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Gray Davis' Record

March 12, 1995

* In a George Skelton column ("Pete's Pickle: You Can't Have It Both Ways," March 6), Lt. Gov. Gray Davis was described matter-of-factly by the writer as "a symbol of the 'tax and spend crowd' that Wilson loves to hate." He also quotes a top Wilson fund-raiser as calling Davis "to the left of Kathleen Brown."I am taken aback that these mischaracterizations and outright fabrications were printed without any corroboration or refutation.

During last year's campaign, the respected, nonpartisan California Journal described Davis as "a moderate with a reputation for fiscal conservatism."

A 1991 Times story discussing the state's deficit spending reported, "Controller Gray Davis had been sounding the warning for several years, and was largely ignored . . . (Deukmejian) Administration officials explained away the problem as differences in accounting methods and got a bill approved by the Legislature redefining what a deficit was, in part to shut up Davis."

And, of course, I would be remiss in this context not to point out that it was Gov. Pete Wilson, not Davis, who in 1991 stuck it to Californians with the biggest tax increase in the history of the state.

In 1990, Davis was overwhelmingly reelected controller, the state's chief fiscal officer. In 1994, he was elected lieutenant governor with more votes than any other Democrat in America--and in a huge Republican year, no less.

GARRY SOUTH, Chief of Staff

Lieutenant Governor's Office


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