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Katz Halts Printing of Disputed Brochures

Campaign: Among the supporters listed are four who deny they endorsed the state Senate candidate.

May 28, 1998|HUGO MARTIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

State Senate candidate Richard Katz has stopped printing campaign brochures listing four community leaders as supporters though they have denied endorsing him.

Katz is in a tight Democratic primary race with City Councilman Richard Alarcon to replace Sen. Herschel Rosenthal (D-Los Angeles), who is being forced out due to term limits.

The campaign has become increasingly bitter as Tuesday's election draws near.

The latest controversy surrounds a brochure that the Katz campaign has distributed to about 10,000 people. The brochure lists nearly 300 officials, organizations and neighborhood leaders who endorse Katz.

But four community leaders whose names appear on the brochure said they never endorsed Katz. City Charter panel member Dennis Zine, Sun Valley Chamber of Commerce President Dennis O'Sullivan and Jose DeSosa, former president of the NAACP's Valley branch, and his wife, Juanita, have all written to Katz stating they want their names removed from the brochure because they have not endorsed him.

Katz's campaign consultant, Harvey Englander, said the four community leaders endorsed Katz early in the campaign. By early May, he said, all four had changed their minds.

Since then, Englander said no new campaign material has been distributed with the names of those four people.

"At the time we printed those names those people said we could," Englander said.

Zine said he never formally endorsed Katz, though he said he may have expressed some support for Katz before Alarcon entered the race.

Juanita DeSosa said she likes both candidates but never formally endorsed Katz. "I tell them each that I love them," she said. "But I did not change my mind midstream."

O'Sullivan could not be reached.

Alarcon quickly used the issue to attack Katz, saying it shows Katz is willing to play fast and loose with the facts.

"It flies in the face of his commitment to high ethical standards," Alarcon said.

Englander shrugged off the criticism, saying, "Nothing has been distributed since they told us they changed their minds."

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