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Measure N Backers to Clarify Role of Sheldon

November 12, 1989|LYNN SMITH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

IRVINE — Leaders of the victorious campaign for Measure N, an anti-homosexual rights initiative, have called a news conference on Monday to clear up issues surrounding the involvement of the Rev. Louis P. Sheldon in their campaign and organization.

Irvine Values Coalition members are discounting statements from Sheldon indicating that he was responsible for their success.

"Sheldon seems to be taking credit for our hard labor. It couldn't be further from the truth," coalition President Scott Peotter said after the election. The Irvine Values Coalition is not officially affiliated with Sheldon's statewide Traditional Values Coalition.

Measure N, which excludes homosexuals from protection under the city's anti-discrimination law, passed 53% to 47%.

Measure N opponents frequently complained of "outside forces"--referring to Sheldon--influencing the campaign.

At a post-election victory party, Sheldon told the Irvine World News: "I've been in it up to here," gesturing to his chin. "We just couldn't let the other side know it until now."

The day after the election, Sheldon held a press conference claiming that he helped plan strategy for the Irvine Values Coalition.

Christina Shea, campaign manager for Yes on N, said on Thursday that Sheldon's only involvement was to walk precincts with his son and attend the victory party. "We won it as a grass-roots effort. We owe more to (Republican Rep. William) Dannemeyer than to Lou Sheldon."

Sheldon blamed a "misunderstanding in the press" for the apparent discrepancies. "We were enthusiastically supporting it with our personal feelings and emotions," he said Saturday night. "I said all along I was not at all responsible for the activity. I did not take credit for the victory.

"The only thing we did was send a mailing out to our people to get behind Scott Peotter in the last week or two of the campaign," he said.

That mailing was not listed on the most recent campaign financial disclosure reports. State law requires campaign donations and in-kind contributions to be disclosed.

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