GOP Rep. Dannemeyer Focuses on Family, Enters Senate Race

Times Political Writer

Rep. William E. Dannemeyer of Fullerton formally entered the Republican race for the U.S. Senate on Monday, and there was no mistaking where this conservative with the rugged jaw and the ramrod posture stands on the issues.

Showing off his baby granddaughter at a press conference in Burbank, Dannemeyer called for society to “return to traditional family values” and for the U.S. government to “return to honest money” by once again backing paper money with gold.

Criticizing the man he would like to replace in 1986, Democratic Sen. Alan Cranston, as too liberal, Dannemeyer also urged:


- Implementing the federal budget cuts proposed by the Grace Commission in 1983, which ran the gamut from military spending trims to cuts affecting social programs.

- Expanding offshore oil drilling in California, particularly in the north.

Saying that offshore drilling and use of the beaches “has been compatible for years” in Southern California, he declared: “Just maybe we can establish that compatibility in Central and Northern California, and for an additional reason: Any of us who have tried to swim in Central and Northern California knows that not many people swim in those waters because it is too cold.”

- Barring victims of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) from working in the health care field.

“I don’t think that persons with AIDS should be working as doctors, dentists or nurses in this country,” Dannemeyer said.

Dannemeyer caused a stir at the press conference when he added: “There is a requirement that nurses who are AIDS victims not work in maternity (wards) because a person with AIDS emits a spore that has been known to cause birth defects.”

When reporters questioned this assertion and asked for documentation, Dannemeyer said he would be glad to track it down and get back in touch.

Dannemeyer, 56, has represented northern Orange County in the House of Representatives since 1978. He has one of the most conservative voting records in Congress and is known for his parliamentary skills in pursuing his legislative goals.

As a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, he has strongly pushed for reducing the regulation of businesses. He also serves on the House Judiciary Committee.

Dannemeyer was a state assemblyman in 1963-1966 and 1976-77, beginning his Assembly career as a Democrat and later switching to the Republican Party.

Recognition Factor

Dannemeyer is not well known outside his district, but he insisted Monday that he will do well in the Republican Senate primary once voters become aware of his conservative views.

To get those views across sufficiently to win the nomination he will need at least $2 million, Dannemeyer said. He said he has raised “about $200,000 in cash and another $300,000 in pledges.”

The other Republicans who have formally announced their candidacies for the U.S. Senate nomination are Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, state Sen. Ed Davis of Valencia, economist Arthur Laffer of Rolling Hills Estates, Assemblyman Robert Naylor of Menlo Park and Rep. Ed Zschau of Los Altos.