Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsFixme

ELECTIONS / CONGRESS : Braude and Horn: A Comparison of the Candidates : Horn: He is both demanding and tireless. He says he represents reform. And he already knows the ins and outs of Washington politics.

October 25, 1992|TINA GRIEGO | TIMES STAFF WRITER

LONG BEACH AREA — A friend of Steve Horn's once put together a list of the Cal State Long Beach professor's personality traits.

Although the details are now forgotten, Horn acknowledges that "arrogant, impatient, overbearing and demanding" as well as "generous, tireless, brilliant and open-minded" were noted side-by-side on that piece of paper.

He still disagrees strongly with some of those judgments but said: "There is no question I do affect people in both ways . . . no question that I've probably appeared that way to some people at some time."

It is not surprising then, that Horn is perhaps best known as the Cal State Long Beach professor who was named in a national study as one of the country's most effective college presidents in 1986, only to be forced to resign a year later for deficient management skills.

Now Horn has resurfaced, this time as the Republican nominee in the 38th Congressional District. Championing himself as the "Republican for Reform," the 60-year-old political science professor upset a field of seven in the primary, including the GOP pick, former Assemblyman Dennis Brown.

He faces an equally daunting task--defeating Democrat Evan Anderson Braude in a district dominated by Democrats and for a seat long held by Braude's stepfather, Rep. Glenn M. Anderson. Also running in the race are Libertarian Blake Ashley and Peace and Freedom candidate Paul Burton.

"I have only had challenging assignments, and I have never let the pressure get to me," Horn said.

From the start, Horn has run a maverick campaign. Although he now has professional campaign help, during the primary he relied only on his son, Steve Horn Jr., daughter, Marcia, and wife, Nini Horn, to organize his campaign. Instead of glib, vague campaign mail, Horn distributed large fold-out campaign brochures crammed with exhaustive detail on his background and platform.

Horn has refused to take money from political action committees or special interest groups. With the exception of help from the Republican Party, all of his contributions have come from individuals, most of whom live in the district. Among his largest contributors were Edgar and Betty Hamer, a Los Alamitos dermatologist and his wife, who gave $6,330. The Republican Party gave him $3,500. Horn has loaned $42,583 to his campaign.

Every chance he gets, he criticizes Braude's decision to accept PAC funds.

"He simply represents politics as usual. I represent reform and change," Horn said with characteristic bluntness. "He's for raising taxes. I'm not. . . . He's against term limits. I support them. He's against the death penalty. I support it. He hasn't taken a pledge to cut the deficit. I have pledged to vote to cut the deficit $75-to-$100 billion a year, and if I haven't kept the pledge at the end of the fifth year, then I retire."

Horn is wooing Democrats by stressing his support for abortion rights, his disapproval of the military's ban on gays and his support for public schools.

A tall man with a confident bearing and no-nonsense manner, Horn has spent so much time studying Congress that one supporter enthusiastically suggests, "He knows more about it than the Speaker of the House." Horn's conversations are peppered with mind-numbing references to government officials with whom he has worked and the panels on which he has served.

He earned a master's degree in public administration from Harvard and a doctorate in political science from Stanford, which led to his first book on the Cabinet and Congress, published when he was 29.

He moved to Washington in 1958 where he worked as a legislative aide to the Senate's deputy Republican leader and briefly as an assistant to the Secretary of Labor. He wrote a book on the role of the Senate Appropriations Committee and co-authored one on congressional ethics.

He became a dean at American University in Washington and was appointed by President Richard Nixon as vice chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights--a part-time post he held for 13 years. He also served on numerous boards, was host on a television series on the three branches of government and later a radio show on presidential campaign reform. Through the years, he has amassed a personal collection of 7,000 books on Congress.

In 1969, when Horn was 38, California State University officials were impressed with his achievements at American University and offered him a choice of being president at three of their campuses: San Diego, San Jose and Long Beach.

Steve Horn Jr. said his father chose Long Beach because he thought it had the most potential as a university and as a city.

Praised as a tireless "ideas man" who transformed the university into a respected academic institution, Horn pioneered a number of programs, including one that allowed senior citizens to attend classes for $3.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|