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Decision '94 / SPECIAL GUIDE TO CALIFORNIA'S ELECTIONS : Statewide Races : SECRETARY OF STATE

October 30, 1994

THE OFFICE

The Secretary of state is the state's chief elections officer, keeper of campaign and corporate records and a member of the state World Trade Commission.

MAJOR PARTY CANDIDATES

BILL JONES, Republican

* Born: Dec. 20, 1949, in Coalinga

* Residence: Fresno

* Current position: Assembly member, part-time businessman-farmer

* Education: Bachelor's degree, Cal State Fresno

* Career highlights: Fresno County Republican Central Committee chairman, 1975-76; Assembly member, 1982-present; Assembly Republican leader, 1991-92

* Family: Married, 2 children

* Background: During his 12 years representing the Fresno area in the Assembly, Jones has been a solidly conservative member of the Republican minority. But he has not been part of a doctrinaire inner circle often dubbed "the cavemen" for their often take-no-prisoners approach to politics. When moderates in 1991 decided to oust the Assembly Republican leader, they turned to the more genial Jones as his replacement. Jones lasted less than two years on the job, stepping down after the Assembly lost two Republican seats in the 1992 elections. As an Assemblyman, Jones was the farmers' best friend in the Legislature, often carrying measures protective of the agriculture industry and its use of pesticides. Like most of his fellow Republicans, he often took positions strongly opposed by environmental groups. Now he says that his generally pro-business, anti-regulation views have become mainstream, even in a Legislature dominated by Democrats. Jones' biggest claim to legislative prominence came this year when he co-authored the "three strikes" crime measure that is now law. The legislation was the idea of Fresno resident Mike Reynolds, whose daughter was murdered in a 1992 robbery outside of a restaurant.

*

TONY MILLER, Democrat

* Born: June 29, 1948, Westwood (Lassen County)

* Residence: Pleasant Grove

* Current position: Acting secretary of state

* Education: Bachelor's degree, UC Davis; law degree, Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley

* Career highlights: Member Fair Political Practices Commission, 1975-76; chief legal counsel, secretary of state's office, 1976-94; chief deputy secretary of state, 1981-1994; acting secretary of state, Feb. 1994-present.

* Family: Unmarried

* Background: Miller has spent the last 18 years--the largest part of his professional life--working for Secretary of State March Fong Eu. Miller became acting secretary of state in February, when Eu stepped down to become ambassador to Micronesia. Under Eu, Miller had broad responsibilities for the office, including administering fines for politicians, lobbyists and contributors who were late in filing required financial disclosure reports. Opponents have tried to tar him for Eu's longstanding practice of reducing or waiving many of the fines where the failures were "non-willful," as permitted by a 1975 law. Over the years, as chief deputy, Miller spared violators millions of dollars in fines, but he says he was evenhanded, treating Democrats and Republicans alike. Miller takes some credit for many of Eu's achievements in office, including creation of the state World Trade Commission, registration by mail and voting by mail. As deputy secretary of state, Miller has shown new boldness. Though results were minimal, he urged lobbyists to register with his office to put candidates on notice not to solicit them for campaign contributions. For the first time, all statewide candidates were given free space in the ballot pamphlet sent out to all registered voters.

MINOR PARTY CANDIDATES

* ISRAEL FEUER, Peace and Freedom, 64, political organizer/educator

* PEGGY CHRISTENSEN, Libertarian, 37, technical consultant

* MARGARET GARCIA, Green, 25, writer/editor

* DOROTHY KREISS ROBBINS, American Independent, 73, writer/teacher

The Issues

VOTER FRAUD

Republican Jones contends that California's voter rolls are filled with "deadwood"--duplicate records for people who have moved to another county and ghost registrations for those who have moved to another state or died. He claims that they add up to as much as 15% of those registered, or 2 million people. He also contends that many non-citizens--those here legally and illegally--are on the rolls and that unknown numbers are voting. The system, he says, is ripe for election fraud. Democrat Miller contends that Jones has exaggerated the size and effect of the problem. Having deadwood on the registration rolls is not the same as casting fraudulent ballots, he says, and there is no evidence of significant fraud.

MOTOR VOTER

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