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POLITICAL NOTEBOOK

They Really Don't Want You to Vote Often--Just Early

October 21, 1990|MIKE WARD

The ballot's in the mail: Absentee ballot overkill is moving into high gear in the 42nd Assembly District, where Republican voters have been hit with not one, but two ballot applications from Assemblyman Richard Mountjoy (R-Monrovia).

Peggy Mew, a Mountjoy aide, said the duplicate mailing was necessary because of a printer's error: The first batch of pre-printed applications arrived embossed with just one voter's name per household. The second mailing--headlined "OOPS"--corrected the problem by pre-printing individual ballot applications with the name of each registered voter in the house.

Mew said the printer who made the mistake paid the cost of the second mailing, including nearly $6,000 in postage.

The duplicate Mountjoy mailings come at a time when district Republicans have already been deluged with similar absentee ballot applications from the state party, the county registrar of voters, Sen. Pete Wilson (R-Calif.) and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn.

The emphasis on absentee balloting is aimed at increasing the voter turnout, which Mew said was only 36% in the 42nd District in the June primary. But the effort is generating a backlash. Mew said one election worker called to complain that voting by mail will leave the polling places deserted on Election Day, Nov. 6.

And voters may be getting so much political mail that they just ignore it all. Mew said campaign phone workers are running into a surprising number of people who say they would be happy to cast absentee ballots--if only someone would send them an application.

Mayor exonerated: When Pomona Mayor Donna Smith was accused of violating state law with a political mailing in last month's City Council election, she didn't wait for her critics to file a complaint. She reported the incident herself to the state Fair Political Practices Commission.

Now the commission has ruled that Smith didn't violate the law when she sent out a fund-raising letter on behalf of council candidate Boyd Bredenkamp. She sent the letter to Forest Tennant, head of a local Republican club, and Tennant reproduced the letter for distribution to club members.

Critics, including council colleagues, accused Smith of violating the state law by sending political mail at public expense. But Kristine Cazadd, counsel for the commission's enforcement division, said Smith typed the letter at home, not at city expense, and didn't know that Tennant was going to reproduce it. Therefore, she said, there was no violation of state law.

Thicker than water?: Carol Montano, running against incumbent Donald F. Clark for a seat on the San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District board, is carrying on a long family tradition. Her father, Lucio Cruz, twice ran against Clark in Azusa City Council elections, losing to him in 1970 by just one vote. Four years later, Cruz evened the score by defeating Clark. Now it's up to daughter Montano to break the tie.

Short subjects: Voters perplexed by the long list of measures on the Nov. 6 ballot can hear them explained by a League of Women Voters panel at 10 a.m. Saturday in the community room at Mercury Savings, 235 N. Citrus St., West Covina . . . "Leave Your Heart in San Francisco" is the theme of a $25-per-person party to rally support for gubernatorial candidate Dianne Feinstein from 2 to 5 p.m. Oct. 28 at 838 Fairfield Circle, Pasadena, under sponsorship of the United Democratic Headquarters in Pasadena.

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