Citing differences on issues and political ideology, Ventura County Supervisor Madge Schaefer said she is considering a challenge to Assemblyman Tom McClintock in the Republican primary this June.
"People have contacted me and asked me to consider it," Schaefer said Monday. "There is a feeling that Tom is not being sensitive to some segments of the community."
She charged that McClintock, whom she termed "extremely conservative," has been insensitive to education needs and the working poor. She also opposes a recently passed measure that McClintock supported to channel funds from counties to cities with little or no property-tax revenue, such as Thousand Oaks, Camarillo and Simi Valley.
Schaefer, 45, a former Thousand Oaks councilwoman, said one factor weighing against an Assembly bid is her reluctance to run for higher office before serving the four-year supervisor term she won in November, 1986.
Fourth Term Sought
McClintock, who seeks a fourth two-year term in the bedrock Republican 36th District, which includes the cities of Ventura, Camarillo and Thousand Oaks, dismissed Schaefer's possible challenge as the latest salvo in a longtime campaign of ideological sniping.
"I don't know of anyone who takes her seriously, in general as well as on this matter," said McClintock, also of Thousand Oaks.
He said Schaefer had been talking about running for his Assembly seat "since before I was sworn in 1982. She's just a classic liberal, and I'm a classic conservative, and there are bound to be differences."
McClintock, 31, one of two GOP whips, is a confidant of Assembly Minority Leader Patrick Nolan (R-Glendale). At one time an aide to state Sen. Ed Davis (R-Valencia), he counts Barry Goldwater and writer William F. Buckley among his early political heroes. McClintock was reelected in 1986 with 73% of the vote against two poorly financed opponents.
If Schaefer decides to run, she must overcome the incumbent's considerable financial advantages. The better-known McClintock has raised more than $100,000; Schaefer said she has $700 in her campaign fund.
The issue on which the two clashed most recently was the measure to financially help cities with little or no property-tax revenues; the additional aid will be increased annually over the next decade. Under the measure, Thousand Oaks is expected to receive more than $500,000 the first year; Simi Valley, $350,000 to $400,000; and Camarillo, about $250,000.
McClintock maintains that such cities were caught in a fiscal squeeze by the passage of the tax-cutting Proposition 13 in 1978, which made it difficult for them to levy new taxes. As a result, these municipalities have been unable to obtain new revenues despite their growth. This growth, in turn, has led to pressure for costly new services.
Schaefer has countered that these upscale cities are diverting money from the county that is desperately needed for state-mandated programs concerning welfare, the courts and law enforcement.
"Some cities are spending money on Rose Bowl floats," Schaefer said, referring to a Thousand Oaks proposal. "And we're shutting down health clinics."