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FRIDAY SPECIAL / POLITICAL BRIEFING

Courteous Mayor Endorses Two Candidates Vying for Same Seat

October 23, 1998|PHIL WILLON and JILL LEOVY | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

Republican congressional candidate Randy Hoffman was proud to announce he has received the endorsement of Thousand Oaks Mayor Michael Markey.

U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) also boasts of receiving Markey's endorsement.

One problem: Hoffman and Sherman are running against each other.

The two are fighting to represent the 24th Congressional District, which includes the west San Fernando Valley and a portion of Ventura County.

"They both have a co-endorsement," Markey explained Thursday.

Markey said he endorsed Hoffman, who lives in Thousand Oaks, when the Republican announced he was running.

Then, when Sherman asked for his endorsement before the June primary, he obliged.

Broken Ego

On a recent late-night grocery run in Glendale, Republican Rep. James Rogan came face to face with a political enemy. Good thing he was incognito.

Rogan, a freshmen running for reelection in the 27th Congressional District, had flown in from Washington earlier that day and looked a bit grubby--he was wearing sweats, a baseball cap and a day-old beard.

"I was standing in line to pay for my groceries, it was about 11 o'clock at night and an elderly man standing in line behind me was just staring at me, like he knew me," Rogan told an adoring audience at a GOP rally in Glendale this week.

This happens all the time, Rogan said. Not only is Rogan's face plastered all over campaign mailers, but he has been on television quite a bit lately because he is a member of the House committee that will conduct the impeachment inquiry of President Clinton. Plus, his Democratic opponent, Barry Gordon, has just blanketed the area with a campaign brochure attacking him.

"Finally, he tapped me on on the shoulder," the congressman continued, "and I turned around, and he said, 'Say mister, anybody ever tell you you look like James Rogan?' "

"I kind of smiled and said, 'Yeah, I get told that now and then."

"He shook his head and said, 'I bet that makes you mad as hell.' "

Knockout Blow

Trading jabs at a City Council meeting is nothing remarkable, but spectators at a recent session were treated to an all-out fistfight culminating in a knockout.

No, it wasn't a brawl over Valley secession. Councilman Richard Alarcon was merely showing his colleagues a lively video clip of Sherman Oaks resident Bridgett "Baby Doll" Riley, defending her International Female Boxing Assn. title as world bantamweight champ.

"The other boxer's doing fine," Alarcon assured the council after watching Riley pummel her challenger into submission.

So, apparently, was Riley, who earned a certificate of commendation for her promotion of women in boxing and her dedication to Valley youth.

Along with her trainer, Lilly Rodriguez--the wife of William "Blinky" Rodriguez, who helped broker a five-year truce between rival Valley gangs--Riley often meets with troubled youth, encouraging them to shun violence. The Rodriguezes and several other community leaders were also honored by Alarcon.

Despite her pugilistic livelihood, Riley said she does not promote violence but uses her stature (she is also a former kick-boxing champion, a stunt double, and she once played the yellow Mighty Morphin Power Ranger) to provide a role model for young people.

"It's not about violence, it's about overcoming violence," she said.

Yes, No, Maybe

In early 1996, Senate President Pro Tem Bill Lockyer was the chief nemesis of state legislation to make it easier for the San Fernando Valley to secede from Los Angeles.

In 1997, Lockyer changed sides, and the Democrat actually helped shepherd through a compromise secession bill crafted by Assemblymen Tom McClintock (R-Northridge) and Bob Hertzberg (D-Sherman Oaks). The legislation made the current secession petition drive by Valley VOTE possible.

Now that Lockyer is the Democratic nominee for state attorney general, he's changed his position again.

"It's a local issue," Lockyer said while campaigning in North Hollywood on Tuesday.

Of course, Lockyer's comment may have been influenced by Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan.

The mayor, a staunch opponent of Valley secession, had just announced his endorsement of Lockyer and was standing next to him when the question was asked.

Back to the Drawing Board

It seemed like a reasonable enough proposal. But there was a hitch.

Trying to make its fractured phone system easier for callers to use, the Los Angeles Police Department asked the City Council this week to set up a seven-digit 800 number for nonemergency police calls.

But a question came up: What should the phone number be?

LAPD wanted something catchy and memorable.

But as members of the City Council's Public Safety Committee pondered the proposal, an uncomfortable feeling filled the room.

The number proposed was (800) 438-5273. That spells (800) GET-LAPD.

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