A third option for Californians

Polls indicate that a lot of Democrats in California aren't too keen on sending Democratic Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. to the US Senate. On the other hand, Republicans at both the conservative and liberal ends of the party spectrum are cool toward Pete Wilson.

Stanley Arnold has decided to give these voters a third option. The Palm Springs businessman says he will mount an independent, write-in campaign in the Nov. 2 election. He advocates wage-price controls, a flat-rate income tax, and more use of coal to produce energy.

Mr. Arnold probably is most famous for advising Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower that it would be useless to run for president in 1952. The reason: Not since 1892 had anyone without double consecutive letters in his name been elected.

Ike's demonstrated immunity to this stricture apparently encouraged Arnold to make a stab at the office himself. In 1976 he campaigned briefly in the New Hampshire primary, urging Democrats to vote alphabetically. Before that, in 1972 , he sought the Democratic vice-presidential nomination and actually had 87 pledged delegates in the national convention.

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