CALIFORNIA HERE WE COME...?

WILL THE GOLDEN STATE'S UGLY RUMBLE OVER AFFIRMATIVE ACTION SPREAD TO THE REST OF THE NATION? CANDIDATES DOLE AND CLINTON DON'T WANT TO HEAR IT

California this fall is embroiled in the biggest, bitterest, most potentially significant ballot-initiative campaign since Proposition 13, the 1978 property-tax rollback that transformed American politics. The initiative is called Proposition 209, and it would abolish affirmative action in state contracting, education and employment. It has been running consistently ahead in the polls.

The battle over the initiative is a grand donnybrook, sometimes messy, sometimes elevated; it seems as if everybody in California, from the Governor and the two Senators on down, is personally involved, and hardly a week goes by that there isn't a demonstration, a wild debate--last week's involved former...

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