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CALIFORNIA DATELINE / PATT MORRISON

Snapshots of life in the Golden State. : Could This Be the Mother of All Mistaken Identities?

October 28, 1994|PATT MORRISON

Figuring large in Sacramento this election is . . . Saddam Hussein. Republican insurance commissioner candidate Chuck Quackenbush accused his opponent, Democrat Art Torres, of being a fan of Hussein's by virtue of a trip to Iraq in the mid-1980s.

Torres' rejoinder: The trip had the blessing of the Ronald Reagan Administration, and then-Secretary of State George Shultz thanked everyone for going. Bonus point: Shultz is now honorary chairman of Quackenbush's campaign.

Maybe Torres is just a fan of . . . Jerry Haleva's.

The lobbyist (pharmaceuticals, Pepperdine, California Manufacturers Assn.) has had Saddam roles in both "Hot Shots" terrorist-spoof films, and though his mother frets about this, Haleva soothes her thusly: "My chances of being shot because I'm a lobbyist are even higher than for looking like Saddam."

Haleva is on the board of the Sacramento Jewish Federation, making it "particularly ironic that a nice Jewish boy can make some money impersonating an Arab dictator."

He's still hoping for more work: "I would have thought someone would hire me to endorse their opponents."

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Music of the right: The economy, foreign policy, the environment, music--is there anything Rep. Dan Hamburg (D-Ukiah) and ex-Rep. Frank Riggs, the GOP challenger he beat in 1992, can agree on?

Riggs, a former police officer, calls it unfair that Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt can waive their concert fees for Hamburg fund-raisers. Hamburg says it's just as fair as it is for Charlton Heston to fund-raise and stump for Riggs.

Federal election law limits personal in-kind contributions to $1,000. A ruling has held that performers may waive their fees without violating the limit.

Riggs is a Raitt fan but he's keeping his distance now that she's in the enemy camp, politically. But it hurts: "I love her music. It's terrible not to be able to listen to it or buy any of her CDs."

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Hot--and Not--Initiatives

Here are the most and least popular initiatives ever to appear on the California state ballot.

MOST POPULAR

YEAR: 1934

INIATIVE: Proposition 6

% YES: 79

% NO: 21

Required felony defendants to be taken immediately before a judge.

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YEAR: 1934

INIATIVE: Proposition 7

% YES: 76

% NO: 24

Required competitive exams for hiring and promotion of state civil service employees.

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YEAR: 1920

INIATIVE: Proposition 1

% YES: 75

% NO: 25

Prohibited farm ownership by immigrants ineligible for citizenship, largely Japanese.

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LEAST POPULAR

YEAR: 1988

INIATIVE: Proposition 101

% YES: 13

% NO: 87

Would have reduced certain auto insurance rates.

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YEAR: 1938

INIATIVE: Proposition 20

% YES: 17

% NO: 83

Would have repealed limit on property taxes for state appropriations.

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YEAR: 1930

INIATIVE: Proposition 26

% YES: 17

% NO: 83

Would have closed all businesses on Sunday except necessary, recreational or charitable concerns.

Source: California secretary of state, Times news files, "California Initiatives and Referendums, 1912-1990," by John M. Allswang

Researched by TRACY THOMAS/Los Angeles Times

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Flyboys: Within hours of the news that Navy Lt. Kara Hultgreen had crashed her F-14 fighter and been lost at sea, male pilots called at least three news outlets to whisper that the Navy had lowered standards so Hultgreen could become the first woman qualified to fly an F-14.

Capt. Mark Grissom, commander of the Pacific fleet's fighter squadrons, says that is untrue. Hultgreen had failed in her first try but succeeded in her second attempt, meeting the same standards as the men.

And it is not uncommon for would-be F-14 pilots to fail the first time: Another pilot who needed two tries was Randall (Duke) Cunningham. He went on to become an ace in Vietnam and is now a congressman whose district includes Miramar Naval Air Station--home of the F-14s.

EXIT LINE

"You're going to support that person for 10 years. That's a lot of college degrees."

--California State University trustee Anthony M. Vitti, about a nonviolent drug offender getting a prison term, and on rising prison and other costs forcing college tuition increases.

California Dateline appears every other Friday.

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