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

October 30, 1994

THE OFFICE

As the state's banker, the treasurer cashes the state's checks, manages the state's deposits and investments and borrows money on behalf of the state by issuing billions of dollars in bonds. The treasurer serves on numerous boards and commissions, including the boards of the public employee and teacher pension funds, which together manage the largest pool of retirement accounts in the country.

MAJOR PARTY CANDIDATES

MATT FONG, Republican

* Born: Nov. 20, 1953, Oakland

* Residence: Hacienda Heights

* Current position: Member of the State Board of Equalization representing Los Angeles County

* Education: Bachelor's degree, United States Air Force Academy; master's degree, Pepperdine University, law degree, Southwestern School of Law

* Career highlights: 1991 appointed as member State Board of Equalization; attorney specializing in international business law; service in Air Force; founded a small import/export company; managed the successful 1982 campaign of his mother, March Fong Eu, for secretary of state before switching from Democrat to Republican; 1990 defeated in a race for controller, co-chairman of both of George Bush's campaigns for President in California.

* Family: Married to Paula Fong; two children

* Background: For much of Fong's term on the five-member State Board of Equalization, Republicans have been in the minority and he has been powerless to influence its direction. Nevertheless, after the board lost a court suit challenging the way it assessed property owned by utilities, Fong is credited with engineering a settlement agreement that saved counties from having to give the utility companies nearly $1 billion in tax refunds.

In his Los Angeles district, Fong was also able to save the state an estimated $1 million a year by consolidating seven offices into four. During his tenure, he improved the efficiency of his office, substantially reducing the time taxpayers had to wait for service. He made himself vulnerable to attacks from his opponent, however, by choosing to lease office space from development interests who then gave him a free office for his campaign.

*

PHIL ANGELIDES, Democrat

* Born: June 12, 1953, Sacramento

* Residence: Sacramento

* Current Position: President and owner of River West Developments, a land development/site construction management company

* Education: Bachelor's degree, Harvard University

* Career highlights: Housing administrator for former Gov. Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown Jr.; chief of staff for former Assembly Majority Leader Michael Roos (D-Los Angeles); headed Sacramento land development company, later formed own development company; 1990-93 state Democratic Party chairman.

* Family: Married to Julie Angelides, three children

* Background: Like his opponent, Angelides has never won an elected office. His only other attempts at seeking public office came when he was in his early 20s and twice ran unsuccessfully for the Sacramento City Council. He was co-chairman in California of the campaigns of Michael Dukakis for President in 1988 and Dianne Feinstein for governor in 1992. In 1991, as state Democratic Party chairman, he was given credit for bolstering the party's fund raising and increasing party registration. Angelides drew national recognition for the design of Laguna West, a large-scale planned community in suburban Sacramento. The development includes a town center and requires front porches, bicycle paths and access to mass transit. The development became an issue in the Democratic primary this year when former Senate President Pro Tem David A. Roberti (D-Van Nuys) accused Angelides of bailing out of the project to escape financial trouble. Angelides maintained that he divested himself of interest in several dozen ventures in order to run for office.

MINOR PARTY CANDIDATES

* JON PETERSEN, 56, Libertarian, financial systems developer

* JAN B. TUCKER, 39, Peace & Freedom, licensed private investigator

* GEORGE M. McCOY, American Independent, trade school instructor

The Issues

The two major candidates bill themselves as businessmen who would bring better fiscal management to the treasurer's office as well as state government. In the final days of the campaign, they have unleashed a multimillion-dollar advertising barrage against each other.

JOBS

Both candidates promise to create more jobs by pushing the two state retirement systems to invest at least 3% to 4% more of their funds in California. Fong said his plan would produce 250,000 more jobs while Angelides said his would produce 100,000 jobs.

BORROWING

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