Rep. Howard Berman takes gloves off in race against Brad Sherman

After decades of cruising effortlessly to reelection, dignified, statesmanlike and unruffled, Rep. Howard Berman has come out swinging against fellow San Fernando Valley Democrat and congressional colleague Brad Sherman in the fight over which man gets to stay in Congress.

First came a website knocking Sherman's record: Just three bills passed in 15 years, two of them to rename post offices, it declared. Then Berman rounded up a seasoned Washington hand to pile on, telling reporters last week that Sherman had indulged in "fantasies" about his role in reforming the nation's troubled financial institutions (nonsense, said Sherman's campaign; his role was well documented).

Berman has even moved aside his brother Michael, his longtime strategist, in favor of a younger consultant with recent, hard-fought victories under his belt.

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-- Jean Merl, Los Angeles Times

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