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A behind-the-scenes look at Orange County's political life : As Usual, Late 'Hit Pieces' Swing Wildly and Don't Lay a Glove on the Facts

November 06, 1994

Hmmm: Politicians, who usually have low credibility ratings with the public, are showing their worst side as last-minute "hit pieces" land in mailboxes before Tuesday's election. Not all are negative. Some get attention for stretching the truth. Here's a sampling of some from the lighter side.

* The pro-El Toro airport campaign, which is behind Measure A, is called Committee for 21,000 New Jobs, but a recent mailer claims the airport would create 53,000 jobs. Hmmm. Opponents say the signer of another pro-airport mailer, Reed L. Royalty of the Orange County Taxpayers Assn., first went to opponents of the measure offering to help run their campaign. Royalty denied that, although he concedes discussing the measure with a member of the anti-Measure A forces.

* A thinly disguised pro-Republican mailer was really sent by a group calling itself the Non-Partisan Candidate Evaluation Council Inc. Besides endorsing candidates for state and local offices, the group made recommendations on the state ballot measures. Completely left off the list were two controversial measures: Proposition 186, which would create a statewide health system, and Proposition 187, a Republican-backed measure that would curtail public benefits for illegal immigrants. Hmmm.

* A newsletter recently mailed by the Save Our Kids youth sports group in Huntington Beach stated that Huntington Beach City Council candidate Steven A. Sherman had withdrawn his candidacy. The only problem is, it's not true.

"If people think you're not in the race anymore, they're not going to vote for you," Sherman complained. "This has screwed me big time."

Save Our Kids President Chuck Beauregard said it was an honest error, and a correction was sent out last week.

Republican Strongholds

Cities with the highest percentage of registered Republicans

(City: Percent)

Villa Park: 72%

Newport Beach: 66

Yorba Linda: 62

Laguna Hills: 59

Mission Viejo: 58

Democrat Citadels

Cities with the highest percentage of registered Democrats

(City: Percent)

Santa Ana: 54%

Stanton: 46

Los Alamitos: 41

Seal Beach: 40

La Habra:39

Source: Orange County Registrar of Voters


What's-his-name: Democrats are howling in protest over the decision by former Democratic congressional candidate Robert J. Banuelos to cross party lines and support his former Republican rival, Rep. Robert K. Dornan (R-Garden Grove), in the 46th Congressional District race.

Banuelos, who lost to Democrat Mike Farber in the June primary, decided to drop his write-in candidacy so that he could focus on helping defeat Proposition 187, the anti-illegal immigration initiative on Tuesday's ballot. Democrats note that Dornan strongly supports 187.

They also haven't forgotten how Dornan ridiculed Banuelos two years ago, when the two faced each other in the general election. Dornan, trying to portray himself as a better Roman Catholic than Banuelos, referred to Banuelos' marital status and said, "bachelors tend to not practice" Catholicism. Last year, Dornan referred to Banuelos as "what's-his-name."

But Dornan and his wife, Sallie, now have nothing but good things to say about their new political friend and call him "very, very family oriented."


Dornan did it too: During a recent television debate, Dornan seemed impressed with Democratic congressional candidate Brett Williamson, who is running in a neighboring district against Dornan's friend Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach). Following the television taping, Dornan went up to Williamson and said with a smile: "OK. You turned me around. I won't vote for you against him (Rohrabacher), but I'm looking for you in the next race."



Last week's column included some incorrect figures on the amount of money raised and spent by local candidates for Congress. Here's a revised list, which details campaign activity between Jan. 1 and Oct. 19, with cash left on hand.

Money Money Cash Candidate raised spent on hand 39th District R: Ed Royce* $169,020 $143,163 $59,772 D: R.O. (Bob) Davis 856 2,526 219 41st District R: Jay C. Kim* 402,205 506,807 40,956 D: Ed Tessier 48,640 41,796 8,843 45th District R: Dana Rohrabacher* 104,499 101,245 53,076 D: Brett Williamson 57,801 68,822 8,978 46th District R: Robert K. Dornan* 1,321,031 1,205,598 195,894 D: Mike Farber 168,368 184,247 4,421 47th District R: Christopher Cox* 178,730 73,448 336,792 D: Gary Kingsbury 59,342 66,966 4,082 48th District R: Ron Packard* 101,756 47,800 154,904 D: Andrei Leschick 623 2,572 1,005

* Incumbent

Source: Federal Election Commission reports

Compiled by Times political writer Gebe Martinez, with a contribution by correspondent Debra Cano.

Politics '94 appears every Sunday.

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