Rep. Howard Berman (D - Van Nuys), Rep. Brad Sherman (D - Sherman Oaks), Mark Reed and Susan Shelley have met on various stages around the San Fernando Valley for debates in recent months, and are set to meet a few more times in the nine weeks before the primary on June 5th. The four candidates running in the 30th district will meet on “Which Way, L.A.?” at 7p.m. tonight on KCRW (89.9 FM), The City Maven reports.
The tone at these debates has been snippy in the past, most particularly when Sherman goes after Berman. It started when Sherman first proposed an anti-Super PAC pledge (that Berman refused to sign) at the first debate in January; at a March 14 forum sponsored by the North Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce, Sherman asked Berman whether he was breaking House rules by driving a government car for personal or political reasons.
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Sherman and Berman, who both recently hired new PR professionals to help get their stories out, appear to be digging in for a bruising fight. But the Republicans in the district, as reported in the Los Angeles Times, are also going after one another.
Things heated up when Susan Shelley, a writer who calls herself a social moderate, released Los Angeles Superior Court documents about conservative businessman/rancher/actor Mark Reed’s criminal record. Shelley noted that Reed had been arrested in Los Angeles County six times, including twice relating to drugs and twice for driver’s license violations. In 2010 he was convicted on two counts of possessing a concealed weapon and sentenced to 36 months’ probation.
“It’s completely misleading and false what she’s bringing out,” Reed told the Jewish Journal, calling it a “filthy personal attack.”
Reed said that the weapons-related charge was about “an antique stagecoach 20-gauge pistol shotgun” that he said had only been used as a prop in his work as an actor.
Responding to the other charges, Reed said that the animal, a monkey that he still owns, was cited by the Department of Fish and Game as a dangerous species because the permit lapsed.
“The other stuff that she’s talking about” Reed said, “my god, that’s 1990.”
Some of the charges against Reed came up in his earlier bid for congress, in 2010, an unsuccessful run to unseat Sherman in the old 27th congressional district.