Fernandez estimated the value of CAC's brochures at $120,000, but said they were prepared in small batches by volunteers around the country, none spending enough individually to trigger state reporting requirements.
A spokeswoman for the state Fair Political Practices Commission said political action committees such as CAC must file campaign finance reports if they spend $1,000 or more. But she said commission lawyers could not immediately determine if that requirement applied to Fernandez's group.
Roberti also charged Wednesday that Rowen deliberately dodged a televised candidates forum and refused to return a questionnaire from The Times because she is trying to hide her views from voters in the district.
"For all my faults and all my virtues, I let the people know where I stand on the issues--controversial issues," he said. "We have a right to know Ms. Rowen's stands, as she can't go through this election as the phantom candidate."
Rowen said she did not attend the forum because she was afraid that Roberti's campaign would videotape her answers and use them later in paid TV commercials intended to make her look bad by taking her responses "out of context."
She said she received The Times questionnaire on Saturday, only a few hours before it was due back, and did not have time to fill it out.
The Times hand-delivered the questionnaire to Rowen's home April 1, which she said she never received, and faxed another copy Friday.
Rowen said she expects that her new status as a runoff contender will attract support from abortion rights and women's groups that have long opposed Roberti.
"He doesn't want to discuss choice, but he can't avoid the issue," she said. "It's very important in this district."
Despite this year's anti-incumbent fervor, most political analysts expect Roberti to prevail in June.
"It's a mixed message from voters," said Republican Assemblywoman Cathie Wright of Simi Valley, who is in her sixth two-year term.
"On one hand, they're saying throw those incumbents out. On the other hand, they want somebody with experience," she said.
GOP political consultant Eric Rose agreed, saying Roberti will win in June because voters will be convinced that he is better positioned to deliver government services to them.
This special election is being conducted to fill the seat held by Alan Robbins, who resigned after agreeing to plead guilty to federal corruption charges.
SAN FERNANDO VALLEY
STATE SENATE 20th District 471 of 471 precincts reporting (unofficial final results)
CANDIDATE VOTE % David A. Roberti (D)* 16,162 33.9% Carol Rowen (R)* 10,037 21.1% David Honda (R) 7,170 15.0% Dolores White (R) 5,015 10.5% Ted Dan August (D) 3,209 6.7% Bill Dominguez (D) 1,980 4.1% Glenn Bailey (Green)* 1,676 3.5% John Vernon (Lib)* 1,149 2.4% Gary Kast (P&F)* 586 1.2% Drew M. Angel (D) 578 1.2%
* Will appear on June 2 runoff ballot