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Wilson, Brown Debate

October 21, 1994

* Re "Wilson, Brown Meet at Last in Bitter Debate" and "A Look Behind the Debate," Oct. 15:

As a reader, I very much appreciated your coverage of the Wilson-Brown gubernatorial debate. As a voter, however, I very much regretted your not having printed the full text of their exchange.

Gov. Pete Wilson's easy dismissal of Kathleen Brown's economic proposals struck me as extremely self-serving. First, Wilson had a chance to show that he could prudently manage the state's economy, a chance that he has effectively squandered over the length of his four-year term.

Second, after promising not to raise taxes and then doing so, his charge that Brown is trying to slip us a hidden tax plan is just plain hypocritical. Third, some of Brown's ideas really are worth considering, especially her proposals to streamline, consolidate and review state regulations, programs and agencies.


South El Monte

* Brown's performance during the debate highlights her biggest problem--she has no command of the issues. She has been a candidate stuck on slogans and generalities, while Wilson has proven that he understands the voters, the issues and how to achieve his goals.

When pressed to be specific, Brown failed time and time again to convince me that she is capable of handling the complexities and pressures inherent in being governor. Her only demonstrable skill was being able to blame all of California's problems on Wilson, a strategy that has failed her miserably.


Pacific Palisades

* Brown shot herself in the foot when she revealed during the debate that her daughter had been date-raped. No charges were filed. Is this tough on crime? She allowed a man to go free after an assault on her own daughter! What if this were your child?

On the other hand, if the decision not to press charges was for reasons of personal privacy, Brown is guilty of denying her daughter the right to her privacy. Either way, Brown is soft on crime and willing to betray her own daughter.



* It is interesting to note that in this state's gubernatorial race, the only issues Wilson is stressing are immigration and the death penalty, issues over which he as governor has no legal control or responsibility. And the only issues he is not stressing are the state's lousy economy and its exodus of businesses to other states. These are issues over which he does have responsibility and control. It would appear that he has his priorities backward!

However, if he does not get reelected, all is not lost. He can always run for county sheriff or for lord high executioner.


Van Nuys

* It was a relief to read your Column One, "Perils of Parole Reform" (Sept. 17), which was, for a change, on balance, and gave Wilson a break, just as he has, on occasion, seen fit to give convicts a break.

But your Column One on Oct. 8 ("Moving Voters, Not Mountains") was back in the old rut, which appears to be a prejudice and bias against the guy. Especially when you say that trying to perform well at the job of being governor is playing politics.

It is true that Wilson does present an unattractive appearance--small in stature, rarely a smile. A choice photo of him would certainly bear out the image you wish to portray--a mealy-mouthed, two-faced political hack.

As a Clinton Democrat, I have a real feeling for the little guy, the underdog, and appreciate sticking to facts and giving a guy a fair shake.

And as for the accomplishments of his office, which you reluctantly finally conceded in your article, I would like to mention that you omit first, foremost and most notable of same. I refer to his repeatedly taking an unpopular stance and vetoing bills submitted by the Legislature. Invariably, these bills reflected bad government, unprudent judgment, a departure from common sense and were unnecessary.


Laguna Hills

* It seems that every time I'm watching television a tasteless ad appears exclaiming that Brown is against the death penalty.

As tasteless as it is, it could be improved upon by adding that even though her personal opinion is that it is barbaric and unfairly administered, she vows to uphold the law. Brown's personal opinion concerning the death penalty does not detract in any way from her ability to handle the job of governor.

More and more candidates for every elected position are using the death penalty in their campaign to garner votes. My judgment is that they should be required to give better evidence of their qualifications for the position. Neither I, nor many of my friends, will ever vote for a candidate who degenerates to this divisive ploy.


San Bernardino

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