Democrats outnumber Republicans nearly 2 to 1 in the 40th Assembly District, which includes Sherman Oaks, North Hollywood and Studio City.
Worse yet for the GOP, there is at least one less Republican in the district than voters had been led to believe, according to the district attorney's office.
He's not just any Republican either, but one of the men elected by voters to represent the GOP in the area.
Prosecutors have charged Thomas E. Hanson, an elected member of the Republicans' Los Angeles County Central Committee for the 40th District, with three perjury-related counts that accuse him of listing a false address on his campaign papers last year.
Hanson, prosecutors say, has actually been living in Nevada, even though he said he lived in Sherman Oaks and has been reelected to a second term that began in January. He faces up to four years in jail.
Hanson denied the charges and pleaded not guilty this week. He could not be reached for comment Wednesday. The phone number listed in the telephone directory for the GOP's 40th District organization has been disconnected. The area is now represented by Assemblyman Bob Hertzberg, a Sherman Oaks Democrat.
State Republican officials declined to comment on the charges, saying they were surprised by allegations that Hanson is not of this Valley. But privately, a GOP insider said he was not surprised, as Hanson is regarded as a "troublemaker" within the party.
The fallout could have been worse for Republicans: Hanson had previously run, unsuccessfully, for chairman of the county's Republican Central Committee.
FACE-LIFT: Already facing accusations of elitism over the conversion of a public elevator at City Hall for the exclusive use of elected officials and top managers, the head of the General Services agency has sparked a new wave of outrage by quietly proposing to refurbish the VIP lift with some fancy touches.
In a memo to the City Council, most of whose members are boycotting the elevator, General Services czar Randall Bacon said the retrofit will be done Monday.
"All metal surfaces are being cleaned, graffiti removed and a satin finish installed," Bacon wrote.
The memo was being circulated among council members, who could not believe Bacon would propose further special treatment for an elevator many want returned to public service.
"This, to me, is the epitome of the death of common sense," said Councilwoman Laura Chick of Tarzana. "It's the death of any sensitivity or understanding of how regular everyday, flesh-and-blood people think and feel. It's insulting."
Councilman Hal Bernson, who can see an argument for an elevator dedicated to elected officials, said the "satin finish" memo is "ridiculous."
Chick and others were left to wonder what's next.
"What are they going to do when it gets cold again? Install fur?" she asked.
THANKS, BUT NO THANKS: Candidates for the Los Angeles City Council and school board from the San Fernando Valley have fought tooth and nail for attention.
But most passed on the opportunity to get their name and positions out to the huge, voting membership of one prominent group.
More than half of the candidates skipped a recent forum at Galpin Ford in North Hills and refused to fill out a questionnaire sponsored by the Tarzana-based California affiliate of the Christian Coalition, the conservative group founded by former televangelist and presidential candidate Pat Robertson.
The Valley-based affiliate, with 150,000 members, is the largest in the country, and some candidates were eager for support.
"Most of the people who vote on a continuous basis--a lot of those people have a tendency to go to church," said Ollie McCaulley, the only 7th District candidate to fill out the questionnaire. "This is another outlet to reach voters."
Bert Boeckmann, the owner of Galpin Ford and a supporter of the Christian Coalition, said the guide has a value for some voters.
"To those people who belong to the organization and who have an interest, it makes a difference," said Boeckmann, a city police commissioner.
The voter guide offers ratings on such issues as whether benefits should be extended to homosexual partners of city workers and whether parental consent should be required for minors seeking abortion and birth control.
Front-runners Corinne Sanchez and Alex Padilla were among those who did not return the questionnaire or attend the coalition-sponsored forum at Galpin Ford.
"For a number of reasons, we decided not to attend," said Jorge Flores, a spokesman for Sanchez. "Being that Corinne is pro-choice, I can't imagine them supporting anyone like that when their leading issue is to overturn Roe vs. Wade."
Miriam Archer, a leader of the coalition's state affiliate, said it is a shame so many candidates declined to respond to the questionnaire, which was sent last week.
"We have some candidates who are with us on issues but who did not respond," Archer said. "Some of them say, 'We can't participate because our opponent will use it against us.' "