In recent weeks, little-known State Board of Equalization candidates Brad Sherman and Claude Parrish have attempted to lure prospective voters by handing out combs and potholders.
But with Election Day looming, the pair have switched to verbal brickbats, accusing each other of spreading big-time lies to confuse residents of their massive District 2, which stretches from Santa Monica to San Francisco.
Democrat Sherman, appearing with Democratic state attorney general candidate Arlo Smith at a Los Angeles press conference, took issue with a last-minute campaign mailer distributed by Republican Parrish which says Smith has refused to endorse Sherman for a post on the state's elected tax appeals board.
"This is one of the most outrageous hit pieces in contemporary California political history," said Sherman, proceeding to put his arm around Smith's shoulders.
Parrish, meanwhile, is livid about a Sherman leaflet which claims that Parrish's ice cream company was shut down in 1985 for failure to pay state income taxes.
Parrish says he actually sold the firm, National Ice Cream Products Inc., on Jan. 21, 1983. That was 10 days before the company's business license was suspended for a month by the state Franchise Tax Board.
Sherman says he relied on public records in making his allegations. Besides, Sherman said, the 1983 suspension could only have occurred because of previous tax delinquencies.
Parrish, however, says he will sue Sherman for libel.
"It's a good thing Sherman sold his house (to finance his campaign)," the Republican said. "(Otherwise) when I get through with legal action, I'd own it."