Sex was a political issue among Republican candidates at a recent Christian Coalition-sponsored forum.
Assemblywoman Paula Boland (R-Granada Hills), for one, thinks it has its limits.
"We've got to stop free sex and forget condoms," said Boland, a candidate for the state Senate in the 21st district. "They don't work all the time."
Boland was responding to a question about the proper role of the government in combating AIDS.
Not to be outflanked, Assemblyman James Rogan (R-Glendale) announced he had the "cure" for AIDS and could have saved the government oodles of money, if someone had only asked.
"The cure for AIDS is monogamous sex within marriage," said Rogan, who's running for Congress.
Rogan's Republican primary opponent, Joe Paul, also endorsed marital sex and added: "My body is a temple of God."
He then went on to take a harsh line on a woman's right to choose. "She makes that choice before she gets into bed," Paul said.
Speaking of Rogan, he was recently named Glendale's most influential citizen by the Glendale News-Press.
The above-the-fold front page photo, under the blaring headline "Chart-toppers," could double as a campaign ad for Rogan, who's running for Congress in the 27th District.
By contrast, retiring Congressman Carlos Moorhead (R-Glendale) placed 20th on the list of 103 influential folks. That's four places behind Supervisor Mike Antonovich (16), but ahead of Glendale Councilman Sheldon Baker (27), who's running for Rogan's Assembly seat.
All of these politicos, save Rogan, were aced out by O.J. Simpson prosecutor Marcia Clark's 10th place finish.
But they can take some solace in beating out the Bob's Big Boy mascot, named the 69th most influential Glendalian.
"There is nothing new under the sun," King Solomon wrote in the book of Ecclesiastes.
For proof of that, take a look at some of the political mailers circulating this primary season.
"Kids on the streets of our community have more firepower than my father had in World War II," declares an anticrime flier put out by Jim Dantona, one of the leading Democratic contenders in the 39th Assembly District.
Sound familiar? It might if you live in the 42nd Assembly District, just a stone's throw away. The line is practically a carbon copy of one used by Assemblyman Wally Knox (D-Los Angeles) when he ran for election in that district two years ago.
"Kids on the streets of Los Angeles have more firepower than I had in Vietnam," said Knox's flier, which featured a photo of the candidate as a young soldier in the U.S. Army.
Knox came up with the line at a community forum during his election bid and, by the reaction of the crowd, recognized it as a winner. His campaign consultant, Larry Levine in Sherman Oaks, took it and ran, using it to propel the low-profile Knox into the state Legislature.
So guess who Dantona's consultant is in the 39th district? None other than the savvy Levine, who has increasingly helped more liberal candidates craft punchy law-and-order messages to appeal to crime-weary voters.
And he scoffs at criticisms of unoriginality.
"What is the basic premise of advertising? Repetition. Why do I have to invent something new if it works?" Levine says. "I'll move onto something else when I need to. . . . It's a valid message."
So valid, Levine believes, that he certainly isn't restricting it to Dantona's campaign this season. Glossy mailers for two other Levine clients--Roderick Wright, a Democrat running in the 48th Assembly District (Los Angeles), and Bill Lemann, a candidate for supervisor in San Bernardino County--use the exact same slogan.
"Wally probably wants me to pay him a royalty," Levine says.
"Not at all," Knox says with a laugh. "I'm really pleased with the people who are running" and are using the slogan.
Knox, who is running unopposed in his own primary this month, has endorsed Dantona in the 39th district.
Freshman City Councilman Mike Feuer made good this week on his campaign promise to increase the penalties for firms that violate ethics laws.
After some debate and dissension, the council voted 11 to 2 to draft a law that prohibits firms convicted of laundering campaign contributions from getting a city contract for up to four years.
Feuer's proposal was prompted in part by a council decision a year ago to waive nearly $200,000 in traffic fees for the company that organizes the Los Angeles Marathon only months after that same firm was fined $200,000 by the city's Ethics Commission for laundering campaign contributions.
But Feuer had to do some campaigning of his own to convince several reluctant council members to support the measure.
He urged them to send a message to residents and lobbyists that the council would not put up with money launderers. "Let's draw a line in the sand," he said.
In the end, Feuer got the support of all but two council members, Nate Holden and Valley colleague Hal Bernson.
Holden, who recently won two suits accusing him of sexual harassment, said he is leery that anonymous tips would prompt the Ethics Commission to investigate firms that could ultimately be banned from doing business with the city.
During the hearing, he railed against anonymous tipsters and suggested the city do away with its anonymous "whistle blowers" hotline.
"You really don't know what pain and suffering is," he told his colleagues, referring to the sexual harassment claims. (Both claims were filed by former employees who put their names on the record.)
Bernson, who has been harshly criticized by the Ethics Commission in the past over his spending of contributions, went a step further.
He suggested the city do away with the Ethics Commission altogether because he has been a victim, he said, of its politically motivated attacks. Bernson said he opposed Feuer's motion because it would give the Ethics Commission additional ammunition that it could misuse.
As a compromise, he suggested that the ban on doing business with the city take effect only after a judge or a jury decides if a firm is guilty of money laundering instead of letting the Ethics Commission decide.
Bernson's amendment narrowly lost, sending Feuer's original motion to the city attorney's office for final drafting.
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a recent photo of Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan may come down to just one word: trouble.
The photo appears on the cover of the latest Thin Blue Line, the monthly newsletter for the union that represents the rank and file of the Los Angeles Police Department.
In the photo, Riordan is seen shoulder to shoulder with union director Ted Hunt and President Cliff Ruff at the union's holiday reception last year. All three are shown smiling and holding out their hands with five fingers extended.
Unfortunately for Riordan, the photo has been read by some union leaders as an indication that the mayor supports a police contract with a 5% increase each year.
Not so, said Steve Sugerman, Riordan's communications director. The mayor has made no commitment to the union for such a contract, he said.
Such misunderstandings may spell rocky times ahead when the union and city leaders begin to negotiate the police contracts.
This was evident two years ago during the last contract negotiation when police became so frustrated with the negotiations that they posted billboards showing a carjacking in progress, with the slogan "Warning: This Can Be You Without The Police Dept."
Negotiations for the next contract are expected to begin later this month and already police union members are predicting another battle.
"Well, deja vu all over again," union director Lenny Munoz said in a Thin Blue Line column. "Tricky Dick seems to be backing out on us again, just like the last time. Hizzoner is in for a surprise."