Undergoes Surgery : Assemblyman Bradley Suffering From Cancer

Times Staff Writer

Republican Assemblyman Bill Bradley of San Marcos, a low-key legislator perhaps best known for his persistent attacks on the California Coastal Commission, has been hospitalized with cancer of the colon and liver, his political consultant disclosed Thursday.

Bradley, 66, intends to complete his current term in the Legislature but will not seek reelection, consultant Herb Williams said at a press conference.

Williams said Bradley underwent surgery last Friday at an out-of-state hospital and expects to return home after at least 10 more days in the hospital.


Although the cancer in Bradley’s colon was successfully removed by the surgery, his liver remains diseased, Williams said. He said Bradley is undergoing treatment involving the implantation of a pump that provides direct chemotherapy to his liver.

Williams would not reveal the name of Bradley’s doctor or the location of the hospital. He said the doctor’s diagnosis indicates that Bradley will live “two or more years.”

After the Legislature convenes again in January, Bradley will decide whether his health allows him to continue to represent the 76th Assembly District, which covers much of East and North Sam Diego County and parts of southern Riverside County.

“He’s just going to return to a normal everyday life,” Williams said. “That’s what he plans to do. If Bill Bradley finds that he is not competent to carry out the charge the voters gave him, he will deal with that like he has everything else--straightforward and honestly.”

Bradley served on the Republican State Central Committee and the California Republican Assembly during more than 30 years of service to the party. He has also held positions in city government, including city manager, city engineer and city treasurer of San Marcos, and director of public works for Coronado.

After unsuccessful attempts at a state Senate and an Assembly seat, Braldey was elected to represent the heavily Republican 76th District in 1982.


In his first term, Bradley introduced more bills than any other Republican, more bills than any other freshman legislator and more bills than any other member of the San Diego delegation. But he also had one of the Legislature’s lowest rates of success in getting those bills passed into law.

One of Bradley’s first losing battles was an attempt to eliminate the California Coastal Commission. But the next year he rebounded and won passage of a bill reducing the commission’s control over agricultural land in Carlsbad, a change he pursued at the behest of Carlsbad developers.

“It’s a personal thing with me,” Bradley said a year ago of his relentless criticism of the coastal panel. “Having been a former bureaucrat, I know how they think. They have no regard for private property. They have no regard for the cost of development.”

Later, Bradley got in hot water when he accepted a $3,000 campaign contribution from a developer who stood to gain $420,000 from the passage of legislation. The windfall came from a partial refund of fees the developer had paid to the Coastal Commission in exchange for the right to build on what had been considered agricultural land. Bradley returned the contribution after the connection was made public.

Bradley, who despite his depth of experience was green in the ways of the state capital, fared a little better in the second half of his first term. From his early failures, Bradley said in an interview last year, he learned how better to “use the system.”