The Sacramento Bee's subscriber-only Capitol Alert reports today on a nasty fight between Valley assemblyman Lloyd Levine and his former chief of staff, Stuart Waldman. Levine fired the aide last month, the Bee says, and yesterday he withdrew his support for Waldman's candidacy to replace Levine in the Assembly. Here's an excerpt of the Bee report by Shane Goldmacher:
Levine, D-Van Nuys, has opted instead to back Bob Blumenfeld, a top aide to powerful area Congressman Howard Berman, in the race to replace him.
Levine sent Waldman a letter, dated May 31, asking Waldman to "please remove any references to my actual or implied endorsement from all of your election materials, including your Web site, without delay."
"I am sorry it has come to this, but I feel I have no other choice," Levine wrote.
Waldman has followed with an open letter, written today, in which he accuses Levine of having his "stories vary depending upon who you have spoken with." Waldman notes that his opponent, Blumenfeld, has hired Levine's father, Democratic political operative Larry Levine, as his consultant.
"You are, of course, implying that I have forced you to withdraw your support of me due to my actions, as of May 31, 2007, and I understand that you have spoken to several of our mutual friends and indicated that you were still supporting me up until the day before yesterday, May 30, 2007, while you have told others, both in the San Fernando Valley and Sacramento, that you pulled my endorsement weeks ago.
"What is the true story, Lloyd?" Waldman asks.
This is the not the first time that Waldman has failed to secure the endorsement of a member of the Assembly for whom he served as chief of staff. Waldman wanted to run for Assemblyman Bob Hertzberg's seat five years ago - the seat Levine now occupies - but Hertzberg chose to endorse Andrei Cherney.
In 2008, however, Hertzberg is backing Waldman, his former chief of staff.
"I would consider it a personal favor if you helped Stuart," Hertzberg wrote in a letter to prospective donors last week.
Waldman's letter is after the jump. Capitol Weekly has details on the story too.
First, let me say thank you for allowing me to serve in the capacity as your dedicated Chief of Staff for the last 5 years. It has been an honor to serve this community.
Second, I would like to address your letter dated May 31, 2007 (see attachment). In this letter, you withdraw your endorsement of me for the 40th district of the State Assembly. You also state, in the letter, that "I am sorry it has come to this, but I feel I have no other choice." You are, of course, implying that I have forced you to withdraw your support of me due to my actions, as of May 31, 2007, and I understand that you have spoken to several of our mutual friends and indicated that you were still supporting me up until the day before yesterday, May 30, 2007, while you have told others, both in the San Fernando Valley and Sacramento, that you pulled my endorsement weeks ago.
What is the true story, Lloyd? The week of May 21, 2007, my opponent, Bob Blumenfield, and his consultant, your father, Larry Levine, were in Sacramento telling people that you were no longer endorsing my candidacy. Moreover, Larry Levine handed out a full color glossy brochure with your picture and quote (see attachment) stating that you endorse Bob Blumenfield for the 40th Assembly District. This was printed at a union printer, so it had to have been made the week of May 14, 2007 or earlier, as you and I both know the lead times required to prepare a union printed mailer can be significant. Keep in mind that I left the office on May 10, 2007, when you, to my surprise, dismissed me. I would be happy to provide a detailed timeline of these events to you if this would jog your recollection.
I have a copy of this mailer date stamped prior to May 31, 2007, so your statements both in your letter and to others cannot be true. So please explain to me and the other people you are talking to, when did you really pull my endorsement and why? It is clear that you pulled it long before you notified me on May 31, 2007, and it is also clear that your stories vary depending upon who you have spoken with.
Very truly yours,