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POLITICS WATCH : The Long Goodby List

After more than 30 years of distinguished public service, 20 of them in the House, Rep. Anthony C. Beilenson (D-Woodland Hills) will retire. He joins the growing ranks of House and Senate Democrats who say they have had enough of the bitter partisan politics of Capitol Hill. (Some on that list seemed much more tolerant of bitter partisan politics when their party was in power.)

Beilenson will leave his 24th District seat when his term ends in 1996. The veteran politician, the ranking minority member of the powerful House Rules Committee, is widely respected for his independence. He has been instrumental in the effort for stronger campaign financing rules, an area in which he practices what he preaches.

A key part of his legacy to California is his work in creating the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreational Area.

For congressional Democrats, news of the latest retirement plan is bound to compound their misery. Eight Democratic senators have announced they will not run again--Bill Bradley (N.J.), J. James Exon (Neb.), Howell Heflin (Ala.), David Pryor (Ark.), J. Bennett Johnston (La.), Sam Nunn (Ga.), Claiborne Pell (R.I.) and Paul Simon (Ill.).

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Politics aside, there’s a bright side to this pending raft of retirements: It could lead to new vitality in the both parties.

We hope the newcomers will quickly come to see that politics is about cooperation, and thoughtful compromise, and that no one group--including the lobbyists--can keep a lock on power forever.


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