Willie – The Man, the Myth and the Era is the historical and biographical account of California’s Willie Brown and the era in which he served in the legislature. The 1974 Speakership Battle, the 1980 Speakership Battle and The Willie Brown Show are three chapters that involve the contest to be the Assembly Speaker, perhaps the most powerful in the State of California and a major force in national politics.
Willie – The Man, the Myth and the Era, The Speakership Battles, involves Willie Brown’s ambition to be Assembly Speaker, his ascension to the speakership and his efforts to retain the speakership over insurmountable odds.
In 1974, Assembly Speaker Bob Moretti announced his retirement to run for Governor, providing Willie Brown with his first opportunity to become first among lawmakers at the Capitol. His challenger – Leo McCarthy, a worthy adversary, and in this case, Willie’s foil. Howard Berman and the Black Caucus support McCarthy, while Willie Brown forges allies who will become part of his legacy.
In 1980, Willie Brown rises from the ashes of defeat to serve a turn on the ambitious Howard Berman, candidate for the Speaker and ironically the same man who denied him the speakership in 1974. Combining half the Democrat Caucus with a solid bloc of Republican support, Willie forges a feeble coalition in order to establish the longest and most powerful speakership in the history of California.
And finally, in 1994, during an era in which Newt Gingrich and Republicans nationwide made huge gains, the Republican Leader Jim Brulte captured a majority in the Assembly, helping to elect 41 Republicans to Willie Brown’s 39 Democrats. By all accounts, Willie’s speakership should have been doomed, but in this last battle, Willie Brown proved why historians and political buffs alike regard him as being the smartest legislator in the history of California.
Look for other excerpts from the book, Willie – The Man, the Myth and the Era online and at ebookstores and libraries.
About Marcus McGee
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Published May 10, 2011
by Pegasus Books.
Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences.