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POLITICS '96 / A behind-the-scenes look at Orange
County's political life

Would You Buy a Car From Don Roth? You'll Never Know, State Says

April 21, 1996

A state license to sell cars can be difficult to come by, as former County Supervisor Don R. Roth has discovered.

According to records from the state Department of Motor Vehicles, Roth, now 74, of Anaheim, applied for a license to sell cars last October and was turned down in December after an extensive background check.

"We review everyone's background before we grant a license," said Elaine Jennings, a DMV spokeswoman who noted that Roth has appealed the ruling and is awaiting a hearing. "If they have a history of stealing cars or something, they won't get it."

Roth was turned down because he was convicted in 1993 of seven criminal misdemeanors related to conflicts of interest, according to the DMV's letter to him. Roth, after resigning his office, paid $50,000 in fines, spent three years on probation and performed 200 hours of community service.


Cold ones with Curt: More than a few Democrats were surprised last weekend when Assembly Speaker Curt Pringle, a Garden Grove Republican lionized for his distaste of liberal political foes, showed up at the state Democratic Party convention at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles.

Pringle had just hosted a highly successful $1,000-a-plate dinner with Gov. Pete Wilson down the street at the Biltmore and decided to see what the Democrats were up to. So he crashed the Democratic bash along with his wife, Alexis, Assemblywoman Paula Boland (R-Granada Hills) and Orange County GOP Chairman Thomas A. Fuentes.

Suggesting he was on a scavenger hunt, Pringle collected signatures from various Democratic lawmakers. At the hotel bar, the Orange County conservative ceremoniously broke all liberal codes of political correctness by ordering a Coors--a beer long on "don't touch" lists among liberals.

Brandishing his beer, Pringle only half-joked: "I'll bet this is the first one of these anyone has ordered tonight!"


Atty. Gen. Capizzi? Dist. Atty. Michael R. Capizzi may be getting extreme heat from local Republicans over his handling of alleged election fraud by the GOP in a special election last November, but he gets high marks from his colleagues around the state.

A group of 40 of the state's 58 district attorneys is urging Capizzi to run for state attorney general in 1998, succeeding incumbent Dan Lungren, who is expected to run for governor.

"Mike is recognized as one of the giants in the prosecution community, not only in California but the United States," said Michael Bradbury, the district attorney in Ventura County for the past 17 years. "He is recognized as an expert in several aspects of the law and especially in the area of political corruption. He is the man who wrote the book on that."

Capizzi, who was out of town and unavailable for comment, has so far shrugged off the pleas, Bradbury said.

"He kind of tells us to go away. He's not encouraging this," Bradbury said.


Write-in written off: Once on the fence about running a write-in campaign to retain his seat as 3rd District supervisor, Don Saltarelli says he is now adamant about serving out his appointed term, then returning to the private sector.

"I'd say the chances [of running] are very remote and highly unlikely to occur," said Saltarelli, who figures it's about 99% certain that he won't challenge supervisorial candidates Todd Spitzer and Assemblyman Mickey Conroy (R-Orange) in the November runoff.

Shortly after the primary, Saltarelli said, dozens of letters and calls came in urging him to run in November. But he said public interest declined dramatically before he ever seriously considered what would be a difficult write-in campaign.

"I no longer feel there is an outcry for me to run," he said. "There are two candidates who survived the primaries and they should be the ones running."


* Monday: Henry Kissinger will be the featured guest at the 1996 Architect of Peace award gala sponsored by the Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace in the grand ballroom of the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles. Information: (714) 993-5075.

* Tuesday: The Costa Mesa Republican Women Federated will tour the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena. Information: Irene Hajek at (714) 546-2402.

* Friday: Edward Hill Barker, dean of the school of business at LaVerne College, will be the guest speaker of the Huntington Harbour Republican Women Federated at 6:30 p.m. at the Meadowlark Country Club. Information: (714) 846-4965.

* Saturday-Sunday: California Republican Assembly will hold its annual convention at the Atrium Marquis Hotel in Irvine. Information: Lesley Fleischman (714) 786-7676.

Compiled by Times staff writer Len Hall, with contributions from Times staff writers Peter M. Warren and Eric Bailey.


Who Should Be Dole's Running Mate?

Who will Bob Dole choose to run for vice president with him in November? The Times asked Orange County's legislators last week to predict the nominee and name the person they would pick if it were up to them.


Legislator Preference Prediction From Assembly Dick Ackerman Gov. John Engler Gov. Tommy G. (R-Fullerton) (Mich.) Thompson (Wis.) Marilyn C. Brewer Gen. Colin L. Powell Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Newport Beach) (Newport Beach)* Mickey Conroy Gen. Norman Dan Lungren (R-Orange) Schwarzkopf From state Senate William A. Craven Gen. Colin L. Powell Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-Oceanside) (Indiana) Rob Hurtt A younger Gov. John Engler (R-Garden Grove) Ronald Reagan (Mich.) John R. Lewis Rep. John Kasich Gen. Norman (R-Orange) (Ohio) Schwarzkopf


* Or someone like him

Note: Other county legislators did not respond.

Source: Individual legislators; Researched by LEN HALL / Los Angeles Times

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