Chapter Seven
                       Legislative Fraternity/Family
       When I was there the legislature was predominately a
 male macho organization, not unlike the fraternity crowd in
 college. Freedom from home environment, the special title,
 being with a number of the 'select', encouraged a feeling of
 superiority--like maybe it was hard for them to do wrong. 

      Like Greek Letter Fraternity people, there was a
 tendency toward self-congratulation. They believed they were
 better than ordinary people--not unlike the bat in B'Ann's
 poem, who says:
 To Be a Bat is Something ...
 and implies that if you aren't one you're Nothing. When I
 went to Sacramento in 1967 there'd never been a female in the
 Senate and only 3 out of the 80 members of the Assembly were
 women, and 2 out of these 3 were elected when I was. (At the
 time of this writing, in 2004, there are _  women in the
 California Assembly and__ in the Senate.)

pic  ONE

      Most legislators spend over half their time at the State
 Capitol, away from their families somewhat like young college
 students away from home and its restraining habits. I don't
 mean to say they acted just like 18 year olds, but, left to
 themselves for social or recreational activities, they tended
 to revert to type. Two male weaknesses predominated: getting
 carried away with either sex or hooch. 

      Burton: when you learn how to beat the system as it exists
 you become reluctant to change the rules.

      Being alone away from home did bring about a partial
 reversion in me to one youthful habit--sometimes drinking too
 much. When I was at UC Berkeley and in military service
 getting drunk was by many of us looked on as a positive good
 --a thing to do in and of itself, not just to enhance other
 pleasures. I can remember in 1941 thwarting the purpose of
 the existing law which in order to inhibit drinking in
 college prohibited the sale of alcoholic beverages within two
 miles of the campus. We'd run out of booze at five minutes to
 2 AM. With bars and liquor stores closing at 2 the only thing
 for us to do was pile in a car and drive like hell down
 College Avenue to the Black and White Liquor Store, located
 just beyond the 2 mile limit. Four of us were flying high;
 the car owner drove standing up in the front seat of his top-
 down convertible with me with my foot on the gas and two
 others wildly yelling obscenities from the rear seat. We got
 our booze; we didn't get killed (or kill anyone else). We
 were lucky. (Why do we brag about how Bad we were?)

      For my birthday celebration in 1974, Janet got a group
 of friends and our kids together for dinner at the Jalisco
 restaurant in Napa. It was a fun party. I had several drinks
 before dinner and 2 or 3 glasses of wine with it. I had to
 leave at 8:30 to get to a speaking engagement a few miles
 from the restaurant. Janet was taking home our other car. As I
 drove the 3 or 4 miles to the restaurant, I remember telling 
 myself, "I've had a fair amount to drink and I could be a
 little fuzzy. I've got to be really careful and collect my
 thoughts because I don't want the drinking to show." I gave
 no thought whatsoever to the fact that I was driving on a
 public highway breaking the law. The same mental/physical
 state (diminished capacity) which reduced my confidence in
 myself as a speaker, also made driving an illegal act which
 had the potential to do far greater harm political and human
 than a slurred word or illogically-expressed thought before
 the Napa chapter of the Sierra Club. When I got there a
 discussion was going on and I had plenty of time to collect
 my thoughts and actually sober up a bit before I had to
 speak. I was lucky again.

      Less than a year later, on Valentine's Day in 1975, I
 attended a dinner meeting in Vallejo. Although a much longer
 affair, it was similar to my birthday party in its festive
 mood, and my consumption of alcoholic beverages was about the
 same. This time I wasn't so lucky. On the way home I wasn't
 thinking about giving speeches or anything else in
 particular. I was stopped by the California Highway Patrol.
 They said I was swaying back and forth in my lane and would I
 please get out of the car and do a couple of tests for them.
 I became instantly scared as hell but there wasn't anything
 to do but comply. I walked the straight line and touched my
 nose pretty well, but my balance was off with my eyes shut, 
 and the officer said my eyes did not react normally to
 certain tests. Anyhow they arrested and handcuffed me for
 Driving Under the Influence--"drunk driving", and took me to
 the sheriff's office where a breathalizer test confirmed
 their opinion. It showed my blood alcohol to be .113, with a
 .10 then being the maximum standard in use. A deputy sheriff
 who lived near us happened to be working that night. He took
 me home in an hour or so. By then I was tired but sober. No
 one was home. Jane and Peter were visting friends, and Janet
 was in the hospital receiving treatment for a temporary non-
 threatening illness. I set the alarm for 6:30 AM, because I
 knew word of my arrest would spread rapidly and the press
 would be after me and I needed to be prepared.


      The next morning it didn't take me long to make the
 decision. I remembered the volume of adverse publicity some
 of my colleagues had gotten in protesting innocence. An
 original flurry in the press on arrest, another on entry of
 plea, another when trial date was set and finally continuous
 headlines throughout the trial. Regardless of the verdict
 they were the losers. Besides that, I had had enough to drink
 to make me a less safe driver, and admitting it was honest,
 and it would be a heck of a lot easier for me to handle
 personally than trying to continually and falsely protest
 innocence. I got on the phone and called Janet, Jill, and
 Mike Gage. They all agreed with me. Janet and Jill were also 
 very supportive, telling me they loved me and were proud of
 me. This made it a lot easier.

      The rest of the story is pretty well told in the 3/9/75
 clipping from The Vacaville Reporter. I had made the right
 decision and making it hadn't been too hard. It wasn't quite
 so easy to live with as I had thought because I was ashamed
 of myself--a lot. I was wrong, but essentially I liked myself
 enough "to forgive myself". Support from family and frieds
 was very helpful. In retrospect now I'm less ashamed--but I'm
 a reformed drinker now. Guilt based on others' opinions of
 me--getting caught and publically humiliated--may have
 predominated, in my feelings at the time.
 pic 3

      The job of being a legislator presented more than I
 could possibly do, 365 days a year. It was hard to do justice 
 to the job and be a good husband and father too. I often felt
 'on the horns of a dilemna.' Home was a little over an hour
 from the Capitol. If I didn't drive home nights that I could,
 I felt guilty, and when I was at home I sometimes felt guilty
 that I wasn't working on legislative business. Most nights I
 just preferred to come home and so I did, though it was often
 8, 9, or 10 PM that I'd get there--only to leave the next
 morning at 6, 7, or 8. If I couldn't make it home I called
 and said hello on the telephone and I got pretty good at
 talking to Janet this way and sharing things, but it didn't
 work very well with the rest of the family. And it didn't
 really give her the support a father ought to give the whole

      I was a partially absent father and spouse, sort of
 living a single life within marriage. It was for the birds
 personally, and it's a significant problem for government,
 because men and women with strong family ties and values
 should be able to represent the public and have their
 homelife too. All the state decision makers shouldn't have to
 be single, or divorced, or doing (as I was) their job at the
 expense of a vital connection with the human beings who
 furnish the lifeblood of their spirit. 

      Despite my major job preoccupation, I was still a father
 and husband in the Dunlap family. In a sense I grew up in
 that family. Janet and I were 23 when we were married, and 26 
 26 when Jill (our oldest) was born, and we both really matured
 raising our four kids.

      Growing up with Janet, and our kids, is the greatest
 thing I've done in my life so far. I couldn't have enjoyed or
 functioned in politics as I did, if I hadn't had a family.
 'Politics', and 'the family', were divided, but united (the
 two worlds came together in campaigning, for one thing).
 Without my family experience I wouldn't have been the same
 person--I wouldn't have cared so much about other people--I
 wouldn't have been as broad visioned or patient a person
 myself--who knows if I would have had the inclination (or the
 guts) to go out and become a State Senator. As part of me, the
 family was always there, at the Capitol. Though for me they
 were there, for them, in Napa, I usually wasn't. They got
 special trips and vicarious kicks, but most of the fun in
 doing was mine.

pics 4, 5, 6, and 7

      Lobbyists trying to get on my good side would sometimes
 praise the 'beautiful wine country' and say they wished they
 lived there. I thought it was a beautiful place too, but I
 preferred it (a preference not shared by many) when it was
 known for the State Mental Hospital and prunes, instead of the
 Silverado Country Club and fine wines. Those who read me well,
 seeing the group picture (4 kids, 2 St. Bernards, Janet and
 me) on my desk, would say "my you have a fine family, John!"
 My pride triggered, I'd agree and if asked, I'd talk about 
 them willingly.
 pic 8

      David and I have had countless discussions about the
 inter-relation of family and politics, while getting this book
 together, and we were having one recently in a car on the way
 to Santa Rosa. Janet, half asleep in the backseat, came to and
 began recalling the time the whole family rode in a
 convertible in the V.I.P. section of a Fairfield parade. Jill
 at this time was 17, David 15, Peter 8 and Jane 5. Ordinarily,
 an office holder or candidate rode in an open car maybe with a
 carnation in his buttonhole and waved to the crowd. Those of
 us fortunate enough to have good looking families who were
 willing to act as trained seals, made the candidate's car a 
 family affair.

 "Find some paper and write this down, Daddy," David
 said--he was driving, en route to Santa Rosa while Janet and I
 recalled the Fairfield parade. I found an old envelope in the
 glove compartment and scribbled down the following
 David is on the floor in the backseat,
 blowing up DUNLAP FOR ASSEMBLY balloons. He hands
 them to Peter, who jumps out and passes them out
 to the crowd. Jill sits in the front seat with the
 driver, looking beautiful. John, Janie, and Janet
 sit on the top of the backseat--the idea is to
 wave and smile and it works for a while until
 Janie starts resenting Peter's getting to pass out
 balloons--the parents think she's too young, and
 tell her 'No.' So she sits between them with her
 arms folded tightly and her lower lip sticking out
 of a red defiant face. Without changing their own
 smiles a fraction, the parents whisper to her
 tenderly, you're supposed to smile, honey. She
 becomes more rigid. Still without changing their
 pleasant faces, they tell her that if she doesn't
 smile, she will be spanked on the spot. Her
 response is a smile directly dead ahead like
 someone is pulling up the corners of her mouth
 with strings. It's so phony, it's hilarious. 
      Jane was a cute lively blond headed girl. Her hair was so
 blond that when she swam in the summertime it took on a
 greenish tinge from the chlorine in the pool. We had fun
 together. I remember I used to hold both her hands in mine
 while she kicked her feet up and did a somersault--we talked
 about keeping doing this once a week and even when she was a
 grownup we'd be able to do it. I don't remember at what age we

      Though usually lively and agreeable, Janie had a mind of
 her own. At one of my fundraising dinners the family was
 introduced and stood up at their seats. Janie, 7 years old,
 drew her feet under her and stepped from her chair right out
 onto the middle of the banquet table. She clasped her hands
 above her head like a prizefighter, and turned and bowed to one
 side, then the other, grinning. She was every inch a little
 girl--in blue dress, white lacy-trim socks, and black patent
 Mary Janes. It was brazen but she got away with it because she
 was little and cute--another couple of years and it might've
 been revolting. The crowd loved it. I sat there and chuckled

      A few years later when Jane was interviewed by the paper
 in high school they asked her how she liked being a Senator's
 daughter. She said, "I like it fine, except everybody thinks
 we're rich."

      From age 8 to 18 Janie was a game helper, always willing
 to do crazy things that might've embarrassed some kids.
 Together we rode a tandem bike in parades, and paddled a canoe
 on the Russian River to help promote campaigns. When she was
 littler she and her friend Erin got a kick out of visiting me
 at the Capitol. They drove my secretaries a bit goofy and
 generally raised hell. They were too young for necking in the 
 park but that's about all they missed. One night at about 11, I
 had just finished a committee meeting and was slowly walking
 down a long wide corridor on the 4th floor. I heard a sound
 like handmade box scooters on rollerskate wheels. When I came
 to a turn in the hall, there came Jane and Erin bright-eyed and
 bushy-tailed, self-propelled at high speed on stenographer's
 chairs. I could tell from the looks on their faces they hadn't
 intended to get caught. They slowed when they saw me but didn't
 stop. I just said in a loud voice, "OK, put those goddamn
 chairs back where they belong and let's go home." Once in the
 car they were asleep in 10 minutes, after an exciting 15 hours
 at the Capitol.

      Peter's presence at the Capitol was much less of a strain
 on my secretarial staff, who were always a little extra tired
 after Jane had spent the day there. He sometimes was an actual
 help and delivered messages, or, if he was there with Jane,
 took her to breakfast, to the State Fair; took responsibility
 for her when he was only 12.

      My first memory of Peter and politics was a mad drive from
 Napa to West Sacramento in 1960 with him in Janet's protective
 arms. We were late in getting there for a little league opening
 game parade during my unsuccessful 1960 Senate campaign. Peter
 was about 2 and when we finally got into the parade, he
 enjoyed every minute of it. Seeing the crowd his eyes lit up,
 and he waved to them like they were his friends. I got a 
 kick out of it too. It was my first parade as a candidate.

      Peter enjoyed the limelight. I remember him at another of
 my fundraiser dinners in Vallejo. He was about 10 years old,
 little for his age. His face was round and smooth, and his eyes
 were bright blue and absorbtive--you could tell he was really
 taking things in. He looked cute as a bug's ear, in long pants,
 coat and tie. When I introduced the family and he stood up to
 take his bow, he got such a big hand and liked it so much he
 did't want to sit down. 

               find pic

    Another memory I have is of Pete at age
 13, still a very little kid, shaking hands with Big Ben
 Davidson, a 6' 10" 275 pound Oakland Raider. The Raiders were
 at the Capitol entertaining the legislature with films of games
 and a few actual team members. 

      Pete also got to miss school and go along on a McGovern
 campaign trip through the mother lode cities of Jackson,
 Angel's Camp, and Sonora. Accompanying us were Assemblywoman
 March Fong (who went on to become California Secretary of
 State), actor Dennis Weaver from the TV show 'McCloud', and
 George McGovern's son-in-law. In the weeks afterward, when
 Peter heard the name Dennis Weaver, he used to say "He's my
 friend." A month later when I had an extra ticket to a McGovern
 dinner at one of the big hotels in San Francisco, I took Peter.
 He didn't get to sit at the head table but he really was
 excited to see me there with Willie Brown, McGovern, Warren
 Beatty, and Shirley MacLaine. So Peter in '72 became a real 
 McGovern fan. I'm sure he picked some of it up from me.

      McGovern was one of the few candidates for anything, about
 whom I was gung ho (Adlai Stevenson was the other main one).
 Peter produced for McGovern. The morning of the primary he got
 up at 4:30 and took off on his bike and put doorknob hangers on
 a whole precinct before people went to work.
      Though Peter and I made a good connection through
 McGovern, my job got in the way of hikes, sports--things I had
 done more with David, (who was 7 years older) when I had had
 more time (when David was little). Most of my Senator/parent
 conflict and guilt involved failures to do things like play
 baseball, but my drunk driving incident was a straight negative
 act. Pete was a high school senior at the time and when I asked
 how it affected him, I got the answer I wanted. He said yes it
 was embarrassing, but that generally he felt pride at my being
 a politician. David, on the other hand, claims he wasn't
 bothered by the thought of me in handcuffs (while being,
 though, as he says, no less proud of my political strivings.)

      Sometimes my kids worked for me in my campaigns at slave
 wages. (I didn't want to be accused of lavishing campaign funds
 on family members.) Peter did this willingly and darn well at
 age 18, though I think he sometimes thought I should listen
 harder to his advice. Peter would have had me be more of a pro
 and pull in my horns in order to get re-elected. Perhaps he was

      My eldest daughter, Jill, became part of the "Brain Trust"
 in 1972, when she was in law school. During vacation that year
 she, my administrative assistant John Harrington, and I, set up
 my campaign.
      In subsequent elections she continued to play a major part in
 developing campaign strategy as well as working like hell. The
 concerns of the "Brain Trust" were not only how to get Dunlap
 re-elected, but policy decisions on the job of being a
 legislator. Since way back in the early sixties as a young
 teenager, she'd done door-to-door work. But as time went by I
 trusted her judgement more and more.

      I'd always given lip service to women's rights, but Jill's
 articulate, emotional but well-reasoned arguments, made the
 issue far more real to me. I began to realize that my attitude
 toward women's rights had been a little patronizing; that our
 society and law had overemphasized the difference between men
 and women, putting both in unfair positions. I realized we
 weren't just playing games, that there was something definite
 to gain for everybody. Jill and Janet helped me realize that
 'women's rights' wasn't just something I should be for as a
 matter of fairness--it was a vitally important issue for the
 world. Jill was charged, sure of what she was saying. Her
 emotion got to me and made me listen.

      Jill became a lawyer and got a job working for the State
 Water Resources Control Board, and finally was appointed the
 lawyer member of the board. This was a prestigous fairly well 
 paid job, particularly for a young kid. (She was 32.) While
 working on my 1978 campagn she got to know a newspaperman 
 and a year later they were married and now have
 two of Janet's and my four grandchildren. Peter and his wife
 Margaret are parents of two more. I suppose if I were still
 running for office, and taking political family photos, I could
 substitute four live grandchildren for our two dead St.
      Everything I did with or without the family had potential
 campaign significance, and I seldom neglected to consider this.
 Backpack trips, a train trek to Seattle, things I did with the
 family, made their way into my weekly newspaper columns.
 photocopy of column

      Although many times the campaign or publicity aspect may
 have been minor, it was still there. I used the family as a
 political tool. In the Assembly I had to run for reelection
 every two years. As soon as one campaign was over the next was
 imminent, and 'out of season' campaigning (trying to stay in
 the public eye at all times) was always going on. The theory
 was, if publicity wasn't bad, it was good.

      Alene Angelo, a Napa office secretary (I had district
 offices in both Napa and Solano counties as an assemblyman),
 arranged one simple publicity gimmick which made the local
 papers. When I came into the office in the morning she handed
 me a bouquet of carnations, which upon arrival of the News
 Chronicle photographer, I handed back to her in commemoration
 of "National Secretaries Week". 

      "I got them on special for $1.99, John--don't worry about
 it," Alene told me. This was one of those cases where the
 caption under the photo doesn't tell the whole story. Wouldn't
 it have been interesting if it had related the straight truth
 instead: "Assemblyman Dunlap poses with flowers his secretary
 bought for him to give her as a publicity stunt." 

 news photo
 In 1966 I judged a women's hatmaking contest at the
 Officer's Club at Mare Island Navy Yard. Having to choose only
 one winner among 50 contestants wasn't good but having my
 picture in the paper with the winner was. 
 cartoon collage:
 Beetle Bailey standing next to Blondie
 who is wearing grand fruit hat.

      My favorite publicity photo, however, was one where I was
 the winning Capitol contestant at UC Davis' Cowmilking Contest
 3 years out of 4. (The contest was actually held on the Capitol
 milking cow

      'In season' direct campaigning involves more of the same
 playing for attention. It's not necessarily phony (it depends
 on the situation). And, if you believe in yourself at all, you
 can get a real charge out of it. It's one of the few
 opportunities you have to sell the most exciting product
 imaginable, yourself.

      Presentation of issues tended toward the superficial, and
 some stunts like the Cowmaking or Hatmilking contests were out-
 and-out phony, and sexist besides, but everybody did things
 like this, and I didn't always take time to figure out a new
 and more honest way to get elected. Speaking to groups and
 individuals I tried to tell the whole truth and really educate,
 but with a half million people in a Senate district, you've got
 to recognize that most voters are reached by mail, radio, TV,
 or newspaper ads. At first I was actually eager to learn the
 new language--Sloganeering: Saying just enough to put yourself
 on the side of the angels, without being so specifc you paint
 yourself into a corner. Candidates' brochures are all filled
 with sloganeering and mine were not exceptions to this rule.

       All this superficiality also costs a tremendous amount of
 money. My campaigns cost from a low of $8,000 in 1970 to a later
 high of over $300,000 .*

      Before the primary back in 1966 Janet and I rang and knocked
 at 4900 households. Door to door work is a mixed bag. It's
 physically conditioning, and the candidate gets an idea of
 different neigborhoods and how people live, but you want to
 cover as much ground as you can as fast as you can, so the
 ideal approach is to ring or knock, smile and be sincere and
 say a few words, and then be off to the next house. Once in a
 while somebody wants to talk, and even less often, a genuine
 exchange takes place. 

      Usually the minute I rang the doorbell, I'd scribble on
 one of my brochures, "Sorry to have missed you" and sign my
 name. Then if nobody came to the door I'd ring once more and
 leave the brochure if the door wasn't opened or I didn't hear
 somebody walking around. If someone appeared I'd introduce
 myself, hand them an unmarked flyer, smile, and say, "I hope
 you'll remember me election day."

      Once, in my 1966 campaign, my manager told me we needed a
 couple of good sign locations on Jameson Canyon Road, between
 Napa and Fairfield. He said as I drove by I should ask farmers
 in that area if we could put signs up on their barns. This was 
 *See Appendix Seven for a list of my overall campaign
 expenditures(sorry: appendices still TB ADDED).
 hard for me to ask but I set aside an hour one day to stop and
 make 4 or 5 calls. My first three went fast. The first not
 home, the second, 'sure, glad to help out' and the third,
 emphatically No, 'not for you or any other Democrat'. The
 fourth call was a humdinger. It took almost an hour along with
 the rest of my energy for such activities. The farmer/owner, a
 man of about 55, was at home. I stated my business and he said,
 "Oh yeah, you're John F. Dunlap the attorney-at-law. I know
 you! Do you remember me, lawyer Dunlap?" I had a slight feeling
 of recognition. Somewhere, somehow, I knew him, but no clear
 memory came. Under my breath I cursed my campaign manager for
 not finding out the names of people instead of just describing
 their barns. I admitted I didn't know his name and apologized.
 He said, "I didn't think you remembered me. I went to see you
 in your law office 13 years ago. You wrote me a nasty letter
 trying to collect an account I had with a hardware company. I
 tried to point out the problems I had with your client and you
 didn't listen, you just sat there behind your desk like a
 bigshot attorney. You treated me like dirt. You even kept your
 feet up on the desk all the time I was talking to you."

      I listened to this irate farmer a long time and I
 apologized several times and said I was young and arrogant then
 and I hoped I had changed. I hoped he'd taught me a lesson, and
 I wouldn't blame him for not putting up my sign. I guess he
 believed I was sincere because he said, "OK, you leave me a 
 couple of your signs and I'll see what I can do." I looked for
 them several times over the next 10 days and I finally saw them

      Later in some of my legislative offices I arranged my desk
 so it wouldn't be a shield--I put it against the wall and
 worked with my back to the room. When visitors called I turned
 around. Sometimes I had a low coffee table between us and put
 my feet up on it, but I tried to remember to tell my guest to
 put his or her feet up too.

      Campaigning can gain you glory but also, when you're out
 seeking the 'public eye', you have more opportunities to
 embarrass yourself. You need to be able to give yourself
 permission (modern psych. vernacular) to make an ass of
 yourself. (One of Reagan's greatest assets was an ability to
 laugh at himself.)

      In 1972 I fortunately had a very weak opponent and spent
 most of my campaign-time working for George McGovern for
 president. One night, I was meeting with the Solano Democratic
 Central Committee plotting McGovern strategy. Someone said,
 "OK, for McGovern, John, but what about your campaign?" I
 hadn't been thinking about it at all and replied, "I'm just
 going to run around the district exposing myself to my
 constituents." My response drew laughter. This slip could've
 really been embarrassing before the Hogan High P.T.A. or Mt.
 George Mother's Club. 

      Stage presence, and a feeling of being at home anywhere,
 is a real asset to a campaigner. I remember seeing Joe Alioto,
 former San Francisco mayor, speak to a Democratic State Central
 Committee lunch meeting in a medium sized hotel diningroom in
 San Francisco. There were two large pillars partially obscuring
 the speakers' table from good sized segments of the audience.
 The first two speakers dodged back and forth trying to develop
 rapport with those listening. When it came Alioto's turn he
 just excused himself to the head table, and walked around into
 the middle of the dining area and gave his speech standing in
 the middle of the room, turning in a very tight circle around
 and around as he spoke. I don't have any idea what he said but
 it was a personal win. He had as much attention as if he'd been
 a gypsy violinist playing to us.

      For a quick uptake in a campaign interview I'll have to
 give the blue ribbon to former assemblyman and former
 congressman, and present Senator, John Burton, also of San
 Francisco. Back in 1968 John was losing a special election to
 the State Senate to Milton Marks and was being interviewed on a
 bay area radio station. After the usual questions about the
 fairness of the campaign and a concession statement by Burton,
 the reporter asked, "And now, Mr. Burton, what do you wish for
 Senator Marks?" Burton did a quick doubletake, "What do I
 wish?"--and breaking into song:

  FIND BURTON PIC  plus melodic graphics

 It was a great response to a stupid question. I guess the
 station editor recognized the folly of the question because in
 subsequent broadcasts of the interview later that night, the
 question and the bluebirds were missing. No matter how clever
 you are in what you do or say, the media has the last word in
 reporting it to the public.