No Sacred Cows in Congressional, State Races

Times Staff Writer

In the contentious battles over who will take seats in Congress and the state Legislature, everything has come under fire. Even motherhood and fatherhood.

The race for the Republican nomination in the 21st Congressional District--occupied by Bobbi Fiedler before she launched her bid for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination--has been dominated by accusations that entertainer Bob Hope’s son, Tony, 45, traded on his father’s name in seeking his first elective office.

Hope, a Washington lobbyist before he moved into the district this year to run for Congress, faces his fiercest competition from Simi Valley Mayor Elton Gallegly, 42, who has himself come under fire for accepting contributions from land developers, many of whom are involved in projects in Simi Valley.

In the 38th Congressional District in Orange County, Superior Court Judge David O. Carter and veteran Assemblyman Richard Robinson, both Democrats, have lambasted their Republican counterpart, Robert K. Dornan. Democrats there are hoping that whoever their candidate is will be able to take advantage of Dornan’s ultraconservative politics and pull the seat into the Democratic fold.


Strong Attacks

Elsewhere in Orange County, incumbent 40th District Rep. Robert E. Badham of Newport Beach has had to fight back strong attacks by fellow Republican Nathan Rosenberg, a management consultant. Rosenberg also has suffered criticism by Badham that his campaign is based on his ties to est, the human-potential group founded by Rosenberg’s brother, Werner Erhard.

Chances of a Democrat seizing the Badham seat seem remote, but Orange County Democrats were nonetheless red-faced to discover that the only candidate who signed up to battle the Republicans in the fall was Art Hoffmann, a sympathizer of right-wing extremist Lyndon LaRouche.

In the race for the Statehouse, attention has focused on the scramble to replace Democrat Gray Davis, who left his 43rd District seat to run for state controller. Favored is public interest lawyer Terry B. Friedman, who has the backing of the powerful Howard L. Berman-Henry A. Waxman political organization, headquartered in the district. Also running for the Democratic nod are lawyers Bruce Margolin and Rosemary D. Woodlock.


Undoubtedly the most confusing election on the ballot is that for the Eastside’s 55th Assembly District, vacated by Richard Alatorre when he won election to the Los Angeles City Council. One ballot will determine who holds the seat for the rest of the year--former legislative aide Richard Polanco is virtually assured of winning. But voters will also be asked to elect party nominees to seek the seat for the next two years. Bail bondsman Mike Hernandez is giving Polanco a stiff challenge in that race.

Waters’ Son Criticized

Motherhood entered the political fray in the 54th District campaign to replace retiring Democratic Assemblyman Frank Vicencia of Bellflower. Edward K. Waters, the son of Assemblywoman Maxine Waters and one of nine people vying for the Democratic nomination, has been criticized as a political novice trading on his mother’s name.

Eight others seeking the nomination are Bellflower School Board member Larry Ward; Willard H. Murray and Kent A. Spieller, aides to Rep. Mervyn Dymally of Compton; former Compton Mayor Doris A. Davis; former Compton Police Chief Thomas Cochee; former Lakewood City Councilman Dan Branstine; aerospace engineer Ray O’Neal and Marty Israel, who describes himself as a consumer advocate.


The sharpest state Senate race, battled out over the gerrymandered 16th District that contorts from Kings County south to Pasadena, will replace veteran Sen. Walter W. Stiern. Jim Young, chancellor of the Kern Community College District, is facing George Albin, a Bakersfield neurosurgeon, for the Democratic nomination against Republican Assemblyman Don Rogers of Bakersfield, considered to be the favorite to replace Stiern.