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Ginsburg Lashes Out at Armor’s Partisan Pitch

Times Staff Writer

West Valley school board candidate Elizabeth Ginsburg, a liberal who has attempted to woo Democratic voters in Tuesday’s nonpartisan runoff election, Sunday lashed out against opponent David Armor’s use of a slate mailer aligning him with the Democratic Party.

The mailer, published by an independent campaign organization, was titled “Voter Guide for Democrats.” Beneath the title the mailer read: “Take This With You To The Polls.” It featured a picture of Mayor Tom Bradley, a Democrat, in the center of the page. Armor’s name appeared along with city controller candidate Rick Tuttle and community college trustee Arthur Bronson, both Democrats.

‘Dirty Politics’

Ginsburg called the mailer “dirty politics” and a “serious threat” to her campaign.

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Armor, who has not been endorsed by Bradley, paid a substantial fee to have his name placed on the mailer. Although Armor said Sunday that he did not know exactly how much this mailer cost, he spent $10,000 in the primary election campaign to be mentioned on similar literature put out by the same firm.

Neither Mike Berman nor Carl D’Agostino, owners of Berman and D’Agostino Campaigns Inc., which produced the mailer, could be reached for comment Sunday. The firm, which the owners have nicknamed BAD campaigns, usually carries Democrats and Democratic issues in its slate mailers, but has included candidates from other parties.

Surprised at Inclusion

Ginsburg said she was surprised at the inclusion of Armor because Bradley has endorsed her. She also has been endorsed by Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-Studio City), Michael Berman’s brother. She said that she had attempted to talk to Michael Berman about the slate mailer but that her telephone calls were not returned.

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Armor, 46, has received substantial campaign contributions from conservatives. He has been endorsed by Rep. Bobbi Fiedler (R-Northridge) and the San Fernando Young Republicans. Part of his final campaign strategy has been to get absentee ballots to Republicans.

But he defended his place on the Berman-D’Agostino mailer.

“This is a nonpartisan race and therefore every candidate has a right to bipartisan support,” Armor said Sunday. “This is one way to reach Democratic voters. . . . I don’t have the campaign funds to do solo mailers. I can afford the slate mailer.”

Ginsburg, who has received donations from the United Teachers of Los Angeles, women’s groups and community organizations, said she was “appalled” by the mailer because she believes it misleads voters.

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“This is a serious threat to me,” said Ginsburg, 60, a government and history teacher at Chatsworth High School. “It will mislead people who will see this and assume that these are Democratic endorsements.”

Disclaimer Noted

Armor, however, pointed to a disclaimer at the bottom of the mailer saying that “all endorsements apply to specified candidates only.”

“My opponent is basically running an attack campaign with last-minute smears,” said Armor, who was a senior social scientist at Rand Corp., the Santa Monica-based think tank, before he established his own consulting firm.

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Two weeks ago, the United Teachers of Los Angeles, of which Ginsburg is a member, mailed literature to its 7,500 members in the West Valley in which Armor was called a “leader of the New Right think tank,” and which said he received most of his campaign contributions from “New Right cronies.”

Charge Against Ginsburg

Armor claimed that Ginsburg recently “falsified” information on a mailer in which a Los Angeles Times article about the candidates’ positions on class sizes was reprinted.

The headline above the story on Ginsburg’s campaign literature said, “Armor Says: Increase Class Size.” The headline in the newspaper had said: “Cut Class Size, Candidates Say.”

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The article reported that all candidates in the primary election for the West Valley seat had called for smaller classes with the exception of Armor, who was quoted as saying, “Let’s pay teachers more, but let’s have them teach more kids.”


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