Rep. Howard Berman is airing two new campaign spots that push his record on issues in the Valley and show him being thanked by the Republican father of a soldier killed in Iraq. The father, Darrel Griffin, says Berman helped him get clearance to embed with his son's former unit and finish the book they were doing together.
Berman's campaign says the spots are airing citywide on cable TV channels. The positive tone is in contrast to the personally contentious tone taken by Berman and his oppnent, Rep. Brad Sherman, at a debate this month before the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association. The vibe that night was so bitter that the audience booed. Sherman is not mentioned in the Berman spots, though the taglne of the spot about Berman's record reads, "Howard Berman: delivering for the Valley like no one else."
Going up now with TV spots is probably also aimed at convincing voters and potential backers that Berman has the money to campaign effectively. Sherman was better situated than Berman in the last round of fundraising reports.
These spots are also the first from the Berman campaign since the congressman's brother, Michael Berman, yielded strategic and day-to-day guidance of the campaign to Brandon Hall after the June primary, when Sherman finished on top.
* 12:55 p.m. update: Sherman's campaign filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission today alleging that Michael Berman was overpaid in the years he worked on his brother's campaigns. The complaint claims "an overwhelming amount of evidence to show that Howard Berman has used campaign funds to enrich his brother ... for services that were not actually rendered, or has paid campaign funds to Michael Berman well in excess of market value for 'services' in non-competitive races." LAT