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Brown Syndrome

September 19, 1993

After years of California governors who resort to negativity and play to our fears, it's refreshing to learn of a leader seeking the office who has a positive vision for our state's future ("The Third Coming," by Cathleen Decker, Aug. 22). In the right hands, the reins of government can be a potent tool to improve the quality of our lives. Kathleen Brown offers the blend of idealism and pragmatism needed to guide California into another golden era of educational progress and economic growth.

JOSEPH A. CISLOWSKI

Los Angeles

Brown has no reason to worry about being elected in 1994. We Californians habitually elect the candidate with the most style and the least substance. We need look no further than our current U.S. senators for proof of that.

We tend to elect people who don't say anything that we disagree with. By saying as little as possible about what she stands for and feeding us meaningless feel-good campaign slop with a smile on her face, she'll be unbeatable.

She's the only contender who's a woman, she's not unpleasant to look at and she's an optimist. She'll win because we want a candidate who gives no bad news.

CARL E. SOLO

El Camino Village

Rather than ask what Kathleen Brown stands for, we should learn how the state treasurer makes decisions and whether she has the human-relations skills and political savvy necessary for government. In that regard, her tendencies to be cautious, deliberate and optimistic emerge as strengths.

MARK P. PETRACCA

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR

UC IRVINE

I have found Kathleen Brown to be one of the more engaged and thoughtful leaders in the state. At a recent social gathering, I spoke briefly to her about some of the issues facing our schools. She was thoroughly attentive and asked that I send her more detailed materials. Not only did she respond with substantive questions about the proposals, she integrated many of them into a speech about her vision for California.

MARK SLAVKIN

L.A. BOARD OF EDUCATION

I hope Decker made a simple mistake in stating that Brown earned the state $3.2 billion on investments of $263 billion since taking office in January, 1991. That is a whopping return of 1.2% over 2 1/2 years, or less than 0.5% annually.

CHRIS CARVALHO

Los Angeles

Let me get this straight: Brown has a "novel plan" to raise taxes. As state treasurer, she has generated "large numbers," at an annual rate of less than 1%. She rarely has opinions, and when she does, it's on both sides of the issue. She's definitely a great politician, but God help us if she's elected governor.

SCOT CONNOLLY

Whittier

Editor's note: Jennifer Openshaw of the state treasurer's office issued the following statement in response to these letters: The $3.2 billion represents earnings on a $22-billion average portfolio from January, 1991, through June, 1993. Cumulative daily investment transactions during that same period totaled $263 billion. Among other states that run comparable investment programs, California has ranked No. 1 in investment return in Fidelity Investments Quarterly Report since January, 1991.

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