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27th Congressional District

Race in an Area of Changing Party Affiliations Pits Republican James Rogan, Democrat Barry Gordon

November 01, 1998|BOB RECTOR | Bob Rector is op-ed page editor of the San Fernando Valley and Ventura County editions

Perhaps nowhere else in the state of California has the presidential sex scandal loomed over a political contest as it has in 27th Congressional District.

That's because the district, which encompasses Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena, has as its incumbent Republican Rep. James Rogan, a highly visible member of the House Judiciary Committee, which will conduct the Clinton impeachment inquiry.

Although that may seem like a political plus to some, it's also made him the target for criticism from his opponent, Barry Gordon, an attorney and former Screen Actors Guild president. Gordon, a Democrat, has attacked Rogan for being preoccupied with Clinton's downfall, saying there is a "perception of unfairness" about the inquiry being led by House Republicans.

For his part, Rogan has maintained that the impeachment inquiry will be a fair and balanced process and that Clinton must be given a "presumption of innocence" unless and until evidence proves otherwise.

Historically a bedrock Republican district, the 27th has changed in recent years, with Democratic registration at 44% compared to 39% for Republicans.

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Question: The main criticism of the Clinton impeachment inquiry is that it is open-ended and unrestricted. Why was it configured that way?

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