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Decision '92 : SPECIAL VOTERS' GUIDE TO STATE AND LOCAL ELECTIONS : THE ASSEMBLY RACES

October 25, 1992

Tom Connolly's campaign staff for the 77th Assembly District has produced a one-inch-thick "white paper" on opponent Steve Baldwin, with chapters that include "misleading mailers," "litigation" and "witches tape."

In the paper's introduction, 36-year-old Baldwin is portrayed as a puppet of the far-right Christian movement. He is accused of "masterminding the right-wing takeover of the Republican Party locally."

Baldwin, a property manager for a commercial real estate group, refers to Connolly, a 46-year-old children's rights advocate, as an "ultra-liberal, pro-big government, pro-tax, ACLU trial attorney" who, if elected, would be "the most liberal state legislator in the history of San Diego County."

Connolly has no affiliation with the American Civil Liberties Union. He represents children in juvenile cases. He supports decreasing some taxes and repealing others.

Such is the tone and tenor of the race for the 77th, which has a GOP registration advantage of 45% to 39%. The oddly shaped district stretches from El Cajon to Chula Vista.

Baldwin, who has worked as national director the Young Americans for Freedom and the deputy director of the College Republican National Committee, has worked to elect Ronald Reagan as president in 1980 and Rep. Bill Dannemeyer, R-Fullerton, in his unsuccessful bid this year to win a U.S. Senate seat.

He supports tuition tax credits, opposes abortion rights except when a mother's life is in danger, supports a more decentralized government and wants to privatize many areas of government.

Baldwin has raised $214,306 and spent $190,876. The Allied Business Political Action Committee of Garden Grove, a group of four California businessmen who give to conservative Republican causes, has donated $33,000.

Connolly, a Vietnam veteran, supports abortion rights and a single-payer health care system. He wants to repeal the state's snack tax and reduce the capital gains tax when linked to job creation. He supports an investment tax credit for those companies willing to produce, for example, better transportation systems or electric cars.

Throughout the campaign, Connolly's staff has tried to label Baldwin as a right-wing extremist, even producing what is purported to be a transcript of a speech in which Baldwin allegedly said that the Air Force and the state of Massachusetts have official witches.

Peace & Freedom candidate R. M. Reed Kroopkin and Libertarian Jeff Bishop are also running in the 77th.

ASSEMBLY / 77th District Tom Connolly

Age: 46

Birthplace: Toledo, Ohio

Occupation: Attorney.

Democrat Steve Baldwin

Age: 36

Birthplace: Santa Monica

Occupation: Businessman

Republican Jeff Bishop

Age: 25

Birthplace: Evanston, Ill.

Occupation: Teacher

Libertarian R.M. Reed Kroopkin

Age: 40

Birthplace: New York City

Occupation: Journalist/paralegal

Peace & Freedom

Times staff writer Mark Platte wrote these summaries of the Assembly and state Senate races

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