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Grass Roots With the `New, Old' Jerry Brown

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INSIDE the Jerry Brown national campaign headquarters here, volunteer Susan Sanders cheerily photocopies candidate position papers while about 60 colleagues scurry between phones and a half-dozen computer terminals.

"I have never been involved in politics in my life before," says the 50-year-old local resident who donates three afternoons a week to the campaign. "I just don't believe the politicians out there can do anything anymore. Jerry can."

Just outside the front door, Kim Tyler, a songwriter and independent videomaker is donating his time and equipment to film testimonials to Jerry Brown. He will send the videos to local TV stations, CNN, and the networks.

"All the other candidates are just politics as usual, but here is a man who is putting honesty before money," Mr. Tyler says. "A lot of those of the older persuasion don't understand that."

Tyler and Ms. Sanders are just two of the grass-roots army to have come out of the woodwork in support of former California Gov. Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown Jr. since he won the Connecticut primary.

And in keeping with the "We the People ... take back America" signs punctuating the ochre walls here, the Brown campaign submitted a Federal Election Commission matching-fund request recently for $1,223,119 representing 21,450 contributors. By contrast the campaign of rival Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton submitted a request for $1,076,730 representing only 8,265 contributors.

"These figures highlight the fundamental difference between the messages of the Brown and Clinton campaigns," said Brown's campaign manager, Jodie Evans.

Pointing out that the Clinton campaign relies on a small number of big money contributors, Ms. Evans notes that the Brown campaign, which accepts no contribution over $100, "has brought hundreds of thousands of Americans back into the political process."

But his choice of Jesse Jackson as running mate angered New York's large Jewish population. And his unwillingness to move his campaign tactics beyond negative attacks of a "rotten, corrupt, poisoned" government in need of reform slowed the momentum he had gained earlier.


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