Assemblyman Paul Horcher (R-Hacienda Heights) is depicted as a dog and a trained seal in a television commercial promoting Phyllis Papen, his Republican primary opponent in the 60th Assembly District.
But the Diamond Bar city councilwoman fares even worse in Horcher's commercial, in which she is shown in the role of the garbage monster.
Horcher's ad on local cable television presents a photo of Papen that appears to have been altered to make her appearance unflattering. She is seen popping out of a garbage can while the narrator describes how the city lawmaker voted to give the Diamond Bar trash collection contract to her "live-in boyfriend's client" in a "sweetheart deal" that could cost taxpayers $1 million a year.
The tagline: "Phyllis Papen? Garbage."
Papen called the commercial crude, offensive and wrong. She shares a house with Michael Lowe, who has served as a consultant to Western Waste. Last month, the council on a 3-1 vote, with Papen siding with the majority, decided to negotiate a trash collection agreement with that refuse disposal firm.
Papen said she obtained an opinion from the state Fair Political Practices Commission that she could vote on the issue because she and Lowe pay their own bills and keep their money separate. In addition, she said, the commercial errs on the financial figures. The disposal contract is still being negotiated, she said, so it is wrong to say it will cost taxpayers anything.
Papen's ad shows a dog rolling over while a narrator asks why Horcher rolled over to vote for a state budget that entails a tax increase.
It then cuts to a trained seal while alleging that Horcher plays ball with Assembly Speaker Willie Brown (D-San Francisco). Then it shows swimming fish as it claims that Horcher "dove right in with the California trial lawyers."
Price Is Right--Robert Oltman, one of 10 candidates vying for the Republican nomination in the Pasadena-centered 44th Assembly District, has made voters a novel offer: He will work for free.
"I want to be a public servant, not a politician," Oltman said, so he has offered to donate his Assembly salary to worthy causes.
Oltman said he has not developed a plan for giving his pay away but would probably donate it to a local service club, which would select the beneficiaries. Oltman, who owns and operates warehouses, said he would derive his income from his business, which his partner has agreed to run while he serves in Sacramento.
Work Cheap--Congressional candidate James V. Lacy has made no offer to work for free, but he is promising to vote for a pay cut and reduction in perks for House members if elected.
Lacy, who is running against five other Republicans in the 41st Congressional District, has proposed an ethics package that includes rescinding last year's 25% pay raise and eliminating cost-of-living increases, free mass mailings to constituents and free gym privileges for congressmen.
The candidate is also promising to cut his career short, saying he will work for term limits for members of the House and Senate.
Lacy coupled his call for ethics reform with a blast at one of his rivals, former Assemblyman Charles W. Bader of Pomona, for accepting $13,000 in speaking fees and numerous free gifts while in the Legislature. But the amounts accepted by Bader were in line with the amounts accepted by other San Gabriel Valley legislators when he was in office, according to reports filed with the Fair Political Practices Commission.