The Los Angeles Times editorial page on Sunday endorsed Rep. Howard Berman in the big Democratic Party battle in the San Fernando Valley. "The Times supported Berman in the first round of voting, and we're sticking with him in the head to head" over Rep. Brad Sherman, the paper says.
That is no slight to Sherman. He's a solid member of Congress with a strong voting record and evident devotion to the interests and well-being of his constituents. Under most circumstances, he would be a shoo-in for reelection and would deserve enthusiastic support.
In this case, however, he's up against one of the most senior and respected members of the House. Berman is an admired leader in foreign affairs, a clear thinker and the rare congressman these days who has friends and admirers in both political parties. That ability to work with others has helped build Berman's record of achievement in areas such as environmental protection, where he helped create the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, and intellectual property, where he has fought for the interests of his Hollywood constituents. Indeed, one of the more notable aspects of Berman's campaign in recent weeks has been his ability to secure endorsements from significant Republicans, specifically Arizona Sen. John McCain and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham — adding their support to that of California's two Democratic senators, its Democratic governor and most of its House delegation....
The so-called Berman-Sherman campaign is not a dream come true for liberal Democrats. It ensures that money and energy is being spent by Democrats to beat Democrats in a year when most would like to see those efforts exerted elsewhere. Nevertheless, one of these admirable public servants will soon wind it up while the other returns to Washington. Forced to choose, we choose Berman.
The Times notes, however, that Sherman has a geographical edge with Valley voters since he has represented much of the newly drawn district all along and Berman is thought of more as a lawmaker from over the hill in non-Valley Los Angeles. "That's one reason Sherman finished first in the June primary by 10 percentage points, and why he has been favored in recent polls to win in November as well," the editorial says. Sherman's campaign last week flacked a Survey USA poll that found Sherman leading 45 percent to 32 percent.
Ten days ago the Daily News also endorsed Berman.