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Westside Watch

Tigers and Quarterbacks Along the Campaign Trail

October 23, 1994

Former Housing Secretary Jack Kemp stumped recently for Republican congressional candidate Susan Brooks, one of dozens of candidates he has visited this election cycle.

He called Brooks' chances "very favorable" against Rep. Jane Harman (D-Rolling Hills) in the 36th Congressional District, which follows the coast from Venice to San Pedro.

"She's a fighter, she's a tiger, she's a quarterback," Kemp said at a local fund-raiser. "She was for NAFTA; Jane was against NAFTA," he said. ". . . How can you believe in free enterprise in California and not be for exporting computers and agriculture and widgets to Mexico? It just doesn't make sense."

Yet Kemp and Brooks don't agree on everything. Kemp supports the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. So does Harman. But Brooks considers the pact a threat to U.S. sovereignty.

Said Kemp: "Unity does not require unanimity."

Kemp and Brooks also part ways on Proposition 187, which would deny services to illegal immigrants. Kemp opposes the measure and Brooks supports it.

Said Brooks: "We can agree to disagree."

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PAC-MAN: GOP congressional candidate Richard Sybert, who is now challenging Rep. Anthony C. Beilenson (D-Woodland Hills), is trying to spin a new logic for voters: that political action committee money is good, not bad.

The estimated $60,000 he has received from PACs should be seen as a vote of confidence by the business community in his campaign pledge to lift roadblocks to commerce and job growth by working to lower taxes and cut government regulations, Sybert said this week.

This logic is partly defensive as Sybert braces for a Beilenson broadside in the hard-fought race in the 24th Congressional District, which includes Malibu and part of the San Fernando Valley.

PAC contributions, the Democrat has said, represent unwholesome efforts by powerful special interests to influence lawmakers. Beilenson has pledged for years that he will not take such money.

But Sybert accuses Beilenson of indirectly taking PAC money. Beilenson, Sybert noted, accepts contributions from the state and national Democratic congressional campaign fund--which directly takes PAC money itself.

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MODERATE OR CONSERVATIVE? According to state Sen. Ralph C. Dills (D-El Segundo), the radical right is alive and well--and contributing to opponent David Barrett Cohen's campaign.

Dills officials made the charge because of a $20,000 contribution from the campaign of state Sen. Rob Hurtt (R-Garden Grove) to Cohen, a Redondo Beach attorney. Hurtt is a conservative, evangelical Christian who is a leader in the party's efforts to reclaim the Senate and Assembly.

Cohen "is trying to portray himself as a moderate Republican," said Tim Mock, Dills' campaign coordinator. "He has positions on issues that are very favorable (to the political right)."

But Cohen said that Hurtt, in his leadership post, must give to conservatives and moderates alike. And Cohen rejects the view that he's right-wing. Among other things, Cohen favors abortion rights and opposes Proposition 187.

"According to (the Dills campaign), I must be the world's only Christian fundamentalist who's Jewish," Cohen said.

The 28th State Senate District includes Marina del Rey, Venice and Playa del Rey.

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