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Zschau Fastens Himself Securely to GOP Coattails

November 03, 1986|JOHN BALZAR | Times Political Writer

Ronald Reagan, George Deukmejian and the platoon of journalists following them--these are the people with whom GOP Senate candidate Ed Zschau has cast his lot in the windup of his 1986 campaign.

A day after he appeared at the side of the popular President, Zschau joined hands with the popular governor on Sunday for GOP campaign rallies in Burbank and San Jose.

Zschau spoke in public for only 12 minutes all day--just enough to underline once again the message that has become the dominant note of his candidacy as Election Day approaches:

"My victory will help guarantee that Ronald Reagan does have a Republican Senate to support him in and perpetuate his policies for the last two years of his presidency."

It was a theme reinforced by Deukmejian and other statewide GOP candidates, who paid particular attention at the rallies to Zschau's campaign.

"It would be a tragic, tragic day if Alan Cranston were to be elected and go back there and vote against everything the President is hoping to accomplish," Deukmejian said. Just as Reagan did on Saturday, Deukmejian took pains to pose for pictures with Zschau, hands held high together.

Zschau, a Los Altos congressman, finishes up his campaign today with yet another appearance with Reagan and Deukmejian, this time in Costa Mesa.

Zschau virtually ignored goading by Cranston that he should "stand on his own feet." But in a brief interview, he said, "I wish Cranston had been on his two feet debating me in this campaign."

Linking his campaign with other Republicans on Sunday had some of the same purposes as being with Reagan on Saturday.

"The governor is just so popular in California we want to make sure people know we're part of the same team," campaign manager Ron Smith said.

Additionally, Zschau was in the spotlight to catch extra news attention. Press Secretary Jim LeMunyon explained, "If you spread out too much, the news coverage spreads out too."

Even in the final days of this $20-million campaign, Zschau has said he believes that he is still not well enough known in California.

Meanwhile, Zschau operatives said they are not worried by an unexpected barrage of anti-Zschau ads that have turned up on television and in a newspaper. The source of financing for all the ads remains a mystery, although a right-to-life political action committee takes credit for one newspaper advertisement.

"I don't think it makes any difference at this stage," Zschau said.

Smith said the television ads, which also have a conservative theme, are crudely transparent. "They are so poorly produced they probably will have a counter-effect," he said.

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