Gov. George Deukmejian, responding to hard-hitting radio commercials aired by Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, is striking back with an ad of his own saying that the mayor is “desperate” and running a “smear campaign.”
Deukmejian’s radio commercial, launched without any fanfare, brings yet another personal attack to the increasingly bitter gubernatorial campaign.
It is an attempt to counter two Bradley radio commercials charging that the governor has made decisions favoring the insurance and toxic waste-handling industries after they gave him nearly $1 million in campaign contributions.
The Deukmejian commercial, which is being broadcast in Los Angeles, depicts a breakfast conversation between a man and a woman.
‘A Smear Campaign’
The man’s voice says Bradley is “running commercials attacking Gov. Deukmejian’s personal integrity--ya’ know, like a smear campaign. . . . I guess it’s because Bradley is just so far behind in the polls.”
The woman’s voice responds, “But a vicious personal attack on the governor isn’t fair just for Bradley to try to get his own polls up.”
“Well, I guess he’s desperate.” the man says. “People will see through Bradley. They can spot a dirty campaign.”
“He’s so wrong,” the woman says. “It’s sad.”
“No,” the man says. “It’s pathetic.”
The ad also takes a swipe at Bradley for taking no position on the reconfirmation of California Chief Justice Rose Elizabeth Bird and for changing his position on gun control, the death penalty and oil drilling on the coast at Pacific Palisades.
Larry Thomas, the governor’s campaign director, refused Tuesday to say where the ads are being broadcast, how long they will run or how much Deukmejian paid for air time. The ads were first broadcast last Thursday, he said.
“I’m not going to sit around and tell you what I’m going to do in the next three weeks or the next three months,” Thomas said.
Tom Quinn, chairman of the Bradley campaign, said the Deukmejian radio commercial was a “bizarre rebuttal to some very specific charges that have been made against Deukmejian. It is not often a politician feels the need to spend money to say ‘I am not a crook, I am not a crook.’ ”
One Bradley ad charges that the governor received $248,000 in campaign contributions from firms that handle toxic wastes and then vetoed 21 bills to clean up toxic pollution. The second charges that Deukmejian received $709,000 from insurance companies and then blocked legislative efforts to hold down insurance rates.
Deukmejian has said that the money he received from companies that deal with toxic wastes had no influence on his Administration’s veto of toxics legislation. And the Deukmejian campaign has said most of the insurance bills cited by the Bradley camp died in legislative committees controlled by the mayor’s fellow Democrats.