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John Vasconcellos

John Vasconcellos dies at 82; father of California self-esteem panel

John Vasconcellos dies at 82; father of California self-esteem panel

As a group, politicians have an abundance of self-esteem, but John Vasconcellos stood out for wanting to spread it around.

Vasconcellos, a Democrat who was California's longest continuously serving legislator until term limits forced him out in 2004, was the father of California's oft-ridiculed self-esteem commission.

He also was a tough budget strategist, a forceful advocate for education, and a deal-maker who employed an intriguing amalgam of New Age pontificating and old-fashioned horse trading. While Sacramento was, as he put it, "a cesspool...

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