The Speaker's Electoral Connection: Willie Brown and the California Assembly


From the acrimonious battle over redistricting in the early 1980s to recent efforts to solve California's economic problems, Assembly Speaker Willie Brown has been in the center of the Golden State's major political and policy debates. Few politicians have played as dominant or controver­sial a role for as long as Brown, one of the nation's most powerful African-American politicians.

Building on the theoretical ideas developed by Richard Fenno and David Mayhew, this book argues that the key to understanding legislative leadership and Brown's involvement in elections is in recognizing that legislative leaders are motivated primarily by the desire to maintain power. This desire has shaped Brown and made him a dominant force in California politics. 

Richard A. Clucas
Publication date: 
November 29, 1995
Publication type: 
California Politics & Government