Zschau Poses With Hayden but Has 2nd Thoughts and Warning
When two smiling men meet at a picnic, shake hands and trade small talk, that’s one thing. When a very unsmiling letter of warning arrives a few days later via certified mail, that’s something else.
That’s campaign politics.
Last week on Labor Day, Democratic Assemblyman Tom Hayden of Santa Monica and Republican Rep. Ed Zschau of Los Altos shared a Santa Monica municipal park for separate Labor Day picnics. Zschau is running for the U.S. Senate, and Hayden is seeking reelection to the Legislature.
They crossed paths and exchanged harmless pleasantries. An aide to Hayden took snapshots of the shirt-sleeved men. The conversation between the candidates went this way:
“I did a statewide campaign once. I don’t envy you. It’s a lot of work,” said Hayden, who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate in 1976.
“Yes, but you meet a lot of great people,” Zschau replied.
Four days later, however, Zschau sent a certified letter with this grave message:
“It was gracious of you to drop by my Labor Day picnic on Monday to welcome me to Santa Monica. As you know, while we were speaking, several photographs of us standing together were taken by your staff. I want to let you know that you do not have my permission to use those pictures in any public or political manner.”
No Plans for Photos
Hayden, who sent a copy of the Zschau letter and one of the pictures to The Times, said he had no intention of trying to “use” the photographs of such a casual encounter.
Hayden has never been able to outlive his 1960s anti-war radicalism among conservatives whose support Zschau is cultivating.
Zschau spokesman Jim LeMunyon said the congressman’s warning letter to Hayden was nothing personal.
“Being a member of the other party, if the picture got out someone might say, ‘Gee, I didn’t know he was friends with Tom Hayden. . . .’ Suppose the person who saw it was, for instance, a conservative Republican?” LeMunyon said. “We leave nothing to chance.”