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Mort Sahl Joins Haig Backers at Bel-Air Fund-Raiser

February 07, 1988|TRACY WILKINSON | Times Staff Writer

It was not the star-studded fund-raiser that most presidential candidates hope for when they come to Los Angeles.

"Tinsel isn't attracted to Al Haig," the retired general and long-shot Republican contender said. "Tinsel goes after the front-runners."

Instead of tinsel, Haig was honored Friday night at a $500-a-person reception in Bel-Air by a small but well-groomed crowd of about 40 that included former Los Angeles Mayor Sam Yorty, former Washington Redskins coach George Allen, a former Filipino army officer--and Mort Sahl.

Mort Sahl?

The acid-tongued comedian, erstwhile liberal and 1960s pacifist, more recently has taken to supporting conservatives. He said he liked Haig because of his courage and intellect and because he discusses the issues.

'Courage to Tell Truth'

"For me, he's the Adlai Stevenson of the right. . . . He has the courage to tell the truth to the American people and he loves them enough to think they want to hear it," Sahl said in introducing Haig.

Haig is not actively competing in the Iowa caucuses, having chosen instead to concentrate his shoestring campaign on the Feb. 16 primary in New Hampshire. So while the other candidates slugged it out this weekend in icy Iowa, Haig headed for the sunshine to raise money. A $250-a-ticket gathering in Scottsdale, Ariz., preceded Friday night's reception at the Bel-Air home of plumbing-tool manufacturer Lawrence Irwin.

In remarks to the group, Haig urged Republican front-runners Vice President George Bush and Kansas Sen. Bob Dole to "grow up," saying their recent spats make them "sound like Democrats."

As for Sahl's presence, Haig said he realized the comedian is "not known as a screaming conservative," but said his concern for issues makes him a logical supporter of the general's campaign.

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