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Bay Buchanan Defends Campaign Consultant

June 29, 1989|CLAUDIA LUTHER | Times Political Writer

Angela (Bay) Buchanan of Irvine, a Republican candidate for state treasurer, expressed confidence Wednesday in the integrity of her campaign consultant despite his firm's involvement in a fee scandal at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Roger Stone, who has been advising Buchanan for several months, resigned Tuesday from the New Jersey gubernatorial campaign of Rep. James Courter (R-N.J.) in the wake of publicity linking the firm to the HUD scandal.

"I have complete confidence in Roger Stone's integrity and his competence as a campaign strategist," Buchanan said in a statement issued by her press aide, Liz Maas. "He will continue to serve as my chief political consultant."

Challenging Incumbent

Buchanan, 40, is challenging appointed incumbent Thomas Hayes, 43, for the GOP nomination for treasurer. The winner of the primary is expected to face Kathleen Brown, the leading Democratic candidate, on the November, 1990, ballot.

Hayes' campaign director, Brian Lungren, said Tuesday that he thought it was "ironic" that one of Buchanan's "key campaign advisers may be associated with this thing back East" in light of the fact that Buchanan has questioned Hayes' fund-raising methods.

Buchanan has said that she will not accept campaign contributions from firms that do business with the state and has criticized Hayes for not making the same promise.

Signing Stone onto the campaign was viewed as a major coup for Buchanan, a former U.S. treasurer who has been seeking the support of GOP conservatives in her challenge of Hayes. Hayes, the former state auditor general, was appointed to the post by Gov. George Deukmejian after the death of state Treasurer Jesse M. Unruh.

Not 'Personally Implicated'

Of the developing HUD scandal, Maas said Stone had not been "personally implicated in anything." She said that there is "no reason for Bay to re-evaluate her decision" to have Stone as her chief consultant.

Stone's Washington-based Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly is one of the most prestigious GOP consulting and lobbying firms in the nation. A congressional investigation recently found that the firm benefited from consulting fees on HUD-related projects, including a $31-million project in New Jersey that local officials have labeled a waste. One of Stone's partners, Paul Manafort, was a consultant on the project, which brought the firm $326,000.

The HUD scandal has become a major issue in the New Jersey gubernatorial campaign, where Courter is in a tough race with Rep. James J. Florio (D-N.J.).

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