It was like old times at USC...

<i> From staff and wire reports</i>

It was like old times at USC the other day, when the student body elections were invalidated amid suspicions of Chicago-style ballot-box-stuffing and other violations.

USC, of course, is the school that hatched such Watergate figures as Ronald Ziegler, Dwight L. Chapin, Gordon C. Strachan and Donald H. Segretti.

Kevin Davis, the current Daily Trojan editor, recalled that in the early 1970s one student body president was accused of holding meetings of his Supreme Court in the middle of the night in an effort to force members to resign. He then allegedly appointed several friends to the court--and resumed daytime meetings.

That scandal led to the temporary suspension of student government altogether.


“Every year at USC is a Watergate,” remarked Frederic Coonradt, a retired USC journalism professor.

Hijinks over the years have included the theft of Daily Trojans that carried election endorsements, the spread of manure around polling places to keep women away, the tampering of election machinery and the promise of one rebel candidate to abolish student government. The rebel won and changed his mind.

Eric Cohen, now a Hollywood writer, parodied the corruption in his run for the student body presidency at USC. He lost despite the fact that his platform endorsed pollution “in hopes of getting campaign contributions from Union Oil (now Unocal) as well as General Motors.”

They were dressed in identical black outfits when they showed up at the recruiting station. And soon the 17-year-old triplets will be wearing identical green outfits on weekends. San Fernando High School students Lorena, Lourdes and Lupe Rodriguez enlisted in the California Army National Guard.

“They plan to use the G.I. Bill to help finance their educations,” Sgt. Sharon Price said.

“We’re very excited,” said Lupe Rodriguez, who, being the eldest by 10 minutes, sometimes speaks for the others.

Authorized biographies are supposed to treat their subjects gently. So how do you figure this back-handed compliment in “Tom Bradley--The Impossible Dream,” by J. Gregory Payne and Scott C. Ratzan? On page 337, the writers say that one of the mayor’s campaign slogans was “Tom Bradley doesn’t make a lot of sense, he just gets things done.”

Actually, it was a mistake. The writers meant to say noise instead of sense .


Nice sense of history on the part of Universal Studios, advertising its new earthquake exhibit on a billboard on Philadelphia Street in Whittier, just a few blocks from the buildings that were devastated by a real-life quake in October, 1987.

Apples may be verboten, along with grapes. But the California Raisins’ video, featuring the dried-up rockers of the television commercials, has just hit the stores here.