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Mark P Petracca

November 17, 1990
In an attempt to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse, Republican pundits are struggling to suggest that the 1990 midterm elections represent a "victory" for the President and his party because they lost fewer seats in the House of Representatives than is historically the norm. Unfortunately, these apologists are apparently more interested in rescuing a drowning presidency than in providing instructive historical comparisons. Presidents normally do lose House seats in a midterm election.
February 18, 1990
How much is an election worth? Apparently quite a bit, since Orange County Supervisor Harriett M. Wieder has already raised $159,000 for her 1990 reelection campaign. By the time the campaign is over, much more will probably be spent by the wealthy landowners, builders and developers who wish to see Wieder remain in office in order to preserve their political advantage. In a county that has real problems housing the homeless, feeding the hungry, coping with drug abuse, building affordable housing, providing health care, educating the young and caring for the elderly, expenditures of this magnitude on political campaigns seem nothing less than obscene.
January 1, 1991
It is fashionable these days in Washington for conservatives such as Bethell to criticize and harangue the President. Bush-bashing by the far right is so extensive that it's almost enough to make a liberal Democrat come to the President's defense. Almost, but not quite, for that's precisely the intended effect of this blunder from the right. While it's one thing for the loyal opposition to denounce Bush, it's quite another for members of the President's own party to give him such a thrashing.
June 3, 1990
President Bush's decision to renew China's most-favored-nation trading status is the moral equivalent of grave desecration. While this decision may make economic sense for some American businesses, it makes no sense to the cause of democratization in China and it is that cause which should receive the primary attention of the President. However, since last June's massacre of pro-democracy demonstrators in Tian An Men Square by the "butchers of Beijing," the Bush Administration has nervously pursued a policy of reconciliation with China's totalitarian leadership.
March 6, 1994
There is clearly nothing wrong with elected officials listening to the people they represent; that is what they should do. But after soliciting opinions, it is still the officeholders who must make the final decision. Passing the buck, or holding a moist finger aloft to see which way the political winds blow before taking a stand on issues, is an abdication of leadership and government's role.
October 6, 1990 | TOM McQUEENEY
The city attorney on Friday upheld the legality of a City Council rule that prohibits residents from initiating complaints about city employees during public meetings. But at what point the mayor can cut off members of the public who direct harsh personal attacks on individual City Council members is unclear, City Atty. John L. Fellows said in an opinion released Friday. Fellows researched the matter after an Irvine resident attacked the rule as an abridgement of free speech.
September 28, 1991 | TOM McQUEENEY
The Irvine Co. reported Friday that it has spent $185,625 so far in a campaign to persuade voters to support a proposed housing development. The project needs voter approval in order to proceed. The company is conducting a campaign in support of Measure B, which will be on the Nov. 5 Irvine ballot. Voters will be asked whether they want to allow the company to build its approved 3,850-home Westpark II project.
October 26, 1997
Last month, columnist Kenneth L. Khachigian thrashed liberal Democrat Ted Turner for donating $1 billion to the United Nations to aid the disadvantaged and destitute poor of this universe. On Oct. 12, he hurled his political mud pie at Mr. Alfred Checchi, a multimillionaire Democrat whom Khachigian accused of wanting to buy the election for governor of California. So what's new and wrong with that? Republicans in this decade started it all, and I applauded each one of them: Undeclared Republican Ross Perot and his $60 million or so in the 1992 presidential election; Republican Michael Huffington with his $28-million-plus for the California U.S. Senate race in 1994; and Republican Steve Forbes $30-million-plus for the Republican presidential primary in 1996.
May 19, 1989
For over two years the United States Congress, the President, and the State Department have strongly criticized the Chinese government for its failure to take the issue of human rights seriously in Tibet. Recently Chinese students and workers have taken to the streets of Beijing and other major cities to protest against party corruption and the absence of basic democratic freedoms in China. Given the U.S. government's consistent defense of human rights in Tibet we might have expected to see at least some sign of support for the current protests.
March 3, 1991
Developers and supporters of the Orange County toll roads breathed a sigh of relief when a Times poll Feb. 24 showed that 58% of Orange County residents support the proposed toll roads. "Thank goodness," government officials must have thought, "I'll be able to rely on this poll to justify my support for these projects." Of course, had the poll shown a majority in opposition to the polls, officials would have immediately discounted the results. Let's assume that this poll accurately captures support for the toll roads.
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