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ELECTIONS / LEGISLATIVE SEATS : New Clout May Aid Gallegly on Immigration : Because of a production error, a portion of this story was missing in some editions of The Times on Thursday.


After years of publicly condemning the unchecked tide of illegal immigrants, Rep. Elton Gallegly is poised to become a congressional leader in the campaign to rewrite the nation's immigration laws.

Once Congress comes under Republican control next year, Gallegly (R-Simi Valley) said he may have the seniority to become the next chairman of the House Judiciary subcommittee on international law, immigration and refugees.

For years, that subcommittee has bottled up his bills to create a tamper-resistant green card, end automatic citizenship to illegal immigrants' children born in this country and other tough measures to curb illegal immigration.

"The timing is right," said Gallegly, who easily won a fifth term in office Tuesday. "If nothing else comes out of Proposition 187, there should be a strong message to Washington that Californians want us to deal with this issue."

Gallegly is not the only local lawmaker elected Tuesday who will undergo a dramatic change in stature and clout in Sacramento or Washington.

Rep. Anthony C. Beilenson (D-Woodland Hills), who apparently was reelected by a slender margin to represent the Conejo Valley, will enter his 10th term stripped of his chairmanship of a powerful House Rules subcommittee.


Beilenson said he has no idea what to expect after spending 18 years with the ruling party in the House of Representatives and the preceding 14 years as part of the Democratic majority in the state Legislature.

"We are going to have to see how our Republican colleagues in the House deal with us," Beilenson said. "I'm looking forward to helping get things done, if I'm allowed to help."

Beilenson said he will continue to try to line up federal dollars to purchase more parkland in the Santa Monica Mountains. Also, he said he was enthusiastic about working with Gallegly, who has become a close friend, on creating a tamper-proof green card and other immigration-reform laws.

Beilenson held a 3,201-vote lead over Republican challenger Rich Sybert, who received overwhelming support among Ventura County voters in a district that reaches deep into the San Fernando Valley.

Sybert has not conceded the race, hoping that about 19,000 absentee ballots yet to be counted will turn the race around. Among the absentee ballots already counted, Sybert won by a 5% margin, far short of the advantage he would need in the remaining ballots to change the outcome.

In the state Assembly next year, Ventura County will be represented by three Republicans who joined in the GOP tidal wave that may yet take control of the Assembly from Democratic Speaker Willie Brown.


Assemblyman-elect Brooks Firestone, a Santa Barbara vintner, handily defeated Democrat Mindy Lorenz to claim the seat being vacated by Assemblyman Jack O'Connell (D-Carpinteria).

Firestone flew to Sacramento on Wednesday to meet with Assembly GOP leader Jim Brulte and was unavailable for comment. Firestone will represent the 35th Assembly District that covers Ventura, Santa Paula, the Ojai Valley and much of Santa Barbara County.

Assemblywoman Paula Boland (R-Granada Hills), who easily won reelection over a UCLA student, said she hopes to become the chairwoman of the Assembly Committee on Public Safety, should the Assembly fall into Republican hands.

Boland, now the top Republican on the committee, has spent much of her time in Sacramento pushing to toughen sentencing laws for sex offenders and other law-and-order measures.

If Brulte appoints her chairwoman, Boland said she will make even greater strides to crack down on criminals, such as ending conjugal visits in prison for some offenders. Boland's 38th Assembly District covers Simi Valley, Fillmore and portions of Los Angeles County.

Assemblyman Nao Takasugi (R-Oxnard) easily fought off a challenge from Democrat Dorothy Maron, his old nemesis from his days on the Oxnard City Council.


Although he only won a second term, Takasugi hopes to be considered for a chairmanship of some committee, if Republicans take control. "I'll be considered a veteran," Takasugi said. "We are being primed for some leadership roles."

He said he hopes to make additional progress in reforming worker's compensation laws and toughening penalties for violent crime, and bringing back a new version of the controversial CLAS tests that would be acceptable to everyone.

O'Connell, who defeated Republican Steve MacElvaine, said he is excited about replacing Gary K. Hart as a state senator. He said he plans to use his position to make sure Ventura County becomes the home of a four-year state university.

"Now with Gary retiring, I'm going to carry the ball," O'Connell said. "It's going to be a major priority."

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