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comes to elected officials with an incredibly strong reputation
and unassailable credibility," says Keith Parker, assistant vice
chancellor for Government and Community Relations. "In the University
of California, he's regarded as one of its most important advocates.
Clearly, he is UCLA's most important advocate. He truly bleeds blue
and gold. His commitment is such that he is always willing and able
to leverage his political contacts on behalf of the university.
And he has the very best political connections of anyone we know."
State Sen. Sheila Kuehl '62 (D-Santa Monica): "Legislators who know
him are genuinely impressed by his quiet intellect and his ability
to understand what we need to know. We don't have time for the 'How
are yous?' Howard is effective because he understands that. He's
always polite and soft-spoken, but he gets to the point. He knows
how to make the most of a 20-minute meeting with a legislator."
message to legislators is upfront and simple, but not always so
soft-spoken. Once, when a lawmaker he had supported began, as Welinsky
recalls, "behaving very badly toward UC," the advocate got the offending
official on the line: "When you feel a tendency to vote against
UC, pretend it's a dagger through my heart," he told the officeholder
bluntly. "You don't want to hurt me, do you? Then don't hurt UC
because if you do, it's going to hurt me personally."
does not toss off such threats lightly. But he knows what's at stake
for the university.