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LOS ANGELES -- At a prayer breakfast at the California Republican Party's fall convention here this morning, Bill Simon, the conservative businessman and former candidate for governor, was reminiscing about his decision in a campaign speech nine years ago to say he loved his wife.

The crowd was full of women, and Simon, who would go on to lose to Gray Davis, thought mentioning her might help.

One of his political advisers, Jake Menges, didn't think so.

"When I got back in the car, Jake said, 'Never say that again,'" Simon said.

"And I said, 'Well, why Jake?'

"He said, 'Because anybody, any politician who says he loves his wife, everybody assumes in the audience that they're having an affair.'"



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