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Dan Lungren Dusts Off His Congressional Resume

November 10, 2003|Patt Morrison | Times Staff Writer

Dan Lungren's Republican resume includes a long stint in Congress and two turns as California's attorney general, as well as a run at the governor's job in 1998, which he lost resoundingly to Gray Davis.

He's back in the fray. The longtime Long Beach resident is working his way north -- to the 3rd Congressional District, near Sacramento. (They're numbered north to south, so the lower the number, the farther north).

It is still Republican Doug Ose's seat, but it won't be for long. Ose -- once on the short list of GOPsters to take on U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer -- says three terms are enough. He's leaving Congress -- but Lungren wants to go back. His primary opponent in what will be a "who's-more-conservative?" competition is state Sen. Rico Oller. It was Oller who, in Lungren's 1998 gubernatorial campaign, said of the polls showing Lungren trailing Davis, "Don't you believe those phony-baloney polls."

The Capitol Morning Report noted that Lungren says he's been endorsed by the California Healthcare PAC, which proclaimed: "Lungren's knowledge of the issues that affect California's hospitals stems from the days his father was personal physician to President Richard Nixon."

No, No, No -- Not That Arnold

Richard Schwartz didn't mean that Arnold.

When the 27-year-old emigre from Cleveland to California put $35 on his debit card to purchase the Web address www.recallarnold.com, it was really meant comically, "in fear Gary Coleman" -- the actor who played a TV character named Arnold -- "would be elected."

Now that the other Arnold is elected, Schwartz is at a bit of a loss over what to do with his piece of e-turf, so he has "taken Gov.-elect Schwarzenegger's 'free enterprise' message to heart" and put the site up for sale. Most of the e-mail inquiries he's gotten are from people serious about recalling the not-yet-sworn-in governor, and a few came from Schwarzenegger supporters, including a man in Austria, trying to keep the site away from enemy modems.

At least, Schwartz says, he hopes to get enough money "to pay my vehicle registration fee."

LAPD Tosses Out NRA Enticements

Los Angeles police recruits will no longer find National Rifle Assn. membership application enticements in the boxes along with their brand-new service weapons. The city heard about it from the officers themselves and put a stop to it.

Councilman Jack Weiss said he was especially unsettled because "the NRA has been pushing the most anti-cop agenda in the nation.... For them to seek to proselytize among our cops on Police Department property through the issuance of Police Department weapons is an outrage."

In each LAPD-issue Beretta box was a note thanking the bearer for buying the gun, and offering a $10 discount on a one-year NRA membership, regularly $35. And for those who just couldn't endure the waiting period imposed by mailing in the application -- an 800 number to call to join instantly.

Actors Running Against Actors

The election that might have been: the daughter of a five-term Democratic congressman and sister of a Democratic fund-raiser versus a high-powered Democratic state senator ... and both are former actors.

In the heat of the state's recall fever, Penny Peyser was so outraged over the law allowing illegal immigrants to have driver's licenses, and so disappointed that her state senator had supported it, that she "flew down to Norwalk in a snit" and picked up papers to run against the incumbent, Santa Monica's Sheila Kuehl.

"Democrats in Sacramento are really missing the point," Peyser said. "To me, the Democratic Party there does not resemble the Democratic Party I joined when I was a youngster, or the party my dad represented when he was a congressman."

She admires Kuehl, and has voted for her before, but just wanted "an opportunity to be another kind of Democrat.... I'd call myself a moderate, but I think I'd be considered a right-winger in Sacramento."

"Ballotomania," that impulse to become a candidate, passed when Peyser "finally realized I was going to need more of an organization in place" to collect the necessary signatures and take it from there. Maybe next year....

(Peyser's name has not yet appeared on a ballot, but it has adorned the tube in credits for "The Tony Randall Show," "Knots Landing" and "Crazy Like a Fox." Kuehl's credits, before Harvard Law School, extend to a pair of 1960s sitcoms, one of them the long-running "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.")

Points Taken

* You can take the cop off the beat, but you evidently can't take the beat out of the cop. Last May, former LAPD Reserve Officer Todd Spitzer, now a Republican assemblyman from Orange, collared a shoplifting suspect in his local Safeway. Last week, as he was gassing up his car one night, Spitzer helped catch a drunk-driving suspect wanted by the CHP. A fire engine and ambulance went by, and then a speeding car with a smashed-in front end and no headlights. Spitzer called 911 and gave chase, following the car to a cul-de-sac, where Orange police made the bust.

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