SACRAMENTO — Senate Republican leader Ken Maddy--to the consternation of Democrats who hold the key to the confirmation of Rep. Daniel E. Lungren as state treasurer--is promoting Lungren as a critically important fund raiser to elect more Republicans.
In a letter to 50,000 Republicans throughout the state, Maddy warned that California "liberals" want to sink Gov. George Deukmejian's selection of Lungren the same way "the liberal power structure in Washington did to President Reagan's appointment of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court."
He said one lawmaker was seen running through the Capitol "shouting out that the Democrats were going to 'Bork' Lungren."
Help for the Party
In the four-page letter mailed earlier this month, Maddy pointed out reasons why Lungren should be confirmed and noted that as the only other Republican besides Deukmejian to hold statewide office, Lungren would "be of critical importance in fund raising to help elect more Republicans to office."
Copies of the letter were distributed Wednesday to Democrats by Assemblyman Phillip Isenberg (D-Sacramento), who has said he will vote against Lungren. In an accompanying note, Isenberg told his colleagues that Republicans "clearly have great plans for spending the campaign money they expect him to raise--against you."
Reached at his Washington office, Lungren said Maddy did not check with him before mailing the letter, but said he has no objection to the Senate leader using his name to raise money.
"I don't have any difficulty at all with Ken Maddy raising money for his own political action committee to further Republican programs and policies in the state," Lungren said.
Democrats dominate both houses of the Legislature and have the power to either approve or reject Lungren.
Senate Hearings Ahead
The Assembly on Friday completed a weeklong series of confirmation hearings but is expected to delay a floor vote until after the Senate Rules Committee completes its hearings, scheduled to begin Feb. 1. Lungren is expected to face a particularly tough fight in the Senate, where several Democrats already have announced their intention to oppose his confirmation.
The Maddy letter urged Republicans to clip out and return a "petition" urging the Democratic-dominated Senate Rules Committee to approve Lungren as the successor to the late Jesse M. Unruh, a Democrat.
In addition, he asked the recipients to send him a check ranging from $50 to $500 to "help prevent the Democrats from turning this confirmation process into another 'Bork' hearing."
A Maddy aide said the letter evoked 4,413 responses along with $14,101 in contributions.
Maddy said the funds would be used to finance other mailings dealing with Republican causes. "We thought this was a good way to contact small donors and get their active support behind Lungren," Maddy said. "We are trying to build as much fire under the confirmation process as we can."