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VILLARAIGOSA TELLS OUTRAGE OVER MAILING.

Byline: Rick Orlov Staff Writer

Mayoral candidates Antonio Villaraigosa and James Hahn continued their dispute Thursday over an independent mailing and the tenor of the campaign that ends next Tuesday.

Villaraigosa voiced outrage at disclosures that a close ally of Hahn was responsible for seeking a $100,000 contribution from the Soboba band of Mission Indians for a mailing against him. The mailing criticized him for voting against tougher sentences for sexual offenders and against notifying the community when a violent felon is released.

``These are simply outrageous,'' Villaraigosa said. ``They are, in effect, calling me the most dangerous man in Los Angeles. This is beyond the pale of what is appropriate in this campaign.

``I have never vilified Jimmy Hahn personally in any of this campaign. I refuse to do that. I've got kids I've got to face. All I can hope is that the good guys win.''

Hahn denied any knowledge of the mailings or the role of longtime supporter Daniel Weinstein in contacting the tribe and organizing the mailing.

``Daniel Weinstein is a good friend, but neither I nor anyone in my campaign knew anything about this,'' Hahn said after a meeting with supporters in the Asian-American community. ``But that's what happens when people get frustrated and they see the amounts being spent by the other side.

``I would have preferred that these donations go to my campaign so we could get our message out. But, the fact is, Mr. Villaraigosa is being helped by the Democratic Party, which is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and no one knows where that money is coming from.''

Hahn said he had not talked with Weinstein for about two weeks and was unaware of his activities.

Hahn and Villaraigosa have both said they support disclosure of that kind of funding.

Weinstein, who owns Wetherly Capital Group in Beverly Hills, is out of town until next week, a secretary at the company said. He has not issued a statement on his role in the mailing.

According to published reports, members of the tribe were meeting with other groups and were urged by Weinstein in a speaker-phone call to contribute to the Hahn campaign for a mailing critical of Villaraigosa's record.

They were not told the specifics of the mailing.

Villaraigosa has had a spotty relationship with the Indian tribes over the years because of his refusal to relax gambling laws at their casinos.

In other campaign developments Thursday, television station KABC (Channel 7) and SurveyUSA released an opinion poll showing Hahn surging to a 54-43 percent lead over Villaraigosa .

Television officials said the survey of 800 registered voters was conducted Wednesday and has a 3.2 percent margin of error. Villaraigosa campaign officials disputed the results.

Also on Thursday, Villaraigosa renewed his pledge to audit the Los Angeles Unified School District annually - either with the district's consent or by seeking a change in state law.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jun 1, 2001
Words:485
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