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Your story on the election for State Bar president makes clear what a weird and undemocratic election this is [" Three vie to lead Bar," June 13]. Only 22 people � the members of the Bar’s Board of Governors � are eligible to vote for the leader of California’s 210,000 lawyers. It’s a classic illustration of how the Bar serves a tiny leadership clique at the expense of its membership. Your story quotes former State Bar President James Heiting as hoping that Bar board members solicited for their presidential votes will choose someone “for the advantage of the lawyers of the state.” “That’s certainly not always true,” he says. He should know. But, assuming that it should be true, one may wonder how it’s supposed to happen when “the lawyers of the state” aren’t allowed to vote. While the three presidential candidates in the current election don’t disagree on much, the press shouldn’t treat them as softly as they treat themselves. Why not get them on record, for example, as to whether they support the present system of choosing State Bar presidents?

Stephen R. Barnett Berkeley

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