Dredging up the past

Former Tom Bradley press secretary Bob Kholos alleges on his blog that the Bradley campaign in 1973 came across information that then-Mayor Sam Yorty had, as a young man, paid for a back-alley abortion that left a woman dead and her mother screaming that "Sam Yorty murdered my daughter." This was during the emotional, race-baiting second election faceoff between Bradley and Yorty. Kholos says that the campaign didn't use the information, except for one unauthorized play by the communications staff.

Instead of blasting it in the news media, we decided to use it about 10 seconds prior to a live debate in the San Fernando Valley just a couple of days before the election.

Aide, and future Bradley Press Secretary, Tom Sullivan volunteered to run past Yorty just as the debate started and whisper a name.

Sullivan whispered the name of the person, and Yorty responded, “So, your going to play that game.”

It worked. Yorty was off balance the entire debate and was more subdued than usual.

Kholos also remembers that some of the campaign advisers hired by Bradley were not too pleasant, especially New York media expert David Garth and what Kholos calls the "lawyers" who came over from the John Tunney for Senate campaign

Max Palevsky "loaned" the campaign $600,000 dollars, as long as it brought media mogul David Garth, Nelson Reising [sic], Gray Davis and the rest of the Lawyer laden clan. Even Jeff Greenfield of CNN fame was working for Garth at the time....

Gray Davis was a nightmare to work with. He had an uneven elitist temper, which included a chair throwing incident. When one campaign aide asked me to query Davis when the paychecks were coming in, he responded, "You Don't Deserve to be Paid, KHOLOS!" For a moment, I thought I was working for the Nixon campaign.

He also talks about contacts with then-Times political reporters Dick Bergholz and Bill Boyarsky, along with other snippets of campaign color. Bradley won in 1973 and was mayor for twenty years.


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