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Political Briefing

Local GOP Players Have All Bases Covered in Evolving Game Plan


THE DOMINO THEORY: Dominoes are beginning to fall throughout San Fernando Valley political circles as local pols sort out who will be vying in which upcoming election races. While the players are mum, here's one scenario sources say is emerging from the GOP crystal ball.

The domino at the head of the line is U.S. Rep. Carlos Moorhead (R-Glendale), who is said to have decided against running for reelection after 24 years in Congress.

That development reportedly has longtime Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich eyeing a bid for the 27th Congressional District.

Should Antonovich feel too cozy to move on, however, Washington may beckon GOP Assemblyman James E. Rogan, also of Glendale. A political-history buff since boyhood, Rogan may view the chance to serve in Congress as an irresistible calling.

But the powers that be reportedly do not want Rogan to follow his heart just yet.

GOP leaders are believed to be pressuring the former municipal judge to run for the 21st State Senate District seat now held by Republican Newton Russell, whose tenure will be ended by term limits. Speculation is also rampant that Rogan may be tapped as the Assembly's next GOP candidate for Speaker, though he insists he's not interested.

While Rogan apparently enjoys an array of options, Assemblyman Bill Hoge (R-Pasadena) is said to have run out of his. Party leaders no longer consider him the natural successor to Russell in the Senate, as they did just months ago.

Meanwhile, GOP Assemblywoman Paula Boland of Granada Hills is plotting her next move. Insiders indicate she may attempt to snatch a county supervisor's seat if Antonovich is lured into a congressional race.

But that contest may pit Boland against a strong Democrat: Richard Katz, the longtime Assemblyman from Sylmar, who boasts one of the highest name IDs among politicians in the Valley.

Meanwhile, this game of musical chairs is bound to leave openings for new faces. Word is that Burbank City Council member Bill Wiggins is gunning for Rogan's 43rd Assembly District seat should "The Judge" rise in the political food chain.


ON THE MOVE: Back in March, Lea Purwin D'Agostino was in the midst of a desperate court battle to place her name on the ballot for the 5th District City Council race even though she failed to collect the signatures of 500 registered voters, as required by city law.

Despite years of courtroom experience as a prosecutor and earning the nickname "The Dragon Lady" in the process, she lost that battle, and Mike Feuer won the post in a June runoff against Barbara Yaroslavsky.

But D'Agostino must have known that her chances in court were slim because she had made a bid on a home outside the 5th District even before the judge rendered a decision about her candidacy.

In fact, on the same day the judge rejected her appeal, D'Agostino got word that her bid on the home was accepted.

The district stretches from the Westside to the Valley and includes Sherman Oaks and parts of North Hollywood, Studio City and Van Nuys. City law requires council members to live in the district they represent.

Now it looks as though D'Agostino's move was tactical. Her new home is in the community of Mountain Gate, which is within the 11th Council District, represented by council veteran Marvin Braude. The Dragon Lady now says she is "kicking around the idea" of running for Braude's seat next year.

D'Agostino probably didn't realize that politics requires so much packing and unpacking.


FINANCIAL FACTOIDS: Rep. Howard P. (Buck) McKeon (R-Santa Clarita) may be a modern-day cowboy, but he is a wealthy one. Recently released financial disclosure forms put the cowboy-booted lawmaker's personal holdings at well over $1 million, far above other Valley-area congressmen. The Western-wear business that McKeon owns with his brothers has been good to him.

Rep. Anthony C. Beilenson (D-Woodland Hills) and Rep. Carlos Moorhead live comfortably with assets in the neighborhood of half a million dollars, according to the reports. Next comes Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Los Angeles), who reported more than $187,000 in holdings, and Rep. Howard Berman (D-Panorama City), who listed no assets last year beyond his $133,600 congressional salary.

The disclosure forms are part of an annual exercise aimed at rooting out conflicts of interest. They include data on lawmakers' financial holdings, outside income, investments, debts and gifts.

Among the highlights:

* Waxman, who played a key role in last year's debate on health-care reform, led the pack among honoraria received from outside groups. Lawmakers must report such speaking fees even though the law now requires them to direct that money to charity. Waxman received $10,000 from the American Academy of Actuaries, the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and the National Assn. of Retail Druggists. The money was doled out to the United Jewish Welfare Fund, Jewish Family Services, Gay and Lesbian Services and other charities.

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