Court Upholds Term Limits

Your March 10 editorial, "Don't Call It Unconstitutional," grudgingly recognizes that "Finally and definitively, the U.S. Supreme Court has, in effect, upheld Proposition 140, the term-limits initiative. . . ."

For weeks prior to November, 1990, when California's voters approved Prop. 140, you editorialized against it; and over the past 15 months, you have repeatedly characterized it as "mean-spirited," and "a meat-ax approach."

Yet, in this same period, your own reporters have repeatedly uncovered evidence of corruption and careerism in Saramento's Capitol. For example:

A lavish and deceptive campaign against Prop. 140 (which your editorials claimed to benefit special interests) was in fact funded by special interests, many with business before the Legislature.

Several former legislators and staff have been convicted, and a web of corruption has been traced to a key state agency. Willie Brown, the Legislature's leading lawmaker, glibly denied that Prop. 140 was the law; asserted that he would ignore it; and said that he would run again in 1996, even though his term would then expire.

The Legislature extended a "golden handshake" severance deal to political staff, but withheld it from the policy staff.

And a legislative committee cut the California Supreme Court's budget in retribution for its action in upholding Prop. 140. Few readers of your own news reports will believe that any thing short of Prop. 140's provisions will drain Sacramento's legislative swamp.


(Author of Proposition 140)

Los Angeles

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