CALIFORNIA ELECTIONS: 58TH ASSEMBLY DISTRICT : Chiropractors, Doctors Choose Up Sides in Race


Chiropractors and doctors--longtime rivals over legislation in Sacramento--have taken their battle into the campaign for a coastal Assembly district where their significant financial resources are likely to shape the outcome of a close Republican primary.

The doctors' candidate is Dr. Seymour (Sy) Alban, an orthopedic surgeon from Long Beach who has been helped by the medical community in raising the most money in the campaign--more than $200,000.

On Wednesday, a group that includes the California Chiropractic Assn. announced it will spend at least $45,000 on behalf of one of Alban's opponents in the race, Huntington Beach Mayor Thomas J. Mays.

Mays said he has never talked with the chiropractors association and is not an outspoken advocate for the group's issues. He and others speculated that the real aim of the money is to defeat Alban.

"Sounds like they saw the polls and decided they would back who they thought would win," Mays said. "I have a funny feeling that a lot of these groups are worried about Alban getting in because he'll be pushing the (California Medical Assn.) platform."

William Saracino, treasurer of Citizens for Responsible Representation, the group that distributed the chiropractors' contribution, agreed, saying, "That would be a reasonable assumption." Saracino is also deputy director of the state Department of Commerce.

Officials from the California Chiropractic Assn. in Sacramento declined to return repeated telephone calls.

The donation was made on behalf of Mays through an independent expenditure committee, a mechanism created in recent campaign reform laws that allows groups to exceed the normal contribution limits if they do not coordinate their expenditures with the candidate's campaign. In fact, the candidate is not allowed to encourage or have any input about how the money is being spent.

The crowded race for the 58th Assembly District is increasingly focusing on the battle between Mays and Alban, although the race is too close to count out any of the other three Republicans in Tuesday's primary.

The other candidates are Peter E. von Elten, general counsel for a developer in Huntington Beach, and two Long Beach council members, Jan Hall and Jeffrey A. Kellogg. The predominantly Republican district stretches from Huntington Beach into Long Beach.

Mays recently has been backed by the National Rifle Assn. and the conservative California Republican Assembly. Meanwhile, Alban is backed by the moderate California Republican League and the League of Conservation Voters, an environmental group.

Doctors and chiropractors have locked horns in Sacramento for several years, but Al Pross, spokesman for the CMA, said he believes it is the first time the two groups have backed opposing candidates in a campaign for the Legislature.

Currently, some of the bills over which the two groups are at odds include a plan to require that insurance carriers provide coverage for chiropractor services and a provision to allow chiropractors to join hospital staffs. At present, chiropractors can admit patients to a hospital only if they go through a doctor.


Seymour (Sy) Alban

Age: 66

Home: Long Beach

Occupation: Orthopedic surgeon

Background: Physician for 37 years; five years' service in the U.S. Army Reserve; Gov. Deukme- jian appointee to drug advisory committee; 15 years L.A. County reserve deputy sheriff.

Issues: Supports abortion rights and public funding for low-income women seeking abortions; favors the death penalty; supports Proposition 111, the 9-cent gasoline tax initiative, to pay for transportation improvements; supports a moratorium on additional offshore oil drilling; supports a higher tax on tobacco and alcohol to help pay for the state's deficit.

Jan Hall

Age: 47

Occupation: Long Beach City Council member

Background: Served on the council for 12 years; served on the Southern California Rapid Transit District Board of Directors for nine years; appointed by Gov. Deukmejian to the Commission on the Status of Women, serving five years.

Issues: Supports abortion rights and public funding for low-income women seeking abortions; favors the death penalty; supports Proposition 111; opposed to a tax increase at present for state deficit; supports a moratorium on additional offshore oil drilling.

Jeffrey A. Kellogg

Age: 36

Home: Long Beach

Occupation: Long Beach City Council member

Background: Elected to council in 1988; former operations manager for Kellogg & Sons, an oil company.

Issues: Supports abortion rights but favors restrictions and opposes public funding for low-income women seeking abortions; supports the death penalty; opposes Proposition 111; opposed to a tax increase at present for state deficit; does not support additional offshore oil wells near district, but elsewhere he would consider them "case by case."

Thomas J. Mays

Age: 36

Home: Huntington Beach

Occupation: Staff manager at McDonnell Douglas Corp.

Background: Current mayor of Huntington Beach, elected to council in 1986; worked in strategic planning and market research at McDonnell Douglas Corp. since 1978.

Issues: Opposes abortion rights laws (except in case of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother); favors the death penalty; supports a moratorium on offshore oil drilling; supports Proposition 111; opposed to tax increase to pay for state deficit at present.

Peter E. von Elten

Age: 46

Home: Huntington Beach

Occupation: Vice president, general counsel, Mola Development Co.

Background: Chairman of Charter Services Corp., subsidiary of Charter Savings Bank; U.S. Army first lieutenant serving in Vietnam 1969-1971; former attorney in Connecticut and San Francisco. Joined Mola in 1976.

Issues: Supports abortion rights; favors the death penalty; supports Proposition 111; supports a moratorium on additional offshore drilling; opposes a tax increase at present to pay for state deficit.

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