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Letter From California; A State GOP at War With Itself
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post - Washington, D.C.
Subjects: Political conventions; Political parties
Author: Booth, William
Date: Sep 29, 1999
Start Page: A.07
Section: A SECTION

At the semiannual gathering of the California Republican Party over the weekend, millionaire publisher and presidential contender Steve Forbes wound up his speech calling for a new birth of freedoms- -concluding with the ultimate freedom of all, "the freedom to be born."

And so it went. The Republican Party of California, the once mighty powerhouse, is reeling from defeat and debt, with a rancor so palpable that a reporter with a notebook has no trouble getting GOP activists on both sides of the social divide to call one another unprintable names.

Members of splinter groups, such as the California Congress of Republicans, were sporting blaring orange stickers on their lapels, announcing, "It's the platform, stupid." What they meant was that these moderate Republicans want the state party to strip from its platform the plank that demands an end to abortion.

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