Vivian Hall, a longtime activist on feminist issues in Orange County, and Janice Graham, a state Senate candidate, called Thursday for Graham’s opponent, Sen. William Campbell, to make additional disclosures about the annual women’s conference he co-sponsors.
They said the Hacienda Heights Republican hasn’t responded to a U.S. Senate subcommittee’s request that he provide information on how much other sponsors have provided for the conference, first held in 1984.
At a press conference in Santa Ana, Hall and Graham, a Democrat from Laguna Hills, repeated previous reports that Campbell’s wife, Margene, and one of his aides, Karen Smith, have profited financially from the conference. Hall and Graham said they are challenging Campbell to put $408,000--representing money paid to his wife and aide and contributions since 1985 from the co-sponsoring Small Business Administration--into an escrow account until he answers questions about the conference.
In an interview, Campbell dismissed Hall and Graham’s complaints as politically motivated. He said Smith is quitting her job as one of his aides at the end of the year to pursue the organization of such conferences full time. He also said Smith and his wife “shouldn’t be penalized for their ability to do something that they do well just because they happen to work for me or be married to me.”
Last year the Anaheim conference drew about 14,000 women.