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MOORPARK : Perez Backs Mikels After Foe's 187 Flyer

October 24, 1994|CARLOS V. LOZANO

Moorpark Councilman Bernardo Perez has announced that he is endorsing Ventura County supervisorial candidate Judy Mikels, saying her opponent issued a flyer he found offensive to Latinos.

Perez said he was supporting Mikels, a Simi Valley councilwoman, because of her government experience,integrity and honesty. Perez said he had initially planned to remain neutral in the race because his Moorpark council colleague Scott Montgomery is Mikels' opponent.

But Perez, the only Latino on the council, said he changed his mind because he believes Montgomery is trying to exploit the emotionally charged issue of illegal immigration to boost his candidacy for a countywide post. Perez said immigration was a federal matter and had no place in the supervisorial race.

Montgomery mailed flyers to 12,000 absentee voters this week that featured a picture of illegal immigrants with the words: "This isn't 'immigration.' This is an invasion. And you're paying for it."

Montgomery denied that he was trying to exploit the immigration issue to his benefit, saying he believed there are things the county can do to reduce the cost of illegal immigration.

The flyer outlines Montgomery's five-point plan to "Stop the Illegal Alien Rip-Off" in the county, including turning over illegal immigrants to federal authorities. The plan also calls for support of Proposition 187, the statewide ballot initiative that would bar most government services to illegal immigrants and their children.

"He's trying to ride the coattails of Proposition 187," said Perez, an outspoken critic of the measure, which statewide polls show voters favor 2 to 1. "It's not a campaign issue. People are going to see that it's purely a political maneuver."

Mikels, who has not taken a public stand on Proposition 187, said she was pleased to have Perez's support. She said she also believes Montgomery is trying to appeal to voters by bringing the immigration issue into the county race. "It's typical desperation politics," she said.

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