By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
32nd District: Julian Dixon
Quiet and effective, this Crenshaw-area congressional veteran has navigated L.A.’s transit wars to win federal funding both to augment L.A.’s inadequate bus fleet and to complete the Red Line subway to North Hollywood. He’s also been ahead of the curve on police-brutality issues, holding hearings on that topic in the summer of 1999 and securing federal money to restart the D.A.’s rollout unit, which had investigated officer-involved shootings until Gil Garcetti closed it down in 1995. Dixon clearly merits re-election.
33rd District: Lucille Roybal-Allard
The 33rd, which starts downtown and runs down the 710 corridor, is probably home to more immigrants than any other congressional district in the nation. Roybal-Allard, a dedicated representative who now sits on the House Appropriations Committee, has authored health-outreach legislation particularly important to the medically uninsured in which her district abounds. She’s won funding for more buses in the cities that abut the Long Beach Freeway, and worked with Julian Dixon to get the funds to restart the rollout unit.
34th District: Grace Flores Napolitano
Napolitano had a lackluster career in the state Legislature, and she hasn’t really made a mark in the House during this, her first term in Congress. She was one of a handful of major elected officials to have backed Marty Martinez in his primary battle against Hilda Solis (see District 31), perhaps because she saw in the lunkish Martinez a kindred spirit. Nonetheless, if the Democrats are to take back the House from Tom DeLay and his minions, they need to hold on to every seat, Grace Napolitano’s included.
35th District: Maxine Waters
The indomitable Maxine remains Congress’ foremost advocate for the very people — inner-city youth — that many of her colleagues just want to lock up. Her maneuvering in city politics, where she has seen more virtue in such officeholders as Richard Riordan and Barbara Boudreaux than we could ever discern, has often disappointed and baffled us. Nonetheless, we think she did exactly the right thing at this summer’s Democratic Convention, when she essentially forced Joe Lieberman to come before African-American members of Congress to “clarify” his positions on affirmative action, vouchers and the like. Lieberman has been one of the most conservative Democratic senators, and he needs to feel some heat from the Democratic base. We count on Maxine to keep turning up the burner.
36th District: Jane Harman
Of the three L.A. County congressional contests that could determine the make-up of the next House, this one, in a South Bay district running from Venice to Long Beach, is the closest — a dead heat between Republican Steve Kuykendall and Democrat Jane Harman. We can’t emphasize enough that this is a race where you, your mother and your dog must all turn out to cast your votes for Harman.
Kuykendall is a first-term member of Congress, who was elected in 1998 when three-term incumbent Harman chose not to seek re-election so that she could run for governor and have Al Checchi beat the living crap out of her. Kuykendall is a garden-variety Republican, notable chiefly for winning election to the Assembly in 1994 by virtue of a last-minute $125,000 contribution from Philip Morris. In the current campaign, Kuykendall is busily trying to fuzz the differences between Harman and himself, claiming he supports a genuine patients’ bill of rights when he actually supports the GOP alternative, which curtails a patient’s right to sue his or her health insurance company. He also opposes, and Harman supports, legislation to expand Medicare to cover seniors’ prescription drug purchases.
Harman’s short-lived gubernatorial campaign only confirmed what she’d been saying for years, that she’s a centrist Democrat in the Feinstein mold. In her three terms in the House, she was a strong advocate for choice and environmental protections, and a premature debt-retirement zealot. She also proved quite adept at bringing high-tech businesses into the district. In the current campaign, she’s vowed to hold up Federal Aviation Administration funding if the agency doesn’t address the district’s concerns about airport noise and traffic problems. She is almost certainly the most progressive candidate this district, evenly divided between the two parties, could elect, and this is most certainly a seat the Democrats need if they’re to take back the House. For both these reasons, we strongly support Jane Harman.
37th District: Juanita Millender-McDonald
As the representative from this Carson-Compton district, Millender- Ă¨ McDonald has championed voting rights for the homeless, domestic-violence insurance, and funding for the Alameda Corridor, with set-asides for local hiring.
38th District: Gerrie Schipske
This Long Beach–area district, where over half the registered voters are Democrats and fewer than one-third are Republicans, is one of the long-running conundrums of L.A.-area politics. Since 1992, it’s been represented by Republican Steve Horn, a former university president who, as Republicans go, is more or less a moderate. But when Horn took the distinctly immoderate step of voting to impeach the president in December of ’98, he was voting to negate the clear preference of his district, where voters had returned Clinton to office in ’96 by a 17 percent margin over Bob Dole.