Thomas H. Bates -- D 1976 Stan Statham -- R 1976 Maxine Waters -- D 1976 Norman Waters -- D

Source: Who's Who in the California Legislature

EXIT LINE

"The Legislature doesn't like to legislate, we have a governor who doesn't like government, the initiative process is haywire, special interests are fighting it out, and they're expecting the voter to make a rational decision?"

--Antonia Hernandez, president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, on voter attraction to limiting the number of terms that politicians can serve.

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