By Besha Rodell
By Patrick Range McDonald
By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
This is the third of the three local districts in which Democrats have a shot at ousting a Republican incumbent — and though it’s more of an uphill climb here than it is in the other two, Democratic challenger Gerrie Schipske is still within striking distance of Horn.
Schipske, who narrowly lost an Assembly race in the mid-’90s, is a forthright progressive in this leftward-moving district. Initially a nurse-practitioner, she worked as a legislative assistant in Congress, then became an attorney specializing in issues of health access and care. She’s run prenatal and senior health-care programs in Long Beach, and until the campaign, she was a health-care-policy consultant to the Service Employees International Union, the nation’s largest health-care-worker union. Schipske has a clear understanding of how to expand health coverage and working people’s rights.
Horn’s moderation only extends so far. He’s voted against the union position on legislation more than 60 percent of the time. Nor is he all that supportive of immigrants: Horn favors denying all but emergency care to undocumented immigrants, and authored legislation (as yet unpassed) to allow voting officials in the states with the largest immigrant populations to run citizenship checks at the polls. It’s time for Horn to go, and Schipske has our enthusiastic backing in this important race.
21st District: Jack Scott
In 1996, Adam Schiff was elected to represent this Silver Lake–Glendale–Pasadena–La CaĆ±ada–Flintridge–East Valley district, the first time a Democrat had won this seat since the early years of the century. That same year, in the Assembly district that makes up the northern half of the district, Jack Scott was elected to the Assembly, the first time a Democrat had won that seat since the early years of the century.
Now, after a bruising battle in the March primary against Scott Wildman, the assemblyman from the next district over, Jack Scott is the Democratic nominee to succeed Schiff in the November election. Scott, an affable, low-key historian and former president of Pasadena City College, has been, during his tenure in the Assembly, a moving force for gun-control legislation and a steady voice for education funding, especially at the college level. He’s the author of much of the handgun-control legislation that Gray Davis has signed, and has vowed to keep pushing for the registration of all handguns. As chair of the Senate Insurance Committee, he authored the act that established low-cost ($450 per year) auto-insurance policies in L.A. and San Francisco counties. This year, he very ably chaired the hearings that forced the resignation of Chuck Quackenbush, the state’s corrupt insurance commissioner. Scott has shown himself to be an effective legislator, if not the most progressive one — but then, this isn’t the most progressive district.
Scott’s Republican opponent, South Pasadena City Council Member Paul Zee, has received major funding from the state Republican leadership, which is focusing on the relative handful of state legislative races that are genuinely competitive. This is one such race — another reason why we recommend a vote for Scott.
23rd District: Sheila James Kuehl
The real race in this Westside and Valley district was in the March primary, where termed-out Assemblywoman Sheila Kuehl battled termed-out Assemblyman Wally Knox for the Democratic nomination to succeed termed-out state Senator Tom Hayden. Kuehl prevailed, which in this heavily Democratic district was tantamount to election.
Still known to old Dobie Gillis fans as Zelda — the brightest kid in Dobie’s high school class — Sheila Kuehl was a founding director of the Women’s Law Center and a law professor at Loyola Law School before being elected to the Assembly in 1994. As the first open lesbian (or gay) in the Legislature, she was widely expected — by people who didn’t know her — to have trouble fitting into its old-boy culture. By her second year, however, she became the member to whom other members turned to broker their disputes and intercede with their colleagues. (She even gets along with Gray Davis.) Ranked year after year in the annual California Journal survey as the most intelligent, honest and effective member of the Assembly, she was elected by her colleagues in 1997 to be speaker pro tem — the No. 2 position in the lower House.
More important, she’s used her talents to push the envelope of social tolerance and generosity. She authored and steered to enactment the act mandating nurse-to-patient ratios in California hospitals, and the state’s Patients’ Bill of Rights, which she negotiated with the Guv. Her bill protecting gay students from harassment failed three times before she finally garnered 41 votes to get it passed. We fully expect she will be a brilliant and tenacious state senator.
25th District: Ed Vincent
In March, Inglewood-area Assemblyman (and former Inglewood mayor) Ed Vincent won the Democratic primary contest to succeed state Senator Teresa Hughes in this overwhelmingly Democratic district. As the legislator from the district that’s home to Hollywood Park and its casino, Vincent carries water for the gambling industry and, for good measure, Big Tobacco. Still, there’s one factor that inclines us to endorse him: Almost alone among L.A.’s African-American elected officials, Vincent is actively promoting Latino political involvement and cultivating a whole generation of Latino political leaders within his district. In this all-too-Balkanized time and place, Vincent’s multiracialism is far-sighted and, sad to say, brave. It’s enough for us to endorse him, despite his manifest flaws.
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