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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California • Page 126
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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California • Page 126

Los Angeles, California
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ELECTION POSTMORTEM Political Mudslinging Reaches New Low nines 'MORE TOGETHER THAN MOST PEOPLE' Doris Richards before undergoing transformation at Stanford center, and as Steve Dain WOMAN-TO-MAN TRANSFORMATION DIVIDES TOWN Teacher Sparks Battle Over Sexual Identity BY BUD LEMBKE Timet Political writer Orange County political mudslinging recalls the old saw about the weather: Everybody talks about it. but nobody does any thing about it. Each new campaign season seems to be marked by more deception, dirty tricks and last-minute sneak attacks than the last. Most people active in county politics agree that the art reached a new low in this fall's campaigns. "Orange County is the mud palace of America," said Joel Jutovsky, executive director of the Republican Central Committee. "It is getting a little out of hand. The smear works sometimes and that encourages its use again and again." Howard Adler, treasurer of the Democratic Central Committee and a manager of campaigns, said the runaway use of smears and deceptions is "a damned shame" and added. "I think people who have interest in the success of our system should demand that the use of these tactics stop." Newly elected Supervisor Philip Anthony, who engaged in a low-road battle with opponent Harry Yama-moto over who was linked closest to convicted political financier Dr. Louis J. Cella claims Yamamoto started it. "In a letter sent Sept. 29 to potential contributors, he made the bald-faced claim that I had a well-known, longtime Cella association." Anthony said. "I didn't use anything like that until he did. But you have to fight fire with fire" Being better financed than Yamamoto. Anthony clearly won the contest to land the heaviest low blows as well as the election. Campaign tactician John Myers, who worked in the losing efforts this fall of Assemblyman Robert K. Burke and Assembly candidate Jim Slemons. feels that straight shooters are handicapped in politics. "I'd love to run a campaign on the issues, but people don't want that. I ran one for Bob Burke like that and look what happened. Democrat Dennis H. Mangers upset people going around chopping off their breasts!" But, what the hell, concludes Stommel, grinning again, neither does he. ORANGE COUNTY PART II MONDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 1976 Burke in a hard-fought but gentlemanly contest for the 73rd Assembly District seat Even that race was not without its truth stretching. Burke strongly objected to a computerized (personally addressed) letter that Mangers sent to Republicans under the letterhead of "United Republicans." Listed under the heading was an "executive committee" of three Republicans who had endorsed Democrat Mangers. The letter stated, in part "Many of us supported Ronald Reagan and we don't believe that Burke is in the mainstream of honest conservative Republican thinking." Mangers concedes that the United Republicans group was a paper organization and that its "executive committee was formed in his living room by selecting names from a list of Republicans whe iiad endorsed him. Those selected theVgave permission for their namgerto.bc used on the letterhead. Tom Glass, administrative aide to Burke, charges the United Republicans mailing constituted "blatant deception" because of the similarity of the name to that of United Republicans of California (UROG). The latter is a conservative group. Said Adler. who worked on the Mangers campaign: "If we thought using the United Republicans name was wrong, we wouldn't have done it. We had a lot of Please Turn to Page 6. Col. The money will be spent on projects the city already has planned but would have to be" put off for years due to lack of funds. Mayor Richard Edgar promised that the City Council, which is also the Redevelopment Agency board, would not use the power to condemn property except in rare cases. "I can't identify a single structure that I can say 1 want to replace with anything else." Edgar said in an interview. "Our intent is to take advantage of the tax source, borrow money against anticipated revenue and plow it back into public improvements. We expect that it will encourage the private citizens to do things with their property." The reason for declaring the district Please Turn to Page 6, Col. 5 at an Emery High football game. Times photos by Boris Yro If Stommel is outspoken in his opposition to Steve Dain, Bettie Sutton, 32, the dissenting school board member, is equally ardent in her defense of the suspended teacher. In fact, declares Mrs. Sutton, Steve Dain would never have even become a community issue if it hadn't been for Stommel. "I simply cannot believe what's happened here," fumes Mrs. Sutton, a statuesque blonde divorcee who works as a meat packer to support her three children, two of them Emery High students. "Our own superintendent has deliberately instigated alarm among the parents and encouraged snickers and ridicule from the students. He's the most unprofessional superintendent we've ever had." Stommel, she says, "was going around, even into student meetings, and bringing up the subject of Steve Dain every chance he got And his attitude was always one of 'Don't worry, folks, we'll protect And, Mrs. Sutton declares, Stommel fanned the flames by spreading rumors about Dain. "Once, for example, he told me that he'd heard Dain was showing his genitals to some girls. Another time, he said he'd heard complaints that Steve was fondling the girls but he'd never give me any names, no solid evidence at all." I told her that and every other board member, too," Stommel readily admits. "But it's not rumor. It's a fact that a couple of parents have complained to me that Dain has been guilty on occasion of, well, some 'show-and-tell' stuff. Indecent exposure. But I won't give their names because they asked me not Stommel's public allegation that Dain had taken several students to his home last summer without parental permission particularly angers Mrs. Sutton. "Since my daughter was among them, I know for a fact that every one Please Turn lo Page 2, Col. 1 Tustin Council to Consider Redevelopment Tax Proposal BY STEVE EMMONS Time Staff Writer BY BELLA STUMBO Tlmti stiff writer EMERYVILLE, Calif. After 36 years, Doris Richards got tired of being a woman. It was a gradual thing. Standing in her bathroom each, morning, she yearned with increasing fervor to throw away all the blue eyeshadow and black mascara, all the hair sprays, the tweezers, the perfumes. Moving to her closet, jammed with bright, frilly mini-dresses, she began to hallucinate about a great bonfire which would rid her of all those ruffles and ribbons and bows forever. And, finally, it was physical too. She'd eaten so much yogurt and lettuce, just to keep her muscles from bulging, that she was practically starving. The burning stench of hair removers began to nauseate her. And she was tired of shaving so close it hurt, then searing her chin with an astringent to close the pores, which she had to plaster with pancake makeup anyway to hide the inevitable 5 o'clock shadow. And so, one day Doris Richards, a girls' physical education teacher at Emery High School for 10 years, decided to take action. She took six months sick leave from her job and went to Stanford University where, after an exhaustive series of tests, she began the process of becoming a man Steve Dain. When Steve Dain, complete with beard and moustache, first appeared at Emery High last summer, reaction ran the gamut from simple curiosity to downright horror. "Christ," exclaims one administrator. "When she took sick leave, we all just figured she had some kind of, well, female problem." He grins at the irony of iL "But we sure as hell never figured she was having a problem being a female!" Dain sat down with several dozen summer students in the school cafeteria and explained that doctors at Stanford's Gender Dysphoria Center had determined that, in his case, the male gender had always predominated. In short, he was a man trapped by a fluke of nature in a woman's body. "And most of the kids who were there accepted it," says Tamara Sutton, 16, a former student of Doris Richards. "I mean, everybody always loved Miss Richards, and it was still the same person. She he just looked different, that's all." By the time the meeting ended, says Miss Sutton, most students weren't even having trouble with pronouns anymore. Miss Richards had become Mr. Dain. "Some of the kids came up and kissed me," recalls Dain. "And, although they were all curious about the details of the sex-change operation itself, practically every one of them asked me two questions: First, was I happier? And, second, when was I coming back to school? They all just assumed I'd be back That was last summer. TUSTIN A method for raising new tax money for the old El Camino Real district is likely to win final City Council approval tonight during a special council meeting called for that purpose. The method may technically be urban redevelopment, but the council-men of this traditionally conservative community have spent weeks promising that the Tustin version will not work like the typical redevelopment project. The council, which held a long public hearing on the issue last week, says it wants only to take advantage of an unusual taxing system in redevelopment laws that can raise new tax money for redevelopment without raising property tax rates. Postscript: Issue of Voting Vacationers Up in Air in Alpine County FAN Steve Dam applauds team by Berkeley to the north. Oakland to the south. Many outraged parents, some armed with Bibles, declare that Steve Dain has violated God's laws, that he is not a he, or a she, but a thing, and they will not tolerate having such a creature teach their children. Other parents, equally impassioned, shout back that what Doris Richards chose to do to her body is nobody's business but her own. His own. Furthermore, they declare, Doris Richards had been one of Emery High's most respected teachers the only physical education teacher in anybody's memory to be voted Teacher of the Year by the students and there is no reason to suppose that Steve Dain would not be the same. Students, most reflecting their parents' views, have taken sides, loo. And now Emeryville school board Emery High students, like their parents, have taken sides on the issue. meetings, formerly routine and ill-attended affairs, are sometimes packed with people who sit sullenly, side by side in the small board room, refusing to even speak to former associates. It did absolutely nothing to allay tensions and anger when the school board voted Oct. 14 to suspend Steve Dain on grounds of "immoral conduct" and "unfitness." Because, in the first place, board members themselves were bitterly at odds, voting 3 to 1, with the president abstaining. And, in the second place, encouraged by his supporters. Steve Dain is waging a determined legal battle to get his job back. Chief among Dain's antagonists is Dr. Lewis Stommel, Emeryville school superintendent and principal of Emery High. A jovial, middle-aged man whose convictions are as firm as his lan- displays musculature of his back. euage is forthright Stommel leans forward in his chair, his blue eyes sparkling with amusement, as his voice slides to a hushed, intimate level. "Well, then, you tell me, baby! Just what is it? It had a double mastectomy, it's taking male hormones and it grew a beard. But does it have the other male equipment? Can it produce sperm? Or does it still have a clitoris?" A split second pause is all he needs. Slapping his knees, he falls back into his chair, guffawing. "Aha!" he pounces. "You don't know either! So how, I ask you, can we have her, or him, or whatever it is, teaching kids at Emery High?" It isn't really a question. "And, try this on for size," Stommel rushes on, grinning good-naturedly. "What toilet do I send her into? Do I have to have one that says 'Men Only' one saying 'Women Only' and one for 'Dain Only'?" Then, "I mean, would you want yonxr little girl in the powder room with her Stommel starts to chuckle, then thinks better of it. Actually, he admits, it isn't entirely a laughing matterespecially since the school district has already lost the opening round of the legal battle. At first, the board had tried to fire Dain, not. just suspend him. But an Alameda County Superior Court judge ruled that not only had the board acted illegally (Dain had not received the required 30 days advance notice), it also owned Dain two months back pay. Now the stage is set for round two. a mandatory hearing on the evidentiary merits of the suspension. Stommel sounds absolutely grim as he describes what could happen if Steve Dain wins. "They'll be coming out of the closets everywhere, thousands of them transsexuals, transvestites and every other weirdo all demanding teaching jobs. Every school in America will have to fight them." If Steve Dain loses, Stommel says he intends to then sue Dain, alleging that he defrauded the Emeryville School District. "The question the courts are going to have to resolve," says Stommel, "is whether these people, transsexuals, are legitimately ill. And, if Doris Richards wasn't ill during those six months we paid her sick leave salary, then she owes the taxpayers around $12,000." But, he continues, although the cause is a good one, he is deeply sorry that Emery High has become a nationally publicized guinea pig in such a sordid legal hassle. Because of the kids. The students at Emery, he says, simply don't have the sophistication to handle iL "Remember, this is the East Bay, not San Francisco. And trying to compare them is like, well, like comparing Watts to Beverly Hills." Emeryville, he says somberly, "is still just a little industrial community, predominantely black, filled with broken families and confused kids. "And I'm telling you, kids here just don't understand this hanky panky of 4 It was the Great Alpine County Voter Turnout. In the June primary, 468 ballots were cast in the county even though the secretary of state's office listed only 459 persons of voting age. Thus, 101.96 of the electorate apparently voted. Apathy didn't appear to be a problem in the tiny county, which borders on Nevada just south of Lake Tahoe. But what was the problem? A month after the primary, Secretary of State March Fong Eu sent Alpine County DisL Atty. Thomas Kelly a report noting that "many times In the past" the number of registered voters nearly equaled the county population "and that population total includes children." Were kids voting? Had kissing babies taken on real importance for Alpine County politicians? Ms. Eu found that the confusion resulted from the fact that a number of vacationers own mountain cabins in the county, prompting "questions of legal residence determination She sent Kelly a list of 317 Alpine County voters who had neither driver's licenses nor vehicle registrations with Alpine County addresses. These included Alpine County Supervisors William Freeman and Harold Duarte and Alpine County Superior Judge J. Hilary Cook. Although Ms. Eu cautioned that the list was not "accusatory or conclusionary," Freeman promptly fired off a letter accusing her of "passing possible allegations against leading citizens." The list "basically wasn't that reliable," Dist. Atty. Kelly told The Times. He determined that Freeman, Duarte and Cook do live in the county. (Ms. Eu's office later said that Freeman might have been named because the DMV mistakenly considered his community, Bear Valley, to be a part of Calaveras County, whose border is only a few hops away.) Duarte, however, said, "We do have people voting here who shouldn't be. They come to their ca- WHO LIVES WHERE? Secretary of State March Fong Eu county poses puzzle. AP photo bins maybe once a month and some politicians feel, 'If it benefits me, register The problem is that the election code is so ambiguous about res-, idency requirements." The code defines a person's residence as "that place in which his or her habitation is fixed and to which, whenever the person is absent, he or she has the intention of returning." Kelly has sent out letters to each of the 317 people on Ms. Eu's list, defining residence for them. He adds: "There's not much more I can do because it's difficult to prove who lives where." One former Alpine County supervisor, who lost by five votes in June, is appealing the result in court, contending that several absentee voters in the county live elsewhere. Notes Kelly: "You could swing a supervisorial election here just by moving a family into the county." And, so, there the matter rests. "It's a mess," says Supervisor Duarte. "I'm not sure we're satisfied," says a source in the secretary of state's office. By Steve Harvey Since then, all hell has broken loose in Emeryville, a small, industrial enclave of about 4,000 just across the bridge from San Francisco, bounded MASCULINE LOOK Steve Dain i

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