IT WAS P.T. BARNUM who said “there is no such thing as bad publicity.” Such a notion may be true for the entertainment industry, but for politicians it is the exception, not the rule—even in California, home of the longest running reality show in history, one that starred Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Jerry Brown and Arnold Schwarzenegger, to name a few of the marquee players. Ken Meade, a former three-term Assemblyman from the Bay Area, made a few notable appearances on that stage usually cast in a supporting role or playing a part that did little to advance his career. Yet the tale he tells reveals much about that transcendental state, our nation, and ourselves: It is a true story about the California politics of experience…

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