A: Being a governor is not just being a teacher . . . . (But) without a change of consciousness . . . nothing will change. Now that does mean campaign reform and limitations on lobbyists and all the rest of it, but, first and foremost, it means that people need education, they need an altered picture of what's wrong in Sacramento and that they're part of this whole disintegration I'm talking about . . . . (Without me) in this campaign, you will not hear the seven-letter word renter , even though 50% or more of the people in California are renters . . . . You will rarely if ever hear the word environment . Because environmentalists don't give big contributions in Sacramento.
Third, you will never hear (about) children. You will see them on TV spots, when candidates think they have to look human. But children are really suffering in this state from poverty and underfunding in schools . . . .
We need an education-based economic strategy. We need to see cultural diversity as an economic asset and we need to (achieve) economic growth through restoration of the environment. What's blocking acceptance of those three ideas is that we are trapped in past thinking . . . . Lincoln was right when he said, "Without vision, people perish.". . . People need to be engaged in a discussion about a positive vision and how to carry it out . . . .
Q: \o7 Do you think the majority of people have a real burning desire to be involved along those lines?\f7
A: There is no desire to go to a lot of meetings. . . . But with the technology of the information highway that we have, people could be rather easily hooked up in their communities to greater information. An example is, I've got a bill that tries to implement the political-reform act that was passed 20 years ago, that said people have a right to know about the campaign contributions politicians receive. . . . My bill would allow at least those people who have a computer and a modem to hook up in their home and . . . find out whether the tobacco industry gave $50,000 to (Speaker) Willie Brown or not . . . .
I'm not talking about mandatory participatory democracy. But I am saying people are being manipulated, their tax dollars are being ripped off and they're being lied to and they deserve to have access to information so they can decide if they want to be politically active or not.
Q: \o7 If people think of you as " '60s radical" or "Jane Fonda's ex-husband," has that cost you politically?\f7
A: Well, I would like more of my life to be known. Wouldn't we all? . . . (But) if they see me this way, it is because we're all looking for the balance between self-denial and self-aggrandizement, between the part of us that is instinctively outside and looking for a new vision of a way to live and the part of us that wants to make a living and acquire things and protect our children and get by, without hassle. So maybe this stereotype of me actually is about that . . . .
People come up to me and they react to these two things. They don't say, necessarily, "Jane" or " '60s," but they say things that can be categorized that way, as if they want to know how I put it together, or how I am now, because it might help them figure out where they are between these two poles of their own personality . . . .
So it may be that the inkblot point is of some value. Now does it help me in politics? I don't know.
Q: \o7 Do you think those parts of your past have kept you from being elected to statewide office?
\f7 A: No. If I haven't been able to be elected to statewide office, it's my own limitation. I'm too opinionated or radical for my time. . . . I hope I don't sound like a complainer here--because I'm not at all. I feel very blessed by life. But people repeatedly say to me after they've talked to me or heard me speak that they have a better impression of me than the impression they were given . . . . It's always, "You're not the person we thought you were." Or: "You make a lot more sense than we thought you did." . . . So I do think that there must be a heavy negative out there, but what's positive to me is that it lifts rather easily when I talk to people . . . .
Q: \o7 Explain where you stand on the death penalty.\f7
A: Morally muddled. Because I have this side of me that (says), . . . "If somebody killed one of my children or my wife, I would at least want the option of the death penalty." . . . Am I proud of that feeling in me? Not necessarily . . . . Do I reject that part of me? No. I think that it's an authentic Old Testament feeling.
On the other side, I think the arguments against the death penalty are stronger arguments. Particularly the argument that it's an irreversible act, and there may be a remote possibility that you'll be proven wrong by later evidence.
Q: \o7 So where does that leave you?\f7