Miller goes further. He also wants to put caps on what candidates and their committees are allowed to spend. And he has called for an end to the common practice of soliciting lobbyists for political contributions. Miller has voluntarily signed a California Common Cause pledge not to ask lobbyists for campaign money. Jones has refused to do so--and several Capitol lobbyists showed up at a recent Jones fund-raiser.
Like most Democrats, Miller is an enthusiastic supporter of the federal "motor voter" statute, which requires states to begin registering voters when they apply for driver's licenses or other state services. Jones pledges to implement the new law, but his fellow Republican, Gov. Pete Wilson, has ordered state officials not to start up the new registration system Jan. 1 unless the federal government provides the money to run it.
Miller leaves no doubt what he will do if Wilson is reelected and refuses to comply: "If Pete Wilson is governor, on Jan. 2 of 1995 . . . if I am secretary of state, he will find himself in court on that afternoon."
Jones has attacked his rival for reducing or forgiving millions of dollars in fines for those late in filing campaign and lobbyist disclosure statements. Miller says he has been evenhanded, forgiving and reducing fines regardless of party affiliation except where violations are shown to be willful.
Miller was raised in the Northern California lumber town of Chester, where his father worked at the sawmill. The candidate lives on a small farm in the Central Valley, where he and his partner raise nuts and other crops.
Miller went off to UC Davis and then Boalt Hall, the law school at UC Berkeley. He was one of the original members of the state Fair Political Practices Commission. In 1976, he went to work for Eu as chief counsel in the secretary of state's office, later becoming her top deputy. Eu's campaign treasury is Miller's biggest contributor.
Jones was born on his father's ranch near Coalinga, Calif. He graduated from Cal State Fresno, where he was student body president. He lost in his first run for the Assembly in 1976. But he says he learned a lesson: When he ran again six years later, he hired the winner's campaign consultant.
In 1991, he became the Assembly's Republican leader in a revolt against the "cavemen," conservative legislators who had run the GOP caucus for seven years. He stepped down the next year after Republicans lost two Assembly seats under his leadership.
Also in the race are third-party candidates Peggy Christensen, Libertarian; Israel Feuer, Peace and Freedom; Margaret Garcia, Green, and Dorothy Kreiss Robbins, American Independent.