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POLITICAL NOTEBOOK : Pomonans Miffed at Human Relations Panel

March 08, 1992|Mike Ward

Rude Guests--Pomona Mayor Donna Smith welcomed the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission to her city last week for a hearing in the council chambers, but now she says she is sorry that she did.

"They used our facility to come here and beat up on us," Smith complained. "It was in poor taste."

The commission, which held the hearing to explore racial tensions in Pomona, heard a parade of speakers describe a city rife with racism, unemployment, hunger, inadequate housing and physically unfit children whose health has been damaged by poor diets and inadequate exercise.

Smith said the picture would have been quite different if the commission had only asked the city to suggest speakers.

Representatives of Pomona National Little League told the City Council this week that they, too, were upset by the damage to the city's image from the hearing. So they came to the council meeting to offer good news in an effort to counteract the bad. They said that participation in youth baseball is increasing and that the upgraded Little League facilities in Pomona are the envy of other cities.

Smith thanked the Little League parents for their effort, but she said she is still upset by what she sees as the county commission abusing the city's hospitality.

The next time the commission wants "to trash Pomona," she said, it will have to do it in Los Angeles.

Trading Charges--The campaign in the 60th Assembly District is just beginning for the June 2 primary, but participants are already splattering a little mud.

First, the Cerritos-La Mirada unit of the California Republican Assembly, an organization of Republican volunteers, issued a news release saying it had censured Republican candidate Phyllis Papen for backing a Democrat against Assemblyman Paul Horcher (R-Hacienda Heights) two years ago.

"Republicans are furious with Papen," declared the release.

Papen, who is running against Horcher for the Republican nomination, responded with a release denouncing the "campaign lies" by the club, which is headed by a Horcher staff member. Papen also accused Horcher of "dirty campaign manipulations." The candidate said she refused to support Horcher in 1990, but the claim that she endorsed his Democratic opponent is untrue.

Papen, a member of the Diamond Bar City Council, and Horcher, a former member of the council, have long been at odds politically.

About the only thing they agree on is the value of tarnishing an opponent by tying him or her to Assembly Speaker Willie Brown (D-San Francisco).

The news release attacking Papen said her actions in the 1990 election could have helped Brown "maintain his entrenched majority" in the Assembly if Horcher had lost.

Meanwhile, Papen's release said that Horcher appears, from his voting record, to be "in Willie Brown's hip pocket."

New Bills--State Sen. Frank Hill (R-Whittier) said a bill he introduced that is aimed at helping police deal with juvenile gang members was suggested by the city of West Covina.

The bill would enable police to keep minors in custody overnight if the officers cannot find a parent or guardian. . . . Assemblyman Horcher has introduced a workers' compensation reform bill developed by the San Gabriel Valley Economic Council. One key provision would require employees seeking compensation for stress, or other psychiatric injuries, to prove that their job was at least 51% responsible for their condition. The current standard is 10%. . . . State Sen. Newton R. Russell (R-Glendale) has introduced a bill requiring marriage license applicants to be tested for the HIV virus.

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