California Greenin'

The environment is this year's hottest issue, and politicians on both coasts are scrambling to show their colors

As cleanup crews in yellow slickers blotted globs of petroleum from the discolored sands of Huntington Beach last week, California Attorney General John Van de Kamp, a Democratic candidate for Governor, turned the occasion into an I-told-you-so press conference. "Here you have birds that are dying," he lamented. "You have fish that are dying. And so we're going to the people in November with an initiative that will provide for an inspections program and a $500 million fund to respond to spills. This," he said with a wave at the beach, "is a helluva warning."

By then Van de Kamp's rivals...

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