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Riordan Counters Woo Attack Ads

AD WATCH: The Mayoral Race, One in an occasional series

June 01, 1993

Los Angeles mayoral candidate Richard Riordan has begun running a new TV ad featuring black, Jewish and female supporters seeking to rebut attacks made by Riordan's rival, City Councilman Michael Woo.

* THE AD: Stan Sanders, who was the leading African-American candidate in last month's primary, says: "Mike Woo's TV smear campaign is an attempt to cover up his record of failure. Dick Riordan doesn't have a racist bone in his body." City Councilman Joel Wachs, the third-place finisher in last month's primary, adds: "I work with Mike Woo. His television ads smear Dick Riordan to divert attention from his failed record in Hollywood. Frankly, Mike Woo's not capable of running this city." Then Anne Petroni, identified as a former president of Planned Parenthood, Los Angeles, says: "Mike Woo's TV ads are lying about Dick Riordan. Dick Riordan's pro-choice and has always been pro-choice. Mike Woo is trying to escape blame for his record of failure."

* THE ANALYSIS: The commercial is aimed at defusing Woo's attack ads seeking to tie Riordan to the anti-abortion movement and exclusive clubs. Riordan--who has contributed to anti-abortion groups as well as to political candidates who favor abortion rights--insists that he favors a woman's right to choose, although in a 1991 interview he equated abortion with murder. Riordan has said that as a member of the California Club, he worked during the 1970s with other members to open the club to Jewish, minority and women members. He was a member of the Los Angeles Country Club for about three years but said that he resigned in August "because I thought it was a symbol of discrimination to too many people."

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