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Indicted Councilman's Record Album Strategy Told : Grand Jury Testimony Details Campaign Scenes, Role of Assemblywoman

March 09, 1986|WILLIAM NOTTINGHAM | Times Staff Writer

In any event, Bakewell said, he recalls little about the Hyatt strategy meeting beyond some discussion about the "general spirit of how to get Floyd James elected."

Neither James nor Wright chose to testify before the grand jury, although prosecutors reportedly sent them so-called target letters in November disclosing that a criminal investigation was under way.

Voluntary Statements

But both had previously given voluntary statements last June that were tape-recorded by district attorney's investigator William J. Kupper III, who recounted the details to the grand jury. Kupper also acknowledged that Wright had voluntarily turned over several campaign documents sought in the inquiry.

According to Kupper, Wright stated that he, James and Waters had talked about the album distribution "and how it was to be--how the coupons would be redeemed. And as I believe, they never really got down to the text of the letter itself," the investigator recalled.

Wright said James approved the mailer "in principal," the investigator said, but "never saw the mailer before it was sent out." Wright told Kupper that campaign officials were in a hurry to send out the album offer before Memorial Day, which fell between the primary and the general election.

Between 40 and 50 albums were eventually given to voters, "But he (Wright) also stated that a lot had been given away without the (pledge card) coupons to family members and people in the office." The rest of the albums are being held as evidence by the district attorney.

Wright acknowledged using the bulk permit of United Campaign Task Force--rather than the Committee to Re-Elect Floyd James--to send the last-minute mailer telling voters that Moore had been disqualified, Kupper said. Wright merely described the task force as a campaign organization duly registered in his name, the investigator said.

In the interview with James, Kupper said the candidate agreed that he had approved the album mailing only in principal and had not seen the actual document stating that voters could only receive the Jackson speech in exchange for their support.

Of the alleged smear letter, Kupper said: "I asked him (James) if he had checked out the allegation. . . . He said that he had spoken to the Compton city clerk, and the clerk related that she (Moore) had been disqualified."

Kupper said James added, however, "that he wished he (had) checked the story out further before he sent out the mailer . . . "

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