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CALIFORNIA ELECTIONS / GOVERNOR : Rivals Exchange Hypocrisy Barbs on Fund Raising : Brown accuses Wilson of protecting contributor from INS when he was senator. The governor's camp claims his foe showed favoritism toward union that gave $86,000 to her campaign.

November 01, 1994|AMY WALLACE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Kathleen Brown and Gov. Pete Wilson traded charges of hypocrisy Monday, with Brown calling Wilson "trick or treat Pete" and Wilson campaign officials telling Brown to "look in the mirror" before she accuses the incumbent Republican of wrongdoing.

Brown began the day at a Sherman Oaks news conference, where she held up a letter that then-Sen. Wilson sent to the Immigration and Naturalization Service on behalf of a campaign contributor in 1989. In the letter, Wilson urges the INS to "meet immediately" with San Diego hotel owner Anne Evans, who was under investigation for employing illegal immigrants. Wilson also suggests that a raid of Evans' hotels was not "helpful."

"It is sheer hypocrisy to say you support employer sanctions and want to stop illegal immigration and then turn around and put your friends who are employing illegal aliens above the law," said Brown. She said Wilson reminded her of Rep. Mike Huffington, who--despite his support for Proposition 187, which would deny health and education services to illegal immigrants--recently admitted to hiring an illegal immigrant child-care worker.

"That is incumbent Pete Wilson: Do as I say, not as I do," said Brown, who criticized her opponent for "beating the anti-immigrant drum so loudly."

As Brown rode a campaign bus to Long Beach and San Diego to repeat her claims, Wilson campaign spokesman Dan Schnur issued a statement decrying what he called Brown's "campaign trash."

"All Sen. Pete Wilson ever did was suggest a meeting between the INS and one of his constituents, and even the INS says that he did nothing to influence the outcome of their investigation," Schnur said. "But if Kathleen Brown wants to talk about doing favors for campaign contributors, she ought to look in the mirror."

Schnur said that state Treasurer Brown "tried to get a state contractor fired on behalf of a public employees' union that has given her $86,000 in campaign contributions."

Schnur provided reporters with copies of a letter Brown wrote to the state labor commissioner trying to get a company called Helix Electric barred from doing state business. The letter came after several charges filed against Helix Electric by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers were settled or dismissed.

"Now that's a candidate who's willing to help out special interests," Schnur said. "And that's what I'd call a hypocrite."

Brown campaign officials responded that Helix Electric, too, was a major Wilson contributor.

"Helix Electric has given at least $25,000 to Pete Wilson," said spokesman Steven M. Glazer. "So Wilson now is claiming that Kathleen Brown was unfair to one of his campaign contributors in defense of his hypocrisy on illegal immigration. Go figure."

Wilson was in Vacaville Monday, where Genentech, the bio-technology company, is planning a $150-million expansion that will bring 300 new jobs. Wilson called the expansion "great news . . . proof that California continues to lead the world in the cutting edge technology that has long made our state the place where the continent ends, but the future begins."

Wilson lauded Republican and Democratic legislators alike for working to reform the state's jobs climate.

"We attacked fraud and abuse in the workers' comp system to reduce costs for small businesses by nearly a third. We enacted sweeping tax incentives to promote investment in R&D . . . We streamlined regulations," he said.

Wilson said his Administration is seeking a tax deferral for biotech companies and he proposed a new technology tax credit as well to encourage investment.

Later in the day, Wilson attended a fund-raising luncheon in San Francisco and a crime victims meeting in Ontario, while Brown headed south to San Diego to go trick-or-treating with two of her grandchildren.

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