CAMPAIGN TALK : A Window on the California Elections.



Trivial pursuit: Ask either of the gubernatorial candidates why their advertisements--worth an estimated $4 million so far--have been unceasingly negative, and their answers will be variations of a theme: He started it. She made it an issue. One person closely connected to the campaign of Democrat Dianne Feinstein, however, has had enough. “Here you have the state of California with enormous problems and this campaign is getting bogged down in this trivia,” Richard C. Blum, Feinstein’s husband, said this week. Asked if he had advised his wife to change the tone of her advertisements, Blum sidestepped like a veteran politician. “I think we would all hope that there wouldn’t be these negative commercials. And it would be nice to hope that we won’t see any more of them.”

“I think that’s probably unrealistic,” Blum added.


The latest California Poll shows Pete Wilson with 45% and Dianne Feinstein with 42%, with a margin of error of 4.5%. The telephone poll of 894 voters was conducted Aug. 17-27.

Cash, check or money order: Former Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr., chairman of the state Democratic Party, held a $2,500-per-person breakfast this week in Sacramento to raise money for Democratic candidates. The event coincided with lobbyists’ last-minute push for bills in the closing week of the legislative session. About 50 lobbyists attended. A Common Cause spokeswoman charged Brown with shakedown tactics, but the former governor vigorously denied impropriety. “It was my idea to do it now because a lot of people leave town at the end of the session,” Brown said. “It’s the job of the party chairman to raise money. That’s what you have to do. This is my job.”


Real mad: Key women’s rights groups are furious about something called the Woman’s Choice Voter Guide. They are calling it a fraud because candidates do not have to endorse any particular stand on women’s rights issues to get on the mailer. As is usually the case with such mailers, the main qualification for a spot on the slate is the ability to pony up money. This one will be put together by California Communicators of Malibu.

Looking ahead: Prospective voters will be able to tune into registration at more than 500 California video stores beginning next week. The Video Software Dealers Assn., in conjunction with Danser Productions of Los Angeles, is launching the project to register videophiles when they check out their favorite movies. The project has the blessings of the Democratic and Republican parties, the League of Women Voters and the secretary of state.


As California has grown, so has its delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives. Here is a look at that steady growth since the turn of the century, along with as estimate of the seats the state expects to add as a result of reapportionment based on this year’s census. Number of districts in the state by decades: 1900: 8 1910: 11 1920: 11 1930: 20 1940: 23 1950: 30 1960: 38 1970: 43 1980: 45 1990: 51* * Based on an estimate from the Senate Elections and Reapportionment Committee

Source: Secretary of State’s Office

Compiled by Michael Meyers


“And sometimes I wonder if there’s very much we can do about things as they are today except to try and strive to make our voice heard for the course of right.”

--William K. Shearer, founder of the American Independent Party at its state convention in Sacramento.