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Governor's Race

October 23, 1998

Re Ronald Brownstein's assessment of Gray Davis' lead in the California gubernatorial election (Washington Outlook, Oct. 19):

Gray Davis' success in marginalizing Dan Lungren on the far right lies less in the former's manipulation of the issues than in the latter's visual image. Lungren displays the classic markers of the conservative zealot--the know-it-all smirk and the messianic gleam in his eyes. The 1950s hairstyle doesn't help.


San Diego


How long are the media going to allow Davis to continue his phony pose as a centrist? Anyone in California who is familiar with his political career knows he's a Jerry Brown ACLU liberal.

His supporters are holding their collective breath in the hope that he is not exposed before the election. If he gets in, brace yourself for Rose Bird Jr. on the top court.




When Davis says that Lungren's position on the environment is extreme, he omits from the discussion several important facts demonstrating Lungren's commitment to protecting the environment. As attorney general, Lungren has vigorously enforced our anti-pollution laws and hauled corporate polluters into court to hold them accountable. His office has achieved record settlements against polluters--including forcing PG&E to pay $14 million to the state to fund environmental restoration projects in coastal areas because of Clean Water Act violations. Lungren has also vigorously enforced Prop. 65--the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act.

Davis supported the radical, Tom Hayden-backed "Big Green" ballot initiative. Voters should know that Lungren has a solid record on the environment that is tough but sensible. When one also considers his commitment to education reform and a pro-jobs economic agenda, it's clear that Lungren should be the next governor.


Long Beach


When one considers the race for governor, it is not hard to understand why a lack of public interest is displayed. Instead of letting the public know his stands on issues, each candidate is engaged in disputing his opponent's past. I've heard a great deal on claims as to which is more willing to have people put to death when, in fact, California's death penalty exists primarily on paper. The only role the governor has in death penalty cases is to decide whether to commute the sentence.

Lungren's early ads proclaimed that character counts, which it does. He seemed to imply that he has good character and that his opponent is lacking in that area. I suspect that both are men of good character. Still, one of Lungren's ads is very deceptive. In it, a surrogate states that Davis opposed our three-strikes law. The listener is supposed to believe that Davis opposed three strikes when in truth he supported a version of the law. One must listen attentively to focus on the word "our" in that ad. It is an ad worthy of Bill Clinton. It makes me glad that I have a mute button for my television set.



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