All the action at Friday's taping of a 42nd Congressional District candidates' forum at KOCE-TV happened off camera.When the half-hour taping was over, Orange County Supervisor Harriett M. Wieder scolded the show's host, Jim Cooper, for confronting her with her political problems while not mentioning those of one of her Republican opponents, Stephen Horn, former president of Cal State Long Beach.
"It was totally unfair," an angry Wieder told Cooper.
Wieder was referring to Horn's forced resignation from the university in November over problems with the university's budget and amid increasing faculty restiveness.
Cooper said that despite widespread publicity of Horn's dismissal, the station's researcher missed it because it did not show up in recent campaign news stories. Wieder's problems, on the other hand, were "hard to ignore" because they "have been in every paper in Orange County," he said. He said he wanted to give Wieder a chance to respond.
Wieder recently admitted that for 25 years she lied when she said she had a degree from Wayne State University when she never attended the college. She also has been threatened with a recall by slow-growth advocates after a controversial vote for a development agreement.
Wieder's problems were compounded this week when a volunteer campaign press aide misrepresented himself at a candidates' forum as a radio reporter in order to obtain information for Wieder on the recall.
The show will air June 2 at 7:30 p.m. on Channel 50.
What do you do if you're an unknown, have no endorsements to speak of, but you want a congressional seat, real bad?
If you are Newport Beach attorney William Yacobozzi Jr., you dig into your savings account and loan your campaign $500,000. That's right, half a million dollars of his own money.
This from the man who early on in the race for the Republican nomination in the 40th Congressional District tried to auction his prototype DeLorean automobile to finance his candidacy.
The car never sold. But Yacobozzi, 46, remains convinced he can win the GOP primary June 7, despite his own polls that show him, at best, fourth in the field of 12 Republicans seeking to replace retiring Rep. Robert E. Badham of Newport Beach.
Unlike campaign contributions, there are no restrictions on how much money an individual can loan to a campaign, and Yacobozzi has taken full advantage of that in his first try at elective office.
He said he decided to run Congress because "I have accomplished just about everything else in life." His house in the exclusive Big Canyon development in Newport Beach is paid for, he said, adding: "I drive nice cars, and my law practice is thriving. I felt it was time to give something to my country."
But can he win a congressional seat?
The Chicago native, who has lived in Orange County for 25 years, says yes, based on what the front-runners in the race have raised.
The top contenders--Irvine Councilman C. David Baker, Newport Beach attorney C. Christopher Cox and Newport Beach businessman Nathan Rosenberg--have banked at least $250,000 each, and political observers say it will take $400,000 or more to win the race.
"With $500,000, I'd say I'm in good shape," said Yacobozzi, who plans to spend the money on mailers to spread his name and message of fiscal restraint in the campaign's final two weeks.
After the birth of John Hylton's third child, his wife had surgery, ending any chance, the couple thought, of having another child.
But in January, Hylton, a Republican candidate in the 40th Congressional District, learned that his wife was pregnant again. Last week, the couple had their fourth child. It was a 5-pound, 12-ounce girl--Marissa Joy Hylton.
Hylton, a commercial airline pilot who has campaigned on family values and his Christian beliefs, described his daughter's birth as "a miracle."
Considered a long shot in the race, Hylton was asked if the unexpected arrival might be an omen for the June 7 primary. "Who knows--maybe there will be second blessed event in the Hylton family. It's been a good year so far."
In the eyes of several war veterans, patriotism and politics don't necessarily mix.
Mike Canales, state commander of the American Legion for California, said he was upset recently when his name was included on a letter advertising a rally Sunday to honor war veterans at Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley.
When Canales, whose group represents 145,000 members statewide, learned that the rally was organized by congressional candidate Nathan Rosenberg, he said, "I hit the roof."
He claims he was "misled" about the purpose of the rally, adding that the American Legion's state and national charters prohibit the group from engaging in partisan politics. When he contacted the Rosenberg campaign about his concerns, Canales said new flyers did not include references to the American Legion.