In response to the posting yesterday about South Africa divestment in 1986, Michael Meranze sent me his recollections of the period including the significance of the upcoming gubernatorial race. In 1986, there was a rematch of LA Mayor Tom Bradley vs. incumbent George Deukmejian. In the earlier 1982 contest, Bradley lost narrowly. He lost more handily in 1986 because Deukmejian was able to run on having dealt successfully with the budget crisis he inherited from Jerry Brown. (As it turned out later, Deukmejian left a similar budget crisis to his successor, Pete Wilson, after the 1990 election.) The South Africa divestment became a non-issue as a result of the 1986 action.
The regents had good reason to want to get along with Deukmejian as he was sympathetic to UC and pushed up faculty pay. See: