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LYNCH RIPS GARCETTI ON SIMPSON TRIAL.

Byline: Eric Wahlgren Daily News Staff Writer

Bringing their campaigns for district attorney to the west San Fernando Valley on Tuesday, incumbent Gil Garcetti and challenger John Lynch continued to spar over controversial bonuses Garcetti gave to the prosecutors in the O.J. Simpson criminal trial.

Before an audience of about 250 gathered at the West Valley Jewish Community Center, Lynch reproached Garcetti for giving bonuses to O.J. prosecutors and for making frequent remarks to the press during the trial.

``He believes in prosecution by press conference,'' said Lynch, who is a county deputy district attorney. ``I do not.''

Garcetti defended his record, noting that his office has a 94 percent overall conviction rate.

Garcetti added that he gave prosecutors bonus checks in an attempt to compensate them for giving up their privacy during the high-profile murder case.

The two-hour morning forum also included candidates for Congress, the state Senate and state Assembly.

Brad Sherman, a Sherman Oaks Democrat running for a seat representing the 24th Congressional District, sparred with Republican opponent Rich Sybert of Calabasas over which candidate had the better plan to salvage Medicare.

Although Sherman, an attorney and accountant who is serving a second term on the State Board of Equalization, tried to make Newt Gingrich the lead debate issue, Sybert ducked a question of whether he would back the Georgia congressman for another term as House Majority Leader.

Sybert, who supports a tough crackdown on illegal immigration and ending bilingual education, answered only: ``I will definitely vote for a Republican.''

Throughout the morning, all the candidates touted their ties to the Valley.

Stating his support for Assemblywoman Paula Boland's failed Valley secession bill, Scott Schreiber, the GOP challenger in the 23rd Senate District, tried to drive a wedge between him and incumbent Democrat Tom Hayden on the issue.

Hayden countered that he had voted for the bill, adding that he nevertheless would prefer setting up special neighborhood council committees that would have oversight over zoning and the allocation of services to the Valley, but would still enable the area to remain part of Los Angeles.

Incumbent Sheila Kuehl, D-Encino, and Republican Mark Benhard, the GOP challenger in the 41st Assembly District, spent much of their time debating the ``three strikes, you're out'' legislation and affirmative action.

``Everyone should be judged on their own merits and nothing more,'' said Benhard, an Agoura Hills businessman who is local chairman of Proposition 209, known as the California Civil Rights Initiative, that would do away with race and gender-based preferences in state programs.

Kuehl said she opposed the initiative, saying its passage might make it easier for state programs to discriminate on the basis of gender.

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Photo

PHOTO District attorney challenger John Lynch, left, and in cumbent Gil Garcetti field questions at a candidates forum.

Michael Owen Baker/Daily News
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Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Oct 2, 1996
Words:473
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