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In Some Political Circles, Funding Is Roundabout

April 07, 1998|PATT MORRISON

This is politics, now, so pay attention, or someone will put something over on you.

Al Checchi, one of three Democrats running for governor, is spending a heap of his own campaign money for commercials on Spanish-language television. In the campaign's first 10 weeks alone, he dropped $220,864 on Los Angeles station KMEX, Channel 34.

Clear so far?

Now, KMEX is owned by Spanish-language network Univision Communications. And the man who owns the single biggest piece of Univision is Jerry Perenchio, who holds more than three-quarters of the voting stock.

And . . . Perenchio has donated $100,000 to the campaign of Checchi competitor and lieutenant governor Gray Davis.

Could this be some deep campaign strategy? Or could it just be recycling?


Gone With the Winded Smoking can kill you, but it can't be permitted to offend you on the way to work.

Bay Area Rapid Transit has rejected a public service billboard captioned, "You smoke, you croak. (No joke)," accompanying a deliberately gruesome image of a huge burning cigarette shoved into the X-ray image of a chest cavity.

The ad, the handiwork of a project to use artwork to combat substance abuse, had been destined for display in 40 BART stations, where 250,000 commuters pass through each weekday. Six years ago, one poster BART did put on display showed a skeleton smoking a joint and a caption reading, "Drugs Are Deadly."


Eye Deed DMV must stand for Department of Mutant Victims. Samples of new fraud-resistant driver's licenses the agency proudly provided to The Times for Sunday's front page showed the two sample Californians to be just as weird as the rest of the world already takes us for:

The "license" issued to "Mary L. Detore" shows her to be an 18-year-old brunet who stands 6 feet, 2 inches tall and weighs 118 pounds. Is the state promoting anorexia? Heroin-chic modeling? Women's basketball? Even Barbie isn't as freakish as that, and she's practically the official State Chick.

And the "license" issued to the better-fed (6 feet 2, 178 pounds) "Charles M. Landry," who supposedly lives in the Calaveras County hamlet called Mountain Ranch, shows he is 26 years old and restricted to driving only vehicles with automatic trannies. What kind of country boy can't handle a stick shift? Who's operating the four-wheel drive?


One-OffsA year after a Democratic president, Bill Clinton, delivered a landmark call for diversity to its graduates, UC San Diego announced that a Republican speaker of the house, Newt Gingrich, will address this year's commencement ceremonies. . . . Now that passenger-side air bags make it impossible to install its standard-equipment dashboard shotgun, the CHP is phasing out the last of its 400 high-performance patrol Mustangs. . . . A San Ramon man who disguised himself in a woman's wig, coat, lipstick and purple plastic necklace to get close enough to his estranged wife to shoot at her will serve eight years in prison. . . . A naked man roaming through the nighttime streets of Hemet broke into a house to take a nap, and was arrested after the homeowner found the man sleeping soundly under his blankets. . . . The Desert Sun newspaper reports that Cher's mother supports Mary Bono's run for her late husband's congressional seat in today's special election, even though Sonny Bono's mother has said her son "cannot rest in peace" if Mary Bono is away from their children on Capitol Hill. . . . The $25 million that philanthropist and McDonald's hamburger heir Joan Kroc gave away recently goes to endow a San Diego institute for justice and peace named after Mohandas K. Gandhi, native of a country where the cow is sacred.


"You go in and you have a nude dancer and there is a lot of crime. [But] the nude dancer wears a G-string and crime stops. Give me a break. . . . 'Wear a G-string, stop crime.' That would be a good one for somebody running for attorney general."

--State Senate President Pro Tem John L. Burton (D-San Francisco), musing aloud to reporters about a bill that would give local governments authority to require juice-bar naked dancers to wear G-strings. The bill's sponsor, Assemblyman Scott Baugh (R-Huntington Beach), says such unclothed entertainment breeds crime.

California Dateline appears every other Tuesday.


Big Bucks

A pay raise will lift the annual salaries of state Senate and Assembly members to $99,000 from $78,624 later this year; at the same time, the governor's and attorney general's pay will rise to $165,000 and $140,250, respectively. the pay hike has angered some. At the same time, many elected and appointed city and county officials in California already make more. Some examples:

JOB: L.A. County sheriff

1998 SALARY: $234,000


JOB: San Francisco school superintendent

1998 SALARY: $175,000


JOB: San Jose city manager

1998 SALARY: $167,690


JOB: Santa Clara County district attorney

1998 SALARY: $152,544


JOB: Alameda County auditor-controller

1998 SALARY: $144,744


JOB: Orange County school superintendent

1998 SALARY: $135,200


JOB: Orange County district attorney

1998 SALARY: $126,214


JOB: San Diego city attorney

1998 SALARY: $124,224


JOB: San Bernardino County school superintendent

1998 SALARY: $119,489


JOB: L.A. County supervisor

1998 SALARY: $107,390

Source: California Department of Personnel Administration

Researched by TRACY THOMAS / Los Angeles Times

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