Leaping aboard a mode of transportation that candidates have increasingly used to prove they are one with the common folk, state Treasurer Kathleen Brown began a 29-hour barrage of campaigning Wednesday by suggesting that Gov. Pete Wilson has a "secret deportation plan" to implement Proposition 187 if it is approved next week.
The Democratic gubernatorial nominee, traveling from site to site aboard a bus, and later a plane, continued to hammer Wilson on his support of the controversial anti-illegal immigration proposition. Wilson, for his part, sent a none too subtle signal that he embraces minorities and legal immigrants by speaking to Asian American business leaders in San Francisco's Chinatown.
Later in the day, his campaign released two new television ads that portray him as a strong advocate for tough crime laws, stopping illegal immigration and spurring California jobs--and characterize Brown in unflattering terms.
"Kathleen Brown supports continuing state services to illegals even though it costs taxpayers over $2 billion a year," one ad states. "Another reason we need Pete Wilson for governor."
Throughout the day, Brown's criticism of Wilson was unstinting. While the locations changed, her criticism of the governor's position did not.
"The governor either has not thought this through, doesn't have a plan or has a secret plan or perhaps a secret deportation plan that will make this law work," she told reporters outside John F. Kennedy High School in Sacramento.
"What is their plan? Who is going to pay for it? How will it be implemented? When children are denied an education, what will happen to those children? Who will take care of them on the streets? And if they are on the streets, will they have a deportation plan? We don't know the facts."
The Wilson campaign responded angrily, with press spokesman Dan Schnur calling the Democrat's suggestion preposterous.
"Pete Wilson has made it very clear that after Proposition 187 passes, assuming that it passes, that he will work with the federal government and with the courts to see that it is implemented," Schnur said. "It's ironic that the charge comes from a candidate who has refused to say if she would implement 187 at all if she is elected."
Brown's tour took her and her entourage from Sacramento to Emeryville to Hayward to San Jose to San Diego (by plane) and to Los Angeles. And that was before midnight. By the time the trip was to end this morning, Brown was scheduled to make 12 stops in 11 cities.
Schnur, Wilson's chief spokesman, met reporters at the Brown campaign bus Wednesday morning before the tour kicked off. Each reporter was given a manila envelope labeled "Kathleen Brown Bataan Death March Bus Trip Survival Kit." The kits included, among other things, earplugs, a tiny bottle of vodka, pseudo sleeping pills and a map of California for reporters who bail out before the 29-hour trip is over.
At Cal State Hayward, where 1,000 enthusiastic students turned out for a noon Brown rally, the treasurer reeled off a campaign staple of hers, a mock-David Letterman Top 10 List that gives her reasons why Wilson should be tossed out of office. (Sample: "Number 8: When Wilson promised longer graduation lines and shorter unemployment lines, we didn't know he was dyslexic.")
"Help me take California out of the darkness," she asked the enthusiastic crowd. "Turn on the lights in California. Turn on the lights and let hope back in, let the promise back in. Let the people back in. Help me rebuild this great state."
At San Jose's Touche Manufacturing Co., a minority-owned business that employs many first-, second- and third-generation immigrants, Brown pledged to build a partnership between workers, business and government.
Then, at a news conference outside, she passed out a Dallas Morning News clipping that suggested Wilson had played a role in trying to delay, until after the election, the announcement that McDonnell Douglas has decided to moved an aircraft assembly plant that employs 3,000 workers to Dallas. The article reports that Wilson has had at least two discussions with McDonnell Douglas officials, who are currently based in Long Beach, within the last week.
"The concern of our Republican governor is that the announcement will hurt his reelection chances," she said. "The governor's job is to fight plant closures and not to fight announcements of plant closures."
Wilson Administration and campaign officials flatly denied the governor had tried to influence the timing of the announcement, and said that Wilson was seeking to keep the jobs in California.
As for Brown, "I don't believe she's ever shown any interest in weighing in and entering the discussions" to keep McDonnell Douglas in California, said Bill George, assistant secretary for marketing and communications at the state Department of Trade and Commerce.
Wilson's new advertisements focus on the major issues of the campaign. While one ad targets Brown's immigration stance, the other--a 30-second commercial--hits on other issues.
It reminds voters that the governor backs the recently enacted "three strikes" crime bill and the death penalty. It accuses Brown of planning to appoint "more lenient" judges and notes her personal opposition to capital punishment.
It concludes that the governor has sought to keep jobs in California and says that Brown would "increase taxes and drive jobs out of California"--accusations which Brown flatly denies.
In his San Francisco address, Wilson returned to those themes, saying Brown has "played no part" in efforts to increase jobs or public safety. He also criticized her opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement, which opened up trade between the United States and other nations.
"She has endorsed flawed protectionism," he said.
Income Tax Filings
Gov. Pete Wilson and his Democratic challenger, Treasurer Kathleen Brown, have made their income tax filings available to reporters. The following shows adjusted gross income for the candidates and their spouses as well as the combined state and federal income taxes they paid for each of the past five years.
Year Income State & federal Taxes as % taxes of income 1993 $658,286 $249,138 37.8% 1992 $435,189 $116,086 26.7% 1991 $222,636 $ 30,034 13.5% 1990 $310,872 $ 48,968 15.8% 1989 $508,942 $113,551 22.3% PETE WILSON 1993 $152,458 $ 44,482 29.2% 1992 $148,919 $ 42,375 28.5% 1991 $120,745 $ 30,554 25.3% 1990 $101,033 $ 19,988 19.8% 1989 $249,169 $ 80,329 32.2%