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POLITICAL NOTEBOOK

Conflict Issue Resurfaces for Councilwoman

August 30, 1992|MIKE WARD

Non-family values--The state Fair Political Practices Commission ruled two years ago that Diamond Bar Councilwoman Phyllis Papen could vote on a trash collection contract even though the man she lives with, Michael Lowe, was a consultant to one of the bidders, Western Waste.

The commission ruled there was no conflict because Papen and Lowe kept their money separate and she did not derive a financial benefit from the money he received.

But campaign statements filed this month by Papen on money raised and spent on her unsuccessful effort to unseat Assemblyman Paul Horcher (R-Diamond Bar) in the June primary may reopen the issue. The statements indicate that Lowe and his company, Telemarketing Plus, loaned her $4,500 for the campaign and provided $6,150 in office equipment.

Papen said there was no conflict because the money benefited her campaign, not her personally. She also obtained an opinion from the city attorney that she has no conflict of interest regarding a sales job her 19-year-old son recently got with Western Waste. She said her son, Jeffrey, a college student, doesn't live with her and she didn't know he was applying for the job until he was hired.

Greatly outspent--Papen's statement shows that she raised $49,074 and spent $58,201 on her campaign. Horcher, who won by a 57%-to-43% margin, spent nearly $300,000.

The Diamond Bar City Council is still considering the trash collection issue. The council instructed the city staff to negotiate a contract with Western Waste after reviewing proposals by haulers. Papen said she voted for the Western Waste proposal because of its superior recycling component.

But other haulers have not given up. John Adkisson, an attorney for Waste Management Inc., notified the city attorney last week that he believes Papen should resubmit the conflict of interest issue to the Fair Political Practices Commission. City Atty. Andrew V. Arczynski said he is waiting for a letter from Adkisson to explain what would warrant another commission review.

Papen said she has been forthright about her circumstances and will follow the commission's advice but thinks the opinion two years ago resolved the matter.

Campaign offices--Democrats in Pasadena and the Pomona Valley have opened new campaign headquarters.

The United Headquarters for the Democratic Party, at Raymond Avenue and Union Street in Pasadena, is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday. It will be a campaign office for candidates Doug Kahn in the 27th Congressional District, Rachel Dewey in the 21st state Senate District and Jonathan Fuhrman in the 44th Assembly District, as well as the Clinton-Gore presidential ticket.

The Pomona Valley United Democratic Headquarters, 610 E. Arrow Highway, Pomona, is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. It will promote Democratic presidential and U.S. Senate candidates, as well as Sandy Hester in the 29th state Senate District, Al Wachtel in the 28th Congressional District and Louise Gelber in the 59th Assembly District.

Short subjects--Louise Gelber, Democratic nominee in the 59th Assembly District, is seeking support from volunteers who worked in the Ross Perot presidential campaign. She is sending letters saluting their idealism and emphasizing her support of abortion rights and economic revitalization . . . Assemblyman Paul Horcher (R-Hacienda Heights) has been appointed to a conference committee to work out differences between the state Senate and Assembly over workers compensation reform. Horcher has pushed reform proposals backed by the San Gabriel Valley Economic Council.

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