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Political Briefing

The Mayor Makes Sure Everyone's on Board for Subway Vote


SUBWAY SHUFFLE: Following his announcement Tuesday that he would support a Valley subway system, Mayor Richard Riordan had his work cut out for him: making sure that his three appointees to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board would stay in step.

Northridge real estate agent Mel Wilson, appointed by Riordan to the 13-member MTA board last year, posed no problem: He also backed the subway option.

Los Angeles attorney Stan Sanders said he would adopt the mayor's position. But Sanders was out of the country Wednesday, and his alternate on the board, City Councilwoman Ruth Galanter, was also unavailable for the afternoon meeting.

To cover that base, Riordan exercised his privilege as mayor to replace Galanter as Sanders' alternate with his own proxy, Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky. Yaroslavsky has been a staunch supporter of the subway proposal.

And what about Riordan's third appointee, City Councilman Richard Alatorre? Alatorre in the past has advocated the rival proposal for an elevated line down the Ventura Freeway.

Riordan's aides said Tuesday that Alatorre and the mayor had reached "an understanding." At the MTA meeting Wednesday, observers understood that Alatorre was out sick--for oral surgery--which enabled his alternate, fellow Councilman Nate Holden, to cast a vote for the subway.

The final tally was 8 to 5 in favor of the subway route; half of the votes were from Riordan's camp.


WHERE THERE'S SMOKE: Here's something for children's advocates to crow about: Among its other achievements, the 1994 Legislature passed a bill to prohibit smoking in licensed child day-care centers.

Studies showed that secondhand smoke endangered kids and only 55% of California's licensed centers and private residences operating as child-care facilities were completely smoke-free.

But for those looking for a rusty underside to the silver lining, consider this. Fourteen Assembly members and 10 Senate members voted against the bill, which Gov. Pete Wilson signed into law.

In the San Fernando, Antelope and Santa Clarita valleys, state Sens. Don Rogers (R-Tehachapi) and Cathie Wright (R-Simi Valley) turned thumbs down on the measure. Assembly members Bill Hoge (R-Pasadena) and William J. (Pete) Knight (R-Palmdale) also cast votes against the day-care smoking ban.

Those voting in favor of it, according to the watchdog lobbyist group called Voters' Alliance for Children, were: state Sens. Tom Hayden (D-Santa Monica), David Roberti (D-Van Nuys) and Herschel Rosenthal (D-Los Angeles); and Assembly members Richard Katz (D-Sylmar), Burt Margolin (D-Los Angeles), Barbara Friedman (D-North Hollywood), Terry Friedman (D-Brentwood) and Paula Boland (R-Granada Hills).

As it turns out, though, the smoking-in-day-care bill is just one of several pieces of legislation the Voter's Alliance for Children tracked in an effort to measure how supportive lawmakers are on children's issues.

According to spokesman Ted Weinstein, "An appalling number of state legislators are voting against vital legislation that would improve children's health, safety and well-being."

The alliance compiled a list of the 10 lawmakers who earned a perfect score of voting against bills the group identified as helpful to youngsters.

Only one member of the Valley-area delegation made the so-called Terrible Ten list--state Sen. Don Rogers.


PARTY ON: OK, political party animals, here's the scoop.

The tony Rive Gauche Cafe in Sherman Oaks is to be the site of a $1,000-per-head fund-raising breakfast this morning for GOP congressional candidate Richard Sybert. Sybert, who is giving U.S. Rep. Anthony Beilenson (D-Woodland Hills) fits, expects to pick up about $50,000 and change from this event, which will feature jet-setting U.S. Sen. Robert Dole (R-Kansas), the Senate minority leader, as guest speaker.

No one's asked yet why Republicans are gathering at a restaurant named Rive Gauche--the name of Paris' artsy, politically progressive neighborhood on the Left Bank of the Seine.

But next Tuesday evening offers political hors d'oeuvre grazers their best chance yet to size up the Beilenson-Sybert clash, when both men will have fund-raisers at the Sagebrush Cantina in Calabasas.

The Sybert fund-raiser at $100 per person runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and will feature actor and Republican pitchman Charlton Heston, while the Beilenson event--with a more Democratic entrance-fee schedule (guests will be asked to pay anywhere from $25 to $100)--is set to begin at 7 p.m. The theme of the Beilenson event is a belated celebration of the incumbent's birthday. On Oct. 26, he turned 62.

For those who have suffered through the debates between the two men, which have gotten predictable, one can only hope there'll be a food fight.

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