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Supervisors Back Wilson, Assail Brown

August 31, 1994|MATT LAIT | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SANTA ANA — On the eve of Kathleen Brown's visit to Orange County, members of the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday criticized the Democratic gubernatorial candidate and announced their support for Gov. Pete Wilson.

"We don't always agree on everything, but we do agree that the governor is the best candidate to revive the economy with new jobs and long-term prosperity," board Chairman Thomas F. Riley said at a news conference.

Members of the nonpartisan board, who are all Republicans, said they wanted to endorse Wilson before Brown makes a campaign stop today at the Orange County Forum's luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Irvine.

Supervisor Harriett M. Wieder, who was on vacation, did not attend the news conference held by her four colleagues. A spokeswoman for her office, however, said Wieder backs Wilson. The endorsements were on behalf of the individual supervisors and not a part of a board policy decision.

The supervisors praised Wilson performance, citing the governor's efforts to reform the state workers' compensation system, his role in preventing Irvine-based Taco Bell from moving out of the county and his fight to get federal immigration funding and attract new businesses.

"Thanks to Gov. Wilson's efforts, for the first time in California history, California is home to more Fortune 500 companies than any other state in the nation," Supervisor Gaddi H. Vasquez said.

"Economists are finally predicting economic recovery for our state," Vasquez added. ". . . His leadership has provided the strong base and foundation for California to get back on the right economic track."

Steven Glazer, a spokesman for the Brown campaign, said the supervisors were trying to "defend a Wilson record that has crippled Orange County economically and has resulted in the reduction in support for the schools and loss of fire and police services."

He added that since Wilson has been governor, he has "raised taxes by more than $7 billion" and caused "a 65% increase in unemployment" in the county.

Supervisor William G. Steiner, who was appointed to the board by Wilson, said "if anything can characterize this governor, it is that he has taken this state probably at one of the most difficult times in its history, and we're emerging stronger and much better."

Steiner said he was "a little surprised with this situation with Kathleen Brown coming into Orange County disguising herself as a conservative. Most of us can see right through that, and I think the public in this community can see right through that."

Supervisor Roger R. Stanton also denounced Brown, linking her to the policies of her brother, former Gov. Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown Jr.

"We just don't want another Gov. Brown heading the helm of California," Stanton said.

He said it was "gutsy" of Brown to come to Orange County, but "it's very transparent that she is, in fact, not a conservative but a liberal in every sense of the word along the pattern of her brother, Jerry."

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