Election 2012: Dicterow launches council campaign

Steven Dicterow on Sunday kicked off his fourth official run for City Council.

[Seven-degrees] owner Mark Orgill hosted the kick-off event, which drew an enthusiastic crowd of an estimated 250 supporters, including Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach), to cheer Dicterow's decision to run for a fourth term and his strategy for winning.

"No candidate will outwork me," said Dicterow, an attorney. "I am already going door-to-door. But I also know I need your help."

Cribbing from Abraham Lincoln, Dicterow said, "Without your help, I cannot win. With your help, I cannot lose."

Dicterow wasn't seeking financial aid at the event.

"I will spend less than any other candidate," he said. "I won't buy votes."

Instead, he asked his supporters to put up signs, e-mail blast their support for his candidacy and hold "little" events in their homes.

He will be his own campaign manager.

He previously sat on the council for 12 years, starting in 1994, serving three times as the city's mayor. Another attempt to run for council was aborted before it became official.

Dicterow was introduced by his daughter, Taryn. She was 4 the first time Dicterow was elected. She said she didn't have a clue what that meant, but she enjoyed the attention paid to her because of her father.

"But I learned that Laguna needed him," she said. "I thought everyone ran for office for the right reasons, but Laguna is lucky, because it has Steven Dicterow."

When Steven Dicterow took over the microphone, he said, "You are all thinking the same thing: The wrong Dicterow is running for office."

Rohrabacher said he expects Taryn Dicterow to one day take his place in Congress.

Under the new configuration of voting districts, part of Rohrabacher's 46th Congressional District will become the new 48th District and will include Laguna Beach.

Meantime, he said, he supports Steven Dicterow.

"We live in paradise," Rohrabacher said. "It is not a climate, it is a culture, and in places like Laguna Beach, we have people like Steve."

Dicterow, a conservative Republican, said he is interested in keeping Laguna College of Art & Design in town. He was on the council when attempts were made to move the Laguna Art Museum and the Festival of Arts from town.

"I don't want that to ever happen with LCAD," he said.

LCAD President Jonathan Burke was in the audience Sunday.

"I was there to learn," Burke said. "We are committed to staying in Laguna."

Dicterow also pledged to keep the Police and Fire departments under local jurisdiction.

Police Employee Assn. President Larry Bammer said the association is considering endorsing Dicterow.

"He has the reputation of being concerned about public safety," Bammer said.

Retired Police Officer Thadeus "Ted" Falencki said he has already decided to support Dicterow.

"I'll be the guy at Main Beach without a shirt and waving a sign," he said.

Other supporters at the kickoff included 2010 council candidate Emanuel Patrascu, aide to State Sen. Tom Harmon; the Cabang clan; [seven-degrees] Director Dora Wexell; a cadre of volunteers led by Sande St. John; and Karl Koski, retired city manager of Temple City, now a Laguna Beach resident.

"Steve has experience," Koski said. "He is reasonable, and he makes sense."

Koski also mentioned that Dicterow told the Laguna Taxpayers Assn. that he has withdrawn his support for the Open Space Initiative.

"His policies are well thought-out even when I disagree with him," said attorney Gene Gratz. "And he listens."

Since 2006, Dicterow has served as chief operating officer of an international motorcycle-racing circuit and managed racers, but he has remained involved in community affairs as a member of the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce and Festival of Arts boards. He also recently started a business with his daughter.

Dicterow and his wife, Catrina, have been married 27 years. They live in North Laguna.

Dicterow can be reached at sdictrerow1121@yahoo.com.


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