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Opponents Sure to Take Cuts at Stadium Votes in Anaheim Political Game

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

June 30, 1996

Anaheim City Council incumbents Frank Feldhaus and Tom Tait hope to hold onto their seats in what promises to be a hotly fought November contest. And their votes on the fate of baseball in the real city of Angels will likely be a key issue.

Critics have scored Feldhaus for supporting the city's recent baseball deal with Walt Disney Co., which requires that Anaheim contribute $30 million toward a $100-million renovation of Anaheim Stadium.

Tait, who voted against the deal, was appointed to the council roster in February 1995 and is running in his first election. Tait, whose engineering firm employs County GOP Chairman Thomas A. Fuentes, is expected to get plenty of help from local Republican heavy hitters.

Both Tait and Feldhaus could face some tough outs in the fall contest. One long-ball hitter is Shirley McCracken, who finished third among 16 candidates in the 1994 election and intends to run again. "I'm still here," said McCracken, who had a strong showing despite spending only $20,500 in the last race.

Another possible candidate is former Councilman Irv Pickler, who spent more than 12 years on the council before term limits forced him to the bench two years ago. Pickler has said he intends to run and has held a fund-raiser.

Both McCracken and Pickler support the ballpark deal.

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Political assets: Rep. Jay C. Kim (R-Diamond Bar) has the deepest pockets in Orange County's congressional delegation, but he also has the greatest liabilities, according to recently released annual personal financial disclosure statements, which document outside income, assets, gifts, liabilities and trips taken by members of Congress last year.

Kim's assets came from rental property in San Diego, Palm Desert and Diamond Bar, as well as an installment payment of between $5,000 and $15,000 from the sale of the JayKim engineering firm in 1992. As for liabilities, the mortgage on the Diamond Bar property alone is at least $1 million, according to the reports.

The assets of Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Newport Beach) are derived from money market accounts, income and retirement funds, stocks and bonds, while individual retirement accounts make up most of the assets of Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) and Ed Royce (R-Fullerton).

One of the assets reported by Rep. Ron Packard (R-Oceanside) was a coin collection, valued at between $1,000 and $15,000, while those of Rep. Robert K. Dornan (R-Garden Grove) came from a federal credit union account.

All the following assets are in addition to the congressmen's $133,664 salaries and personal homes. Members are required to list assets and liabilities only in broad ranges, rather than in specific amounts.

Representative Figures

Congressman : Asset Range

Jay C. Kim (R-Diamond Bar): $1.32-5.66 million

Christopher Cox (R-Newport Beach): $445,000-$1.25 million

Ed Royce (R-Fullerton): 52,000-130,000

Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach): 4,000-60,000

Ron Packard (R-Oceanside): 1,000-60,000

Robert K. Dornan (R-Garden Grove): 1,000-15,000

Source: Congressional records; Researched by LEN HALL / Los Angeles Times

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New titles: After searching futilely for weeks for a new volunteer treasurer, the county Democratic Party wound up having to hold an election recently when two candidates--Edward R. Heskett of Garden Grove and Larry Trullinger of Fullerton--stepped forward. In what some said is another sign of union strength in the party, Heskett, 53, a city planning commissioner and a carpenters union official, won on the first ballot.

Heskett said that for several weeks he resisted suggestions that he take the job, but he finally decided to go ahead "when more people kept asking me to do it."

He succeeds David Levy of Irvine, who resigned in protest over party Chairman Jim Toledano's handling of a $10,000 campaign contribution in the weeks before the March primary. The party is also soliciting bids from professional accounting firms to help with filing federal and state financial documents.

The party has a new vice chair, Margaret (Meg) Robinson of Santa Ana, a teacher for the Santa Ana Unified School District and co-chair of the Eleanor Roosevelt Democratic Club. The former vice chair, Jeanne Costales of Lake Forest, also resigned in protest over the contribution flap.

*

Grand jury on the case: Charges that county bureaucrats and the five supervisors have been ignoring the concerns of South County officials have not apparently gone unnoticed by the local grand jury. Because of recent news reports, the grand jury has begun an inquiry into the problems of South County by interviewing city council members.

Dana Point Mayor Karen Lloreda said she and a colleague, Councilman Harold R. Kaufman, talked to the panel recently and she came away impressed.

"I was pleased, particularly with the thoroughness both of their questions and their level of interest on the issues," Lloreda said, noting that the panel asked about the supervisorial district boundaries and what South County needs for better representation.

"I was also pleased that for the first time the grand jury will serve for 18 months instead of 12, so they have the opportunity not only to submit their reports but will be available for follow-up," Lloreda said. "A lot of the problem is they filed their reports in the past and then leave. The reports end up sitting around somewhere gathering dust."

Compiled by Times staff writer Len Hall, with contributions from staff writer Greg Hernandez and Dahna Goldstein of States News Service.

Politics '96 appears every Sunday. Items can be mailed to Politics '96, 1375 Sunflower Ave., Costa Mesa, CA 92626, or faxed to (714) 966-7711.

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