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Two Votes of Confidence in 38th, 45th Assembly Districts : Burt Margolin Sets Priorities: Wedding, Honeymoon, Election

October 09, 1986|KENNETH J. FANUCCHI | Times Staff Writer

Assemblyman Burt Margolin (D-Los Angeles) was so concerned about reelection in his heavily Democratic 45th District that he scheduled his wedding and honeymoon in Hawaii in the midst of the campaign.

Margolin was married Sept. 27 to Laurie M. Post, a Beverly Hills clinical psychologist and daughter of motion picture director Ted Post.

The 35-year-old assemblyman, elected in 1982 and reelected in 1984 with more than 60% of the vote each time, said his marriage and honeymoon a month before the election do not signify that he is overconfident.

"The key point is that I am not taking anything for granted," he said in an interview. "I will be back in time to do what is necessary to win reelection. If my opponents mount a campaign, I will be in a position to respond."

With less than a month before the Nov. 4 election, Margolin could probably spend the rest of the month in the islands without worrying.

Jana Olson, the Republican candidate for Margolin's job, is not optimistic about her chances of defeating him. "The race probably is not winnable, based on the way the district is laid out," said Olson, a 28-year-old Toluca Lake businesswoman, adding that she expects to raise only $5,000 for the campaign.

By contrast, Margolin has amassed $55,000, none of which is earmarked specifically for his reelection.

Olson's pessimism is based, among other factors, on the registration figures. Of the 151,846 voters registered as of Sept. 23, 88,630 (58.4%) are Democrats, contrasted with 45,509 (30%) Republicans.

Long a Democratic stronghold, the 45th Assembly District extends from Hancock Park on the south to Burbank on the north, and includes the Fairfax and Pico-Robertson areas, and parts of Los Feliz, West Hollywood, Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, Universal City, Studio City, Toluca Lake and North Hollywood.

Political Launching Pad

The district has served as the launching pad for, and seemingly private reserve of, the so-called Berman-Waxman organization, a Democratic political alliance named after U. S. Reps. Howard L. Berman (D-Panorama City) and Henry A. Waxman (D-Los Angeles).

In 1968, Waxman was the first member of the organization to win the 45th District seat. He was followed by Herschel Rosenthal, now a state senator, who was succeeded by Margolin.

Margolin was an aide to Waxman and Berman before winning his first election in 1982. He is a member of the organization, and Waxman's father is an aide in Margolin's office, which is just down the hall from Waxman's district office on the Miracle Mile.

A Progressive Liberal

A self-described progressive Democrat, Margolin said it is not easy for someone of his political background--generally liberal on issues, including opposition to the death penalty--to score legislative victories in the face of the conservative Administration of Gov. George Deukmejian.

"Obviously, it is more difficult to get what you want," he said, "but it is not impossible. I have managed to get results, although they are more modest because of the governor."

He mentioned a bill, enacted into law, that established perinatal care for low-income women under Medi-Cal. "That is the only significant increase in Medi-Cal to get by the governor," he said.

He also authored the "bottle bill" that eventually became law and established deposits for beverage bottles and cans to encourage people to return them for recycling.

'Leans to Conservatism'

Olson said she "leans to conservatism" and would carry a sense of fairness, sound business practices and help to the "truly needy" if elected.

"I oppose rent controls because they create an artificial market whereby rents are forcibly increased," she said. "I favor free-market principles, whereas my opponent is very liberal on all the issues."

Like Olson, the other two candidates in the race are not optimistic about their chances. Sylvia F. Kushner, the Peace and Freedom Party, and Donald P. Meyer, the Libertarian candidate, said in interviews that they do not expect to win.

Reasons for Running

Kushner, 75, a human-rights organizer, said she entered the race to support programs for low-income people and senior citizens and to register her opposition to the country's foreign policy.

"We need a state jobs program, improved health-care programs and state-supported housing for low-income people," she said. "I have also been in the peace movement for many years."

Meyer, 36, a courier with a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Minnesota, said he would like to see government reduced to the smallest possible size.

"I am opposed to most taxes," he said. "Government should exist to prevent people from taking your money, rather than assuming the role of taxer."

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