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The Candidates' Hired Gun

November 06, 1994

As though we needed another reason to wash our individual and collective hands of politics, now there's Clinton Reilly ("The Tortured Soul of a Hired Gun," by Amy Wallace, Oct. 2). That someone of his clearly psychopathic character should be the state's most notorious and sought-after "high-priced call girl" is the final straw.

Like the countless people who walked out of the Kathleen Brown gubernatorial campaign when Reilly walked in, I have no interest in participating in any process in which millions of dollars go to keeping him in expensive suits, designer neckties and freshly cut roses.

The final crushing irony is that he gets paid to help his candidates "energize the electorate--'to turn it on,' says Reilly, 'so it votes.' " Well, we, the electorate, don't vote because politics is dominated by killer whores like him and his clients. Now that I've expressed my opinion, I sure hope he won't "punch a wall repeatedly next to my head."

Marc Strassman

Sherman Oaks

*

I had trouble believing what I was reading. Who would believe that there really is a creature such as Clinton Reilly? Who would believe that he can be so powerful and successful in getting a candidate elected? And who would think that candidates are so power-crazed that they would consort with and pay astronomical sums to his ilk in order to win?

Never again will I believe anything I hear from the mouth of a political candidate, because Clinton Reilly may have put it there.

Lois Woodbridge

Anaheim

*

As an idealistic youth fresh out of college, I served as a district coordinator on Reilly's ill-fated no-fault insurance campaign.

Coffee talk between Reilly and anyone on the staff would typically be typed and sent by messenger to any staff members who might have missed the idle banter (I've saved mine--very witty).

Visits to his office were always festive occasions. The staff would muse joyfully about the large budget of $63.8 million. Even Reilly had trouble containing himself, often announcing to us that he had as much or more money at his disposal than the guy running for President, Democrat Michael S. Dukakis. Indeed, Reilly himself was at odds as to how to spend all that cash

So let rivals and journalists say what they will. They haven't experienced firsthand the pleasures of Reilly's own little Gomorrah: lunchtime meetings at the Marriott while sipping martinis and hearing Reilly extol his own talents as a political consultant, all at the insurance industry's expense. Martinis have never again tasted that good.

We may have lost that campaign, but we learned much about politics and its players. And I, for one, haven't been able to bring myself to vote since.

Paul E. Strange

Santa Barbara

*

Brown hired Reilly not because she has money to burn but because she wants to win. Please don't paint Brown with the same brush you used on her campaign manager. Her character is not at all "ill-defined," and this Republican believes it to be superior.

Sarah T. McNabb

Covina

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