JANE FONDA & TOM
An "Unauthorized Biography" narrated by Barbara Howar was televised
in late 1988 or early 1989. Jane Seymour Fonda was born to the 1936
marriage of Henry Fonda and Frances Seymour Brokaw (?) on December 21,
1937. As Henry became enamored with another woman the troubled marriage
ended with the suicide of Frances on April 14, 1950. She slashed
her throat in an asylum where she had voluntarily sought assistance.
Ten year old Peter Fonda later shot himself in the stomach, nearly dying,
but recalls that his father was very disturbed because the event interrupted
his honeymoon with Susan Blanchard. Henry was soon after named "Father
of the Year."
Chubby Jane Fonda went to an exclusive high school in New York
State where she was known for eating and purging, but became very close
to her stepmother, Susan Blanchard, who became influential with the adolescent
Jane. But Henry was soon falling in love with another and this marriage
also ended with a divorce in 1955. Jane went to Vassar in Poughkeepsie,
New York where she was known for her rebelliousness, cutting classes, flunking,
drinking and sexual escapades. She discussed the ideal way she had
lost her virginity to an older, more sexually experienced man. Jane
was allowed to go to France in her sophomore year to "find herself" by
attending the Sorbonne.
In 1963 she went to France and cavorted with, primarily, Roger
Vadim, whom she first met, and disliked, in 1954. But she ultimately
married him in 1965 and continued to throw herself into the fads of the
1960s, drugs and sex, along with her husband in this highly irregular marriage.
Her daughter Vanessa was born in 1968 and this, allegedly, compelled her
to change her focus in life. Her brother Peter obtained a psychiatric
deferment from the draft during the war in Vietnam, a war she admits she
knew nothing about. But she met some GI deserters being harbored
by a friend who gave her the first glimmerings of what she soon was to
condemn vigorously. She then went to India and saw the misery there;
shocked, she was convinced change was needed. Upon her return to
Beverly Hills she recalls seeing a magazine at a newsstand with an American
Indian featured, proclaiming "Red Power", and she realized that the U.S.
also has its Indians. She quickly went to Alcatraz where the Indians were
holding the island. She soon became embroiled in every left wing
cause available, Huey Newton for Congress, Chicanos, Feminists--all attracted
her, but the war in Vietnam most of all. She began appearing on or
near military bases trying to persuade soldiers not to take part in the
In 1971 she began a relationship with Donald Sutherland and formed
FTA (Fuck The Army) and also campaigned for Angela Davis's freedom as well
as for other "political prisoners." FTA threw its support to those
who resisted the draft, and she and Folk singer Holly Near embarked on
a tour of the Far East to spread their message.
In July, 1972 she went to Hanoi and, according to POW Col. George
Day, Congressional Medal of Honor winner, she caused the death of many
Americans by buoying the hopes of the North Vietnamese. They saw
two Americas, Fonda's and the administration's. Michael Benge, a
non-military POW, refused to speak well of conditions while Jane was "interviewing"
POWs and was tortured for two days for his recalcitrance.
She did volunteer to radio broadcast from Hanoi, addressing herself
to the men on the aircraft carriers in the area; "Use of these
bombs or condoning the use of these bombs makes one a
war criminal." When addressing herself to the pilots of the American
planes she continued with; "Examine the reasons given to justify
the murder you are being paid to commit." Upon her return to the
U.S. she then addressed cheering students; "I bring greetings
from our Vietnamese brothers and sisters." She then described the
horrors she had seen in North Vietnam, the devastated homes, schools, hospitals
and even the bombed dikes that held back the flood waters. When the
POWs returned in early 1973 and detailed the torture and mistreatment she
accused them of lying. The virtual elimination of American ground
combat troops in Vietnam did not satisfy her, she returned to Hanoi in
1974 with Tom Hayden. Nor, even as the American involvement was winding
down substantially in 1972, was she content. She formed the Indochina
Peace Campaign which was anti-Nixon and pro Hanoi. When compelled
to focus on her actions by opponents she asked "What is a traitor?"
"I cried for America." After Watergate her popularity began to surge
again and she began receiving many movie offers, but when Jerry Brown appointed
her to the California Arts Council, and the Senate refused to confirm her,
she was crestfallen. The objections to Jane Fonda would surface again
when she films a movie in Waterbury, Connecticut where Rosalyn Carter supported
Jane against those who objected to her treason and condemned the filming
in the city. (Tape 200)
On the Phil Donahue show taped in September, 1972 in Dayton,
Ohio, Jane Fonda elaborated on her views on Vietnam shortly after her visit
to Hanoi in July, 1972. There she expounded on how her campaign to
end the war had proved to her that the American people wanted to learn
about the facts. She was just getting the documentation to them.
"Two years ago" she didn't even know where Vietnam was but then she studied
after "meeting some GIs in France" and was convinced that the Americans
were being lied to. Her IndoChina Peace Campaign was launched in
Ohio with fascinating receptions by the Catholic, Methodist and Baptist
Church. She had lived in France for 7 years when she found out what
was happening and she made up her mind to come back and do something about
She claims to have talked to 7 POWs, Ramsey Clark talked to others,
and the POWs were aware of what was going on. They said if Nixon
was re-elected they would be POWs forever. They read Time, Life,
Newsweek and the New York Times there and know what is going on.
They laughed at the idea of having been brainwashed and instructed her
to tell our families " we are being taken care of all right." She
proclaimed that "I do support this country." But saw our principles lost
by supporting Thieu who had 300,000 political prisoners in South Vietnam.
She would personally vote for McGovern, since his record shows he would
probably end the war, but her current campaign was not a political one
for any candidate. The Vietnamese say they want freedom and independence,
to control their own country; after all we installed Diem in 1954 without
asking them about it. If Nixon stopped the bombing and got a settlement,
would you support Nixon? was a question posed. Jane never answered,
rambling on to what she wanted to say instead about the Pentagon Papers--the
digest of course--and the revelation of how we stopped elections in 1956
because Ho Chi Minh would have won easily. We provoked the North to come
in and help the South Vietnamese who were being attacked by our forces.
She says she never called Nixon a "murderer", but a "war criminal."
POWs had told her that the civilian targets they bombed were, they were
told, military targets! As patriotic Americans we must stop Nixon.
Daniel Ellsberg, whom she admires, told her we are not simply supporting
the wrong side, "we are the wrong side", and that Vietnamization is simply
an American created, artificial civil war. The fatcats in Saigon,
says Jane, deal and get rich on heroin, prostitution, etc, and have villas
in the south of France. When asked about North Vietnamese atrocities
she balked, but finally did admit some occurred, but the numbers were exaggerated
and not systemic to the regime. She never encouraged defection by
U.S. troops. She had asked to get on Radio Hanoi and merely told
servicemen "We must not be robots...I'm worried about your souls", as she
explained what they were doing to the North. As far as Vietnamization
and the war winding down, that she said was a lie. The war is escalating.
She saw and loved the people of the North who were all involved, everyone
was armed, while government officials, unlike those in the U.S., rode on
The U.S. started the war, and she has the statistics to bombard
the audience with. "What democracy are we supporting!" "I don't
know enough about Communism", she responded to a question, but she knows
the Pentagon Papers speak of bombing the dikes, McNaughton asserts the
plan should be studied. She knows that in 1968 Nixon said such bombings
would be in a "grey area", but should be considered. She recalls
how Seyss-Inquart was executed for doing the same to the dikes in Holland
in WW II. She saw the bombed dikes, as did Ramsey Clark and 24 journalists.
She said she was 35--incorrect!--and that she wasted 32 years
of her life and changed when she talked to U.S. soldiers (presumably the
deserters in France) who came back and told her the truth so she started
studying, resolving to come back to America. She did repeatedly refuse
to answer the question of how could you get to Hanoi when the wives of
the POWs could not! She did later admit that she got in to Hanoi
because she was against the war, but could not answer for the North Vietnamese.
She did also assert that the pilots were dropping illegal weapons on the
North "but did not know it." She again claimed the Hanoi government
was humane, providing medical aid, dental treatment, etc.
One in the audience said American Public Opinion saved the POWs
when the North threatened to march them in the streets and execute them.
Jane said a group of a dozen POWs put out a July 4th statement speaking
against the war and Richard Nixon, and there are many others she didn't
see who felt the same. She had the "feeling" that the other POWs
must also be treated well because the 7 she spoke with were in very good
mental and physical shape. She did admit there were some places she
couldn't go because of the bombings. Nixon has fooled the American
people by withdrawing ground troops! (Tape 200)
Tom Hayden was at the 1976 Democratic Convention, more sedate
this time around, as an alternate delegate. He sought, but failed
to obtain, Sen. John Tunney's seat in the recent California primary.
He had campaigned on the free enterprise system, but not for the likes
of ITT or Exxon; only for small businessmen and farmers who are victims
of the present corporate state. He also called the YAF "anti-democratic,"
a force on the far right fringe with the John Birch Society and sought
an alternative to "corporate tyranny." Indochina, he added has risen,
not fallen. (New Guard,11-76)
At the 49th Academy Awards in 1977 Jane Fonda was the introducer
for several guests, including Lillian Hellman who launced into a politcal
diatribe and received a standing ovation. (HE,4-16-77-Personalities)
Tom Hayden ran unsuccessfully against John Tunney in 1976, and
during the campaign was pleased to proclaim that "We ended a war, toppled
two Presidents, desegregated the South, broke other barriers of discrimination."
Tom and Jane also became involved in the anti-nuclear power demonstrations
after Three Mile Island; Jane had just had her film, The China Syndrome,
released, just about the time the accident happened on March 28, 1979.
On September 26, 1979 Jane Fonda addressed the National Press
Club and admitted that she had made some "off the wall statements" in the
past. One example where she admitted error was the 19780 claim that
Black Panther leader Huey Newton was the only man she would trust to lead
this country; it was "naive and utterly wrong."
She did still believe her visit to Hanoi helped shorten the war.
She refused to go along with Joan Baez in condemning the North Vietnamese
because she had been unable to confirm the truth of the charges.
September 23, 1979 appearance on Meet The Press, both Hayden
and Fonda escape severe questioning.
She was quoted in the Detroit Free Press of November 22, 1970
as having told a student audience at Michigan State University;
"I would think that if you understood what
communism was you would hope, you would pray on your knees, that we
would someday become communists." (AIM, 79-20)
Jane arranged to be interviewed by Barbara Walters on June 17,
1988 on 20/20. The fact that Walters is married to Merv Adelson,
CEO of Lorimar Telepictures, the company that markets Jane's workout tapes
had nothing to do with the selection of Walters said Fonda's publicist
She thought her manning an antiaircraft gun was merely "thoughtless"
and should have been more alert to how it was perceived. Her broadcasts
from Hanoi Fonda claimed, even though she now heard the tape, that she
couldn't remember calling our soldiers war criminals. She did recall,
however, that the weapons being used were outlawed "by the rules of warfare";
Barbara apparently thought the answer good enough. When it came to
the torture of POWs which Hanoi Jane had denied, she now decided "It's
beside the point. They suffered. They suffered enough.
I was angry that Nixon was using their return to make the war look noble."
Insofar as then calling herself a "revolutionary" Jane now thinks that
was "dumb", she didn't even know what the word meant. The anti-war
movement of which she was part was "way beyond my comprehension."
She apologized to Vietnam veterans and their families for any
hurt she may have caused, but still thought that her efforts shortened
the war and saved lives.
At Michigan U. in 1970 she asserted "I would think that if you
understood what communism was, you would hope, you would pray on your knees
that we would someday become communist." The peace proposal by the
Vietcong was "the only honorable, just, possible way to achieve peace in
She refused to join Joan Baez and others in their protest against
the Khmer Rouge slaughter because, as she told the National Press Club
on September 26, 1979, she was unable to confirm the accuracy of the charges
against the regime. The purpose of the interview was to polish her
image in Waterbury, Chicopee and Holyoke Connecticut where opposition to
her movie making there generated controversy.(AIM, 88-14)
Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden are using their group Network as a
vehicle to indoctrinate and enlist younger stars like Tom Cruise, Kelly
McGillis, Rob Lowe, etc., into their brand of politics.
Tom Hayden described SDS members as "young intellectuals in an
anti-intellectual society." They rejected socialism as irrelevant,
as did Tom Hayden who declined to join the Young People's Socialist League;
he was more enamored of Camus than Marx, at the time and fond of preaching
"guts', "laying your body on the line." He first came to national
attention in a photograph of southern police beating his prone body during
civil rights demonstrations in Mississippi.
They took their individual responsibilities seriously, so far
that a group once debated for 24 hours on whether or not to go to the beach!
They dismissed Trotsky, but took seriously the themes of David Riesman
and other critics of mass culture. The Port Huron Statement
spoke glowingly of American Democracy, yet, paradoxically, found the individual's
relationship to that system so jaundiced and pessimistic, one wonders how
it could be a model for anything.
The chimera was "participatory democracy", a term never defined.
Apparently they tried to live it, for all of their meetings broke up in
chaotic ventings and searches for "utter sincerity." At one point
meetings had no chairman, no leaders==EQUALITY.
Communism was not feared, more benign than anything else, but
anti-communism was feared; McCarthyism! They finally accepted Communists
as members, not for ideological reasons, but because any effort to restrict
membership smacked of McCarthyism.
SDS sprang from the League for Industrial Development, LID, the
campus wing, almost moribund, being the Student League for Industrial Democracy
which was ultimately renamed SDS. The LID relationship was maintained,
it provided tax exemption and connections to organized labor. LID
was opposed to Communists in the membership, and SDS just couldn't see
why, other than LID was made up of aging radicals. But LID saw these
youngsters as initiating blunders that had wreaked havoc in the past.
The New Left began to see attractive features in China, North
Vietnam, Cuba and similar regimes, drawn to Third World countries with
their anti-materialism credo. Tom Hayden wrote in 1962 that there
could be popular totalitarian regimes, those that imbued the citizenry
with a sense of mission. Such people would find solidarity in dedicated
sacrificing. In 1966 Hayden visited North Vietnam and returned awestruck
with what his companion, Staughton Lynd, called "rice-roots democracy."
Destructive Generation by Collier and Horowitz also has insights
into the Fonda Hayden activities. (HE, 6-17-89--Activist)
In 1977 Jane and Tom bought a 120 acre retreat outside Santa
Barbara where they could instruct activists in the liberation of the downtrodden.
But first they had to evict a group of low income tenants. Jane screamed
"So when are you leaving? I want you out in three weeks!" (HE,12-16-89--Activist)
On Meet The Press, September 23, 1979, Hayden claims he believes
in the free enterprise system, but things like the family farm, small solar
energy, but not big corporations which are not really under the control
of supply and demand, nor under government control. He wants employees
and consumers having a voice in the corporation. He does not think
Vietnam is now a democracy but is "an authoritarian state." "In some ways
that is disappointing to me." The election of the Rent Control Board
in Santa Monica was backed largely by a population of young people and
senior citizens. One thing I suggest to college students is to look
at how their colleges are financing nuclear power plants secretly through
the use of university and college pension funds. "I think on issues
like nuclear power and support of solar energy, students have a vast, vast
commitment that is just waiting for the opportunity to be channeled."
"I have always felt that if citizens had more of a say, we would be a more
sensible society." "I believe that the inflation which is hurting
Americans most is clearly in the basic necessities of life; food, shelter,
energy bills and medical care, and that in these areas the primary culprits
are the oil companies, the medical lobby, the high interest rates, the
cooperation of the federal government with the corporations and the banks
that make it almost impossible for the average person to buy the necessities
On the same program Jane Fonda thinks Jerry Brown is the only
politician with a vision of the future, although she does not rule out
Ted Kennedy as perhaps satisfying her once he expounds on some issues dear
to her. The Senate rejected her nomination to the Arts Council and
she feels she was slandered on the Senate floor; "my patriotism was questioned....and
I think that smacks of McCarthyism." "I have experienced McCarthyism
in the past, for five years during the Nixon administration. It was
very difficult for me to get work because of my political beliefs."
Her call for more federal spending for health, guaranteed jobs, mass transit,
aid to cities, community based courtrooms, public financing of campaigns,
aid to education, aid to veterans, for parks, youth centers, grants for
consumer advocates and it can be financed because we are spending for a
bloated and inflationary military budget. "A lot of the money goes
into areas that are not job producing and don't help the economy.
Nuclear energy is one example." Jerry Brown talks of taking some
of the profits of the oil industry and investing them in mass transit,
solar energy. The "New Deal kind of liberalism, the welfare state
approach, isn't working. "I would say we favor immediate phaseout
of nuclear energy and a crash conversion program through alternative renewable
technology." All studies show "that in fact the alternative forms
of energy as symbolized by solar produced many, many more jobs."
"For example, in California, a program for solarized California would produce
400,000 jobs a year, and they are in the most chronically unemployed sectors:
youth, minorities, unskilled workers, construction workers.(MeetPress,9-23-79--Personalities)
Jane Fonda responded on her 1972 Hanoi visit during the Vietnam
War with "I believe that my going to Hanoi, even though it is controversial
and even though I know it is difficult for some people to come to terms
with it--and I can understand that emotionally--I believe that under the
circumstances at the time it was needed to help end the war. Everything
that I did during the war was to try to bring it to a close." But
when it comes to those now critical of Vietnam she dissembles with "I have
not been more critical of Joan Baez. That is not true. I didn't
sign the ad that Joan Baez put in the newspapers. It made some very
serious charges, and I wanted to check out the charges, so I went to the
two most widely respected organizations internationally who are concerned
about political prisoners, the Quakers, the American Friends Service Committee
and Amnesty International . The heads of those two organizations told me
they had not been able to prove the charges that were made in the ad because
they were not able to go to Vietnam and investigate. I think that
they have a right to go to investigate. I support a team going there
and looking into it, and I have very forcefully communicated those feelings
to the Vietnamese."(MeetPress,9-23-79--Personalities)
As far as America, "I hope, soonest here, and it is a vision
that extends the democracy we have in the political arena to the economy,
so that average citizens can have some say-so over the decisions that most
importantly affect their lives."(MeetPress,9-23-79--Personalities)
Tom Hayden's 1978 campaign brochure proclaimed "The stink in
our midst is called Corporate Capitalism--an who says we have to live with
it forever?" But what have his theories done for Santa Monica?
A city of 85,000 where the sprawl of Los Angeles meets the Pacific, it
is almost entirely residential. Half is exquisitely kept homes, the
rest is between the wars constructions, small lots, old stucco, narrow
streets and alleys. Almost 80% live in rented apartments or homes.
Tom and Jane moved there in 1974 where they lived in a beach cottage until
last November 1981; now they live in the poorest part of town in a modest
sized home. In April, 1979 the voters gave the Campaign for Economic
Democracy its first success by giving renters control over the owners.
In April, 1981 CED scored another victory with the control of the city
government; CED members or CED backed candidates have 5 of the 7 seats
and the mayor, Ruth Yannatta Goldway, is a longtime Hayden ally and wife
of the chief economic theorist. In 1978 Hayden appeared washed up
after losing the Senate race, but then he formed, with the help of IPS,
CED which has spread throughout California. He is no longer remembered
as the man who twice went to Hanoi, who sent a note to a North Vietnamese
colonel wishing him "Good fortune", or who later organized Berkeley's Red
Family commune.(HE,4-17-82--Personalities) In 1985 Tom Hayden, now
a California Assemblyman, proposed "to memorialize the veterans of the
anti-war movement alongside the Americans who actually served. (WSJ, Michael
MUSE (Musicians United for Safe Energy) organized the biggest
antinuclear rally in U.S. history; Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne and Pete
Seeger did their thing before 200,000 banner wavers in Manhattan's Battery
Park in September, 1979. Fonda, 41, and Hayden, 38, were also there
to launch their crusade, the anti-big business Campaign For Economic Democracy.
They plan to take their campaign to 52 cities in the next month, with the
bills being paid by the $5,000 fee they charge for addressing college students.
(Time, 10-8-79-VN file)
The brains behind Hayden and CED is economist Derek Shearer,
son of Parade Sunday supplement editor, and a professor of urban studies
at Occidental College in Los Angeles. He serves Santa Monica, (his
wife, Goldway, is the mayor) as an unpaid planning commissioner.
He is co-author of Economic Democracy: The Challenge of the 1980s where
he concedes socialism has such a bad name that the best way to advance
it is to use euphemisms. For those benighted large corporations he
suggests a board of directors divided equally between stockholders, labor
Santa Monica's rent control law promised "no more than a fair
return on investment", not the same as value. It was directed at
"speculators" who rushed to buy apartment buildings and converted them
to condominiums, forcing out renters. The Rent Control Board considers
irrelevant such tests as appraisals, comparable rents or comparable sales.
The RCB has five members, all renters to set proper rents and require services.
There were exceptions; Motels, asylums, government property and mom and
pop rental units with no more than three units. Criminal penalties
are available for landlord violations. Mayor Goldway thinks rent
control is working, and when answering about the growth of the RCB she
blamed it on the landlords, "If the landlords didn't fight the law in courts,
then the cost of the bureaucracy would be about one-third of what it is.
It is their decision. They've decided--the landlords--to make it
a big bureaucracy by causing problems, by not filing papers on time, and
by challenging with lawsuits. If they follow the law it would be
a minor problem to administer." The Council passed a resolution condemning
U.S. "intervention" in El Salvador.(HE,4-17-82--Personalities)
A recent attempt to remove Hayden from the State Assembly in
California failed by three votes. It was based on the State Constitution
which disqualifies anyone from serving if he advocates the support of a
foreign government against the U.S. in the event of hostilities.
The charges were led by retired Marine officer Col. Gil Ferguson of whom
Hayden commented, Maybe he "fought in one war too many." Ferguson
claimed Hayden had gone to VN at Hanoi's invitaton, paid by them, gave
up his passport to do so and propagandized our troops on radio. Hayden
went to Prague to meet with the Vietcong where he raised his arms and said
"I am a Vietcong. We are all Vietcong." When our POWs were
released he labeled them "liars, hypocrites and pawns." (HE,10-4-86--personalities)
Jane Fonda is meeting stiff opposition to the filming of her
movie "Union Street" in Connecticut and western Massachusetts as Vietnam
veterans plan to protest. Aldermen of Holyoke, Massachusetts have
declared her persona no grata, 11 to 4. Fonda asserts "It happened
almost 20 years ago. It's time to put the conflict behind us.."
She visited Hanoi during the height of the hostilities, posed at the controls
of their anti-aircraft guns, visited POW camps and commended Hanoi for
their humane treatment of American POWs, later claiming "POWs are lying
if they assert it was the North Vietnamese policy to torture Americans."
She made propaganda broadcasts for the North, "I loudly condemn the crimes
that have been committed by the U.S. government in the name of the American
people." She urged our servicemen to desert and mutiny, and declared
to the North Vietnamese "..we have a common enemy--U.S. imperialism...We
hope that very soon, working together, we can remove the American cancer
from your country." In 1979 she denounced Joan Baez for sponsoring
an ad condemning the human rights violations of the victorious North Vietnamese.
In 1982 she bought hubby Tom a seat in the California State Assembly for
Protests in Waterbury, Connecticut are spearheaded by a group
of veterans, some with bumper stickers proclaiming "I'm not fond'a Hanoi
Jane." Fonda claims to have recanted, somewhat, with an interview
in Rolling Stone, but her reply to a question on her regrets over going
to Hanoi was answered "There was a very definite result from going.
But were that situation to happen today I probably wouldn't go."
The followup question; "Are you saying that going to Hanoi didn't have
the desired effect?" Fonda answered "No. Going was important."
As far as torture of Americans she claims she never said no Americans were
tortured, only that "Those POWs who implied a systemic policy of torture
were lying." During July, 1972 she made six broadcasts over Radio
Hanoi. From the one on July 14, 1972 she said;
"This is Jane Fonda speaking from Hanoi, and I'm speaking particularly
to the U.S servicemen...I don't know what your officers tell you...but
[your] weapons are illegal and that's not just rhetoric...The men who
are ordering you to use these weapons are war criminals according to international
law, and in the past, in Germany and Japan, men who committed these
kinds of crimes were tried and executed."
The other broadcasts quoted Ho Chi Minh and had references to
President Nixon as a "new-type Hitler", along with messages to the South
Vietnamese soldiers to desert, "You are being used as cannon fodder for
Major General Gaetano (Guy) Russo has been spearheading the movement
against Fonda's filming of Union Street and is having trouble obtaining
a permit to demonstrate against Fonda's proposed April 24, 1988 visit.
To the other charges he adds that Jane Fonda asked our POWs to cooperate
with the North Vietnamese so things would go well with them. Senator
John McCain refused and both his arms were broken after she left.
She calls McCain a liar! The mayor, Joseph Santopietro, will not
present the keys to the city to her, but that's as far as he's gone.(AFJ,May'88--Personalities)
The Chicago Tribune editorial contends that Jane Fonda has now
acknowledged in an interview with Barbara Walters that her actions in Hanoi
were "thoughtless and careless." "I know the power of images..To
have put myself in a situation like that was a thoughtless and cruel thing
to have done." Apparently the Tribune wants us to forgive and forget
and try "to keep from snickering at the image of Fonda as a radical threat
to the Republic."(N&O,6-24-88--Personalities)
But Ben Wattenberg adds that on the Walters program Fonda addressed
the Vietnam Veterans with "I was trying to help end the killing, end the
war, but there were times when I was thoughtless and careless about it
and I'm very sorry that I hurt them. And I want to apologize to them
and to their families." But Fonda wanted more than just and end,
she and her type carried the "H, Ho, Ho Chi Minh; the NLF is gonna win."
During the program she added, "I am very proud of most of what I did and
very sorry for some of what I did." (CNR,6-29-88-&AFJ,Aug'88--Personalities)
Vincent Carroll adds that some, like Fonda, consistently suggested
that Ho Chi Minh led a noble cause. Now she asserts "We all did what
we felt we had to do," and by traveling to Hanoi she claims she brought
back damning information that hastened the end of the war.(CNR,7-4-88--Personalities)
Dennis Rogers says Jane did more than advocate an end to the
war, she was a cheerleader for the other side. Joe Stallings, president
of the NC Vietnam Veterans Inc., says "Saying it is not enough."
Rogers calls columnist Lewis Grizzard's suggestion that she fall on her
knees before the Vietnam Memorial is silly.(N&O,7-12-88--Personalities)
Jane Fonda now speaks at a synagogue in Springfield, Massachusetts
and claims that working on behalf of Soviet Jews, with one refusenik in
particular--Ida Nudel--changed "my life forever." She was inspired
by her father, "Part of the fabric of my growing up and part of what he
taught me as an actor and a human being was that it is important to stick
up for people in situations where they can't stick up for themselves."
Nudel was allowed to emigrate last year after Jane Fonda had traveled there
to visit her and appealed to Soviet and U.S. officials to secure her release.(SH,7-27-88--Personalities)
Dennis Rogers did get some pro Jane letters as a result of his
column; John Hall of Raleigh who contends Americans were fighting for General
Dynamics, Lockheed and GE; how much exculpatory work has Kissinger done?
Jane Fonda was 34 when she went to Hanoi.(N&O,8-5-88--Personalities)
After being forced to move several times to accommodate Fonda's
filming of "Stanley and Iris" in Waterbury, Connecticut some vets chained
themselves to a telephone pole and were arrested. The final arrest
of the day came when the owner of Whitey's tavern stood in front of his
establishment waving the American flag; he too was arrested. One
arrested veteran asked "Did you fingerprint Jane Fonda when she came back
from Hanoi?" Charges were dropped the following week. (AFJ,Sep'88--Personalities)
Fen Guy. Russo, 101 Birchwood St. Waterbury, CT 06708 (203) 573 9528 was
the organizer to protest Fonda's movie and sold bumper stickers, "I'm Not
Fond'a Hanoi Jane." Roslaynn Carter was more forgiving, "It is true
Fonda was a militant objector during the Vietnam War and did things of
which I strongly dispproved, However, itis good for us to realize that
millions of young Americans, young and old, strongly opposed some of the
actions of our government during the conflict." (N&O,4-25-88)
As her marriage is breaking up Jane Fonda is forging a new image;
pro Solidarity, pro Israel and speaking out for Soviet Jews. American
Jewish Committee gave her the 1989 Social Concern Award. What, specifically,
did she do to obtain Ida Nudel's release? She worked behind the scenes
say award sponsors, but could not say what because "It's hard to be totally
exact." Robert Scheer, Jane's one time boyfriend and co founder with
Hayden of the Red Family at Berkeley, former editor of Ramparts, proclaimed
"What makes Jane unique is that she dared to criticize her own government
at a time when it was extremely unpopular..That's what gives her the moral
authority to condemn the Soviets in Afghanistan. That's what gives
her the moral authority to speak out for Soviet Jews. How dare someone
who didn't condemn the U.S. in Vietnam condemn the Soviets in Afghanistan?"
He added "I submit this country will not be mended and will not be healthy
until Jane is not only tolerated and made respectable, but rather celebrated
for having been the person who did what many other people failed
On Gary Hart's peccadiloes, Hayden writes to the Village Voice
to postulate the absurd theory that Gary's religion made him do it.
Gary "was testing whether he was morally adequate to be the presidential
front-runner by acting on the edge of risk." (AS,Apr'88)
Gorbachev invited Jane and boyfriend Ted Turner to the Soviet
Embassy celebrity luncheon for 38 American "intellectual and opinion leaders."
The new book "Citizen Jane" has her visiting Moscow in 1965 and denouncing
American "proapganda" about the USSR; she said the trip opened her eyes
about the USSR. By 1968 she fell under the spell of two dedicated
communists, Roger and Elisabeth Vailland, her first political gurus.
While living in Paris she was introduced to the NLF representatives and
actress Vanessa Redgrave, a radical Trotskyite and ardent supporter of
the PLO. In 1969 she hailed her movie, "They Shoot Horses, Don't
They?" as a "very forceful condemnation of the capitalist system."
Later that year she bought into an idea by then boyfriend Fred Gardner,
an ouspoken Marxist and screenwiter, to radicalize GIs through performances
at coffeehouses. In 1970 she became the champion of the BP party,
particularly Huey Newton. Although he was a violent alcoholic, chronic
drug abuser and extortionist, she said "He's the only man I ever met who
approaches sainthood." Newton, the Vaillands and Angela Davis became
her private Marxist tutors. In defending Soldedad brother George
Jackson she told a rally; "If you strip away the face and false sense of
freedom and social justice and comfort that lulls the white middle class
into thinking they're safe, you can see the system for what it is--racist,
oppressive, totalitarian and monstrous..." "This is not Los Angeles
in 1970, it is Berlin in 1936, and we are all Jews...Kent State and the
Chicago trial showed us all, I think, we are niggers to this system."
Roger Vadim said "I feel as if I were babysitting for Lenin." When
Newton was released on bail he was greeted by Mark Lane, Jane, and her
current boyfriend Donald Sutherland as he railed against fascist America.
To her, elections were meaningless; "I do not vote. I've become cynical--the
answer is revolution." She wanted to "change the American system through
socialism. Of course I am a socialist." And what was the ideal?
Castro's Cuba as a near-Utopian society. By 1975 she was back in
Moscow, thanking them "for sending assistance which the Soviet people are
sending to Vietnam." In 1971 she organized the FTA--Fuck The Army--to
undermine morale and radicalize the armed forces.
When the POWs returned she added "I think that one of the only ways
that we are going to redeem ourselves as a country for what we have done
there is not to hail the POWs as heroes, because they are hypocrites and
liars....History will judge them severely." The attacks continued
for four months and was not simply popping off as she told Barabar Walters
in her efforts at rehabilitating herself. (HE,6-30-90)
Tom and Stoughton Lynd wrote a book, "Other Side," after their
trip to NVN. (HE,9-8-90)
Ted Turner announces that he and Jane Fonda will marry in about
one year, the third for both. Ted is 51, Jane is 52 and he has five
children, she has two. (GNR,12-9-90)
They did get married in 1991.
Jane Fonda is Clinton's special "good-will" ambassador to the
UN Population Fund and in her speech to world body she laments "Our species
alone co-opts, consumes or eliminates 40% of the Earth's photsynthetic
energy.." "We must fight to ensure universal access to family planning...backed
up with safe abortion." "I am here because of my husband...He focused
on population for a long time, and his vision helped me to see beyond symptoms
to a cause." "We know that right now approximately one billion people
do not get enough food to function," but only 2% of world population suffers
from serious hunger! (Human Events,10-23-93)
Mike Harden -- The 1970 police mug shot of Jane Fonda was snapped
actress-activist's arrest in Cleveland for smuggling pills and kicking
a U.S. Customs agent. In the police photo, her upraised left hand is clenched
in a blackpower salute. In 1970, it might have seemed menacing.
In 1996, she simply looks like a painfully white Atlanta Braves fan wielding
an imaginary tomahawk. Miss Fonda is but one of 200 celebrities who
have earned a place in two recently published crime anthologies: "Mug Shots:
Celebrities Under Arrest" (St. Martin's Press) and "Famous Mugs: Arresting
Photos and Felonious Facts for Hundreds of Stars Behind Bars" (Andrews
and McMeel). A slightly unfocused shot of a younger Tim Allen
earned a place in the latter book, thanks to the "Home Improvement" star's
1977 bust for dealing cocaine. Mr. Allen would serve 28 months in Michigan's
Sandstone Federal Correctional Institution for the crime. Singer
James Brown, who has posed for enough police mug shots to publish his own
book, is depicted only during his eighth arrest, in 1995. Mr. Brown’s lifetime
stats include eight arrests, three convictions and more than five years
in prison for everything from assault to stealing clothes from parked cars.
Farrah Fawcett also was arrested for stealing clothes -- not once, but
twice. In her pre-"Charlie's Angels" encounters with the cops in 1970,
Miss Fawcett's shoplifting run-ins resulted in a pair of convictions for
the less serious offense of trespassing. She was fined $125 for the first
incident, $265 for the second. Throughout "Mug Shots ' it is
abundantly clear that the rich and famous are often accorded preferential
treatment once they are in the hands of authorities. Actor
Christian Slater was arrested in 1994 at Kennedy Airport in New Stork for
attempting to board a plane while carrying a Beretta 7.65 mm semiautomatic
pistol. Had he been Palestinian, he might have been shot on the spot. Mr.
Slater, instead was sentenced to do three days of community service with
New York's Children's Health Fund. Brigitte Bardot was once arrested
in France for castrating a donkey. Ozzy Osbourne was taken
into custody in San Antonio for urinating on the Alamo. Paul
Reubens (a.k.a. Pee Wee Herman) was already using his stage name before
he was arrested for indecent exposure in Sarasota, Fla., during a theater
screening of "Nancy Nurse Turns up the Heat."(WT,4-28-96)
JOEL KOTKIN -- LOS ANGELES—Tom Hayden has the look of a man whose
reruns are about to be taken out of syndication. The former New Left icon's
campaign for mayor-what he immodestly calls "the Hayden movement"—not only
has failed to catch fire but is barely smoldering. Most polls show him
trailing the city's phlegmatic Republican Mayor Richard Riordan by more
than 20 points. "Voters here are sunk in apathy and misinformation,"
the graying politico says over coffee in my Laurel Canyon backyard. "If
you get out of a cab in New York or Chicago, people talk about politics.
Here it's a million personal decisions." This wasn't what the
one-time mate of Jane Fonda expected. Over the years, Mr. Hayden has achieved
some degree of respectability as a California state senator. And he was
widely lionized by the media while serving as a delegate at the last Democratic
National Convention in Chicago, site of his most famous exploits nearly
three decades earlier.
But the '60s radical's mayoral drive has been mugged by the improving
fortunes of the nation's second-largest city. For one thing, there's been
a 25% drop in crime— despite O.J. and a host of other highly pubicized
incidents—and an additional 2,000 police officers on the beat since Mr.
Riordan took office in 1993. After the riots and chaos that ended Tom Bradley's
two decades as mayor, polls show voters largely pleased with Mr. Riordan's
quiet but steady hand. A recovering economy poses an
even larger problem. Mr. Hayden has embraced the anti-growth message that
has become the last mantra of many '60s radicals. Following politics more
akin to Henry Thoreau than Karl Marx, Mr. Hayden's platform concentrates
on stopping virtually every major development effort—from the Dream-Works
studio development at Playa Vista to the expansion of the Los Angeles International
Airport—that promises to reinvigorate the city's once buoyant economy.
This enviro-radicalism has won Mr. Hayden the support of groups like the
Sierra Club but alienated potential supporters not only in his base in
the affluent West Side, but even among such staunch Democratic bastions
as labor unions, the entertainment industry and the various minority communities.
It's a worldview that seems sharply out of focus given the challenges and
realities now facing the city. Back in the 1980s, when Los
Angeles, particularly the West Side, seemed like one big construction site
and the housing market was going through the roof, a fervent antigrowth
stance might have had a stronger appeal. But like many other major cities,
Los Angeles is only now recovering from a deep recession—area job growth
has been rising steadily between
1.5% to 2.5% annually over the past 18 months. Many Angelenos' biggest
concern is not avoiding a crush of construction equipment but recapturing
more of the employment opportunities that evaporated after the late 1980s.
Mr. Hayden's antigrowth stance has not only cost him whatever business
backing he might have had, but even deprived him of unified support from
Los Angeles's politically powerful cadre of unions. Although Mayor Riordan,
a Republican who has favored privatizing some city services, is not exactly
labor's idol, many unions— from the traditionally conservative building
trades to the more liberal food-processing, education, entertainment and
hotel workers' unions-see his pro-growth policies as far better for their
members than Mr. Hayden's neo-Luddite approach. "This
mayor is for development in this city," notes Dick Slawson, executive director
of the 100,000-member Los Angeles-Orange County Building Trades Council.
"That's important to the building trades people who have been out of work
in this town, while Hayden is opposing all the projects we've been pushing."
So instead of united labor support, Mr. Hayden now relies on the Service
Employees International Union, which represents the city's work force,
and on largely phantom unions such as Union of Needle Trades, Industrial
and Textile Employees, a fledgling garment workers organization that is
a regional media darling but represents no more than 2% of the 120,000
workers in local industry. SEIU, Unite and other Hayden allies were successful
in preventing a blanket AFL-CIO endorsement for Mr. Riordan, but a divided
union movement has to be seen as good news for a Republican mayor with
millions to spend on his campaign. Not surprisingly,
Mr. Hayden expresses moral indignation at the pragmatic stance taken by
the pro-Riordan unions. "Some of those construction unions would want to
put an office building in your backyard," the graying radical grouses.
He identifies unions such as SEIU as the nation's new New Left vanguard,
pointing particularly to Latino immigrants, who, he says, come to America
with "militancy in their blood." But Haydenite "militancy"
does not seem to be playing terribly well with the city's large Latino
electorate, concentrated on the East Side. Mr. Hayden is not exactly a
household name in Latino neighborhoods, notes Fernando Guerra, a political
scientist at Loyola Marymount University. And Mr. Riordan, an active Catholic
and longtime educational philanthropist, has spent years cultivating friendships
and goodwill among this largely immigrant population.
Mr. Guerra adds that Mr. Riordan's pro-economic growth policies also
pack greater appeal among upwardly mobile Hispanics than Mr. Hayden's attempts
at fashionable eco-radicalism. "There's no history there with Mr. Hayden.
He seems a decade late," says Mr. Guerra, director of Loyola's Center for
the Study of Los Angeles. "His ideas don't resonate—everyone wants to be
in a growth mode. People on the East Side want to see a boom."
Even in the black community, the one constituency Mr. Hayden can expect
to win, support has been tepid. Such prominent leaders as Rep. Julian Dixon,
L.A. County Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, L.A. Urban League head
John Mack and former Lakers star Magic Johnson have endorsed Mr. Riordan,
in large part because he is perceived as the inevitable winner. Mr. Hayden
has even lost the backing of prominent civil rights leaders, like former
South Christian Leadership Council chief Joe Hicks, who consid- ers Mr.
Hayden's attempt to cash in on black support for recently dismissed Police
Chief Willie Williams as nothing more than "raw opportunism."
This pales compared to the kind of in vective Mr. Hayden hurls at blacks,
such as Mr. Hicks, who have jumped on the Riordan bandwagon. "People like
Joe Hicks used to be Communists and revolutionary nationalists, but now
seem to be happy to get what they want," he complains. "They know Riordan
can cut deals and get them a shopping center." Much the same
can be said for the entertainment moguls, another group that knows something
about cutting deals. Led l by such A-list figures as Billy Crystal, agent
Freddie Fields, Norman Lear; Michael Ovitz, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Paramount
Pictures head Sherry Lansing, Mr. Riordan's support cuts across the industry's
ideological spectrum. Whatever their politics, they recognize that Mr.
Riordan's streamlining of regulations governing the industry has helped
spark the breakneck expansion of L.A.'s entertainment industry—more thaw
60,000 new jobs regionally since he took office—as well as fostering the
growth of the nation's largest concentration of multimedia firms and employment.
"The studios aren't hostile" to Mr. Hayden's candidacy the challenger protests.
"It's just that they love Riordan."
This has left Mr. Hayden precious little support-outside of such leftish
actors as Ed Begley and Sean Penn-among the industry most likely to nurture
his envirocandidacy. The hardest lesson for Mr. Hayden is that today the
bottom line generally means more to people, even Hollywood liberals, than
which side you were on back In the Baby Boom's protest glory days.
So Tom Hayden, bracing for Richard Riordan's April 8 electoral tsunami,
now plans to wait in principled opposition until the next massive leftward
tide comes rolling in. But for now he seems to know his chances of becoming
mayor are almost nil. "I guess this means that the '60s are really over,"
he concedes, but adds wistfully: "But not the end of my politics."
Mr. Kotkin is a senior fellow with the Pepperdine Institute for Public
Policy and a fellow in urban studies at the Pacific-Research Institute.(WSJ,3-24-97)
JODI WILGOREN, Richard C. Blum, the multimillionaire husband of
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), on Thursday accused state Sen. Tom Hayden
(D-Los Angeles) of libeling him and demanded an apology for statements
Hayden made Tuesday linking Feinstein's endorsement of Los Angeles Mayor
Richard J. Riordan to Blum's financial portfolio. "I'm
sorry if I hurt his feelings," Hayden replied at a news conference. But
rather than retract his comments about Blum's investment in a construction
company that is building the subway for L.A.'s Metropolitan Transportation
Authority, Hayden criticized Blum's attorney for misstating the name of
the worker, Jaime Pasillas, who was recently killed in the subway tunnel.
Riordan sits on the MTA board and appoints three of its members. "I will
not stop talking about it until you give back every dollar you have made,
every filthy dollar . . . that you have made off of this tunnel and you
turn over all that money to the family of Mr. Jame Pasillas," Hayden, who
is challenging Riordan in the April 8 election, said in comments directed
at Blum. "This was a preventable death. The Pasillas family is suing the
MTA for $50 million. I don't want the public to pay for this. I want Riordan
and Blum to pay for this." In a letter to Hayden, attorney Michael R. Klein
says Blum "has no investments in the MTA subway tunnel" and "no connection
to the quality of the performance of the work of any contractor" working
on the tunnel. Though Blum does own 37% of Perini Corp., which has a joint
venture with Tutor-Saliba to work on the tunnel, Klein notes that Tutor-Saliba/Perini
got the MTA contract before Blum's investment deal was finalized. "I'm
amazed that mayoral candidate Tom Hayden would try to politicize a tragic
death of an MTA worker for his own political gain," Feinstein said in a
written statement Thursday. "Tom Hayden's actions confirm yet again why
Dick Riordan should be reelected." But Hayden said that by his investment,
Blum is "morally responsible and institutionally responsible for the safety
of the workers." Asked whether this scuffle is distracting from the issues
of the mayor's race, he added: "This is what the mayor's race is about.
It's about Riordan and Blum and big money and scandal."(LATimes,3-30-97)
JODI WILGOREN Standing with one of the state Legislature's two
openly gay members, Los Angeles mayoral candidate Tom Hayden vowed Friday
that, if elected April 8, he will call on all companies doing business
with city government to extend benefits to domestic partners.
Hayden, a Democratic state senator, last month introduced a bill that would
require domestic partnership benefits equivalent to those provided for
married couples for contractors doing business with state or local government.
As mayor, he said he would emulate San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown's move
earlier this year, and refuse contracts to anyone not offering such benefits.
Brown's move prompted organizations such as Catholic Chariies and United
Airlines to launch domestic partner programs. "This is
the kind of health policy we need. It's the kind of fairness policy we
need, and it's the kind of exemplary urban policy that we need," Hayden
said at a press conference with Assembly Speaker Pro Tem Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa
Monica). "It's what we should do." Backed by Kuehl and the Stonewall Democratic
Club, Hayden has tried hard to court gay voters, canvassing patrons at
coffeehouses and clubs in West Hollywood late on weekend nights. In one
club, he handed a leaflet to a dancer wearing just a G-string. But a constituency
that has long lent him support now is divided: Republican Mayor Richard
Riordan's high-profile appointments of gays and lesbians and participation
in the annual gay pride parades and AIDS bike-rides have won him wide popularity
and much financial support in the community. "I don't think we've ever
quite had anything like this before," said Jeffrey Prang, a gay political
activist who was recently elected to the West Hollywood City Council. "Here
you have a legislator who's considered one of the champions and stalwarts
of [gay] issues . . . but then you have somebody else who, since becoming
mayor, has been as good on the issues as you could expect him to be. It's
a tough choice." Even Hayden's fliers paint the choice as between "gay-friendly"
and "gay-friendlier." Riordan got less than 30% of the gay and lesbian
vote when he ran for mayor in 1993, but won immediate praise less than
a month later when he rode in West Hollywood's annual gay pride parade.
He shored up his reputation in the community by making Michael Keeley,
an openly gay attorney and longtime friend, one of his top aides, and by
naming Art Mattox, a reserve police officer who is gay, to sit on the Police
Commission. In 1994, he declared a state of emergency in the
city and ordered police officers to ignore illegal needle-exchange programs
in order to help control the spread of AIDS. He also supported and signed
an ordinance passed in 1993 that extended spousal benefits to city employees'
domestic partners. "We all thought he would be a disaster going in, and
we were wrong. We've all publicly and personally apologized," said Steve
Tyler, an actor and leader in Access Now for Gay and Lesbian Equality,
which does political fund-raising. "He's just been fantastic on our issues.
When I'm talking to him, you would never know that he's not one of us."
Tyler's organization raised $30,000 for Riordan--who is backed by the gay
Republican Log Cabin club--at a fund-raiser last fall, and more than 100
people went to another fund-raiser targeting the gay community at the mayor's
Brentwood mansion last month, Tyler said. The Stonewall club, in turn,
hosted an event for Hayden this week. Kuehl agreed that Riordan has fared
better than expected, but said she wants more. "There's a difference between
'didn't do anything bad to us' and 'failed us' in some people's minds,
but not in my mind," Kuehl said. "I think if you're not out ahead on progressive
issues, you've failed us. It's not enough to be 'OK' on these issues."
Riordan spokeswoman Noelia Rodriguez said Friday that the mayor "has been
there for the gay and lesbian community, is there today for the gay and
lesbian community, and he will continue to be there for them." But Hayden's
suggestion regarding domestic partnership benefits, she said, probably
goes too far. "[Riordan] has supported businesses, at least in spirit,
that have extended domestic partner benefits for their employees. . . .
Certainly the fact that the city of Los Angeles has thepolicy in place
should serve as a model," Rodriguez said. "In terms of mandating that to
the next level . . . the mayor does not advocate having government become
Big Brother and dictating to businesses how they should conduct themselves."
About 375 private companies, including Apple Computer and Walt Disney Co.,
already have the same benefits for married and unmarried couples, Hayden
said. Since the city of Los Angeles adopted the policy, about 400 employees--most
of them straight--have signed up, according to City Councilwoman Jackie
Goldberg. Goldberg, the council's only openly gay member, said she is currently
researching Brown's move in San Francisco and considering repeating it
here. Having declined to endorse either candidate in the mayoral race,
Goldberg agreed with other leaders that in choosing between Riordan and
Hayden, gay voters would probably focus on issues other than gay rights,
such as labor, affordable housing and race relations. "Just the fact that
Hayden's a Democrat and Riordan's a Republican, in the gay and lesbian
community, in this day and age, is going to cost the mayor some votes,"
Goldberg said. "While it's true that Dick Riordan has a very positive reputation
in the gay and lesbian community, and that can't be discounted, we look
at the whole thing with a bigger-picture point of view," added Stonewall's
president, Eric Bauman. "We look at the bigger picture."(LATimes,3-30-97)
TIM RUTTEN, PETER Y. HONG,Race and ethnicity are the background
noise of Los Angeles' politics. And the cacophony they
generate drowns out a dissonant reality: L.A.'s mayor is elected by one
city to govern another. The Los Angeles that elects the
mayor--and other citywide officeholders--remains white and largely affluent;
the city the mayor governs is predominantly nonwhite and largely poor.
Turnout in the April 8 election will be low, somewhere around 30% of the
eligible voters, predicts Susan Pinkus, director of The Times Poll. The
most recent Times poll found that 65% of the likely voters are white, 20%
are African American, 9% are Latino and 2% are Asian American. These facts
delineate the reasons for both Mayor Richard Riordan's substantial lead
over state Sen. Tom Hayden (D-Los Angeles) and his continuing difficulties
with civic issues involving a racial or ethnic component. In 1993, when
the mayor defeated former City ouncilman Mike Woo, Riordan carried 67%
of the white vote. African American, Latino and Asian American voters preferred
Woo by substantial margins. Moreover, 87% of the white voters who thought
"race relations" were an important issue voted for Woo. Last week's Times
poll found that substantial pluralities among all races and ethnicities
believe Hayden would do "a better job of improving race relations in L.A."
Riordan acknowledges the persistence of such perceptions, but says flatly
that "they are wrong. I get tremendous respect when I go to South Los Angeles,
and it's a feeling I return. It's also true that I don't get along with
the vocal few in every community who continually speak in the rhetoric
of divisiveness." How should the mayor of Los Angeles reply to such rhetoric?
In a recent series of interviews, both Riordan and Hayden discussed their
thoughts on the question. On one level, what emerged simply confirmed a
singular fact of this year's mayoral campaign: Angelenos seldom have had
the opportunity to choose between two candidates whose operational conceptions
of fair and effective government are so diametrically opposed. On another,
more personal level, what emerged was surprising: Though both men would
be loath to acknowledge it, they share important assumptions--and even
some conclusions--on how questions of race and ethnicity ought to be approached.
For instance, both Riordan and Hayden insist first of all that there is
a moral imperative to address this issue. Riordan is particularly explicit
in this respect. "God expects me to love people and to deal with them as
equals," he says. "The most important thing is that every ethnic group
in this city has the same top priorities: They want to live in safety.
They want a good education for their children. They want clean, healthy
neighborhoods in which to raise theirfamilies--places with good libraries
and good parks. "When you walk out of your house in--say, South Los Angeles--and
you don't see those things, it's not just bad social policy; it's wrong,
morally wrong. Plus, it doesn't give you much hope for your future." Similarly,
Hayden insists that "the mayor has to be able to tell the 14-year-old in
the projects that hope is on the way. And that 14-year-old has to believe
it or the gang violence will increase. The immigrants have to feel that
their work as gardeners, janitors and so on is respected. If they're not
respected, frustration increases, which too often leads to violence among
their children. A mayor can't raise people out of poverty overnight, but
he can raise them out of hopelessness." But in the architecture of government--no
less than that of buildings--"God is in the details," as architect Ludwig
Mies van der Rohe's dictum goes. And when it comes to essential governmental
details, particularly with regard to racial and ethnic issues, Riordan
and Hayden have markedly different visions. Though the two are separated
by less than a decade in age, the 57-year-old Hayden attributes this to
generational differences. The 66-year-old mayor, according to the former
student activist, has "a pre-1960s view of race. I can't get into his mind,
but his attitudes seem paternalistic. His idea of importance is based on
your status and your bank account. Everybody else is to be pitied and given
charitable contributions. I think he's very tolerant of people who are
very successful and happen to be of another race or sexual orientation."
Riordan, contends Hayden--who began his public life as a Freedom Rider
trying to integrate bus systems in Mississippi--"was not present during
the last 30 years for the entire history of the civil rights movement.
I'm sure he never attended a single march,ever." For his part, Riordan
says he feels "more anger than I've ever felt at anybody, when I hear someone
question the depth of my concern for racial equality. I care as much as
I am capable of caring." His understanding of racial and ethnic issues,
he says, has evolved with experience. "Growing up in New Rochelle, N.Y.,
there were a lot of blacks in my class during the first three years of
grammar school. We were friends. We played together. I went to their houses,
which were in the poorest area of town, and they came to mine, which was
in the wealthiest. My parents didn't object and neither did theirs. "But
when I was 21 or 22, it suddenly occurred to me that our parents never
socialized. When I asked myself why, that revelation taught me something."
And so, Riordan says, did his adult reflections on another childhood incident.
"I was in the supermarket and I saw this young black boy who was lame,
and I felt so sorry for him that tears came to my eyes. For some reason,
as an adult, I recalled that little moment, and it occurred to me how demeaning
my reaction was to him. I didn't know anything about him as a person--nothing
about how he coped, what his strengths or accomplishments were. I just
assumed that being disabled was awful and that being black made it worse.
Demeaning someone by depriving them of their individuality in that way
is the worst thing you can do." Separated by time and experience, Riordan
and Hayden also have decidedly different notions of what makes for an effective
mayor in the nation's most diverse city. To Hayden, questions of "quality
of life, crime and violence, education and business growth all come back
to race relations. People see into this problem in different ways. But
I just see it straight out that this is a city enveloped in constant seismic
activity round race. In other words, we've just had some earthquakes while
we're talking, but they don't bother us because they're just little vibrations.
"They've occurred between people in two separate cars and between people
on street corners. We don't notice it. But every 30 years we have a major
earthquake along racial fault lines. Just as we design the city's buildings
to be as safe as possible from the 'big ones,' we need a social policy
that makes life sustainable in the face of the seismic activity that's
constantly occurring along racial and ethnic lines." As an example of such
a policy, Hayden cites a recent experience that occurred when he spoke
to Impacto, the community group organized by Father Gregory Boyle, the
Jesuit well known for his work with members of the Eastside's Latino gangs.
The group included young people as well as their parents and, according
to Hayden, "the last question was, 'Are you ever going to come back?' "So
I said, 'Of course, I'll be back. Instead of having 60 staff people downtown,
like Riordan does, I'm going to have people in offices in this community.
They're going to be teaching people how to use the law in tenant-landlord
and consumer disputes, so you can empower yourselves. And instead of making
you come downtown, we're going to have community councils where you get
the ability to do things. I'll be back every couple of months.' " According
to Hayden, the Impacto audience said, " 'Great! Could you write that down?'
I said, 'If you don't believe me, sure!' "They didn't ask me to provide
a hundred thousand jobs. They just asked me to come back," Hayden says.
"That's how disillusioned and powerless people feel in these communities."
Riordan too sees racial friction as a reality of life in contemporary Los
Angeles, but has a very different view of the partthe mayor ought to play,
and of the obstacles he confronts. "In many ways, this is not the great
melting pot that I was led to believe in when I grew up as an Irishman
whose people congratulated themselves on their assimilation into the rest
of American society," he said. "Today, people take great pride in their
distinctive cultures. But there's also jealousy of other cultures and antagonism
between one culture and another. These are facts you have to deal with
and, quite honestly, these are facts I think the media has totally failed
to acknowledge because they're concerned about being politically correct."
Riordan believes his administration has done a good job of "encouraging
the formation of neighborhood groups and they have proliferated throughout
South Los Angeles. For two years, I've been speaking with them and saying
damn near the same thing: 'If you want to solve problems in your community,
you have to organize and take responsibilities.' At our meetings, somebody
will ask me a question about 'what are you, as mayor, going to do about
the tree that's overhanging my driveway?' "I'll say, 'Organize, get something
going. Then you go to the council office or you come to me as an organization
or, better yet, do what I would do. Cut the tree down yourself without
asking anybody.' I guess it comes down to the word empowerment. If you
feel that you can't make a difference, then you won't do anything." To
encourage empowerment, Riordan says, the mayor must "bring people of various
cultures into solving the problems of other cultures, particularly the
wealthier helping solve the problems of the economically disadvantaged.
We're really focusing more and more on how can we get the whites from the
Valley to help the blacks in the inner city and Latinos in East L.A. A
lot of people would like to help, but don't have any idea how todo it.
It's our job to remove the mystery and lead them and to do this." In this
context, Riordan believes strongly that he leads by example. In fact, he
has personally and through his family foundation donated millions of dollars
to schools, child-care facilities, churches and community organizations
throughout the poorest neighborhoods in the Latino and African American
communities. His philanthropy, he says, is directed as much as possible
at giving its recipients "the tools to compete." "Some people may think
it's paternalism to insist that the people to whom you give money use it
to become self-sufficient enough to secure that equality for themselves.
But I don't think so," Riordan says. Hayden, by contrast, believes that
the mayor vastly overstates the importance of philanthropy, whatever its
goals. "Charity has never been a substitute for public policy," he says.
"Charity has never been a substitute for a full-employment agenda. Charity
is private. Government is public. Charity has strings. Charity keeps the
powerless dependent--on charity." To Hayden, the linkage of private philanthropy
with the rhetoric of self-sufficiency masks a deep contemporary problem
he describes as "the secession of the affluent." "What Riordan is doing,"
Hayden says, "is part of a march of abandonment away from the inner city,
leaving police behind. Investment is relocated to the suburbs, and politics
becomes about suburban voters. And the crazy assumption of this process
is that we can withdraw from our cities. Well, we can't get out of our
cities and turn them into law enforcement processing areas requiring the
expenditure of billions of public dollars for the lifetime incarceration
of half of the young African American and Latino men in Los Angeles." Similarly,
Hayden believes that Riordan's aversion t what the mayor calls "political
correctness" actually is an insensitivity to the complexity of leadership
in a multicultural city. As an example, he cites the part he says the mayor
played in encouraging the Police Commission not to renew Chief Willie L.
Williams' contract. "It's like being totally blind to the racial dynamics
of the city," Hayden said. "It doesn't mean you pander to race or that
you follow some politically correct line. It means that the first understanding
of the mayor when he wakes up has to be: 'We're in a city of racial misunderstanding
and divides.' The most important criterion to judge the police chief by
is whether he has stabilized and promoted harmony between racial and ethnic
groups in the city. Everything else has to be seen as room for improvement
and not grounds for dismissal. "Willie Williams is the most important healing
and stabilizing figure in terms of race relations in the city of Los Angeles
right now," Hayden says. "To fire him is the most irresponsible approach
that a mayor of this city could take." This is a line of argument Riordan
utterly rejects. "I don't judge people on their color," he says, "and I
think that's a form of racism. I don't think Willie Williams wants to be
judged as a black. He wants to be judged on his competency." In this, as
in his approach to community development, Riordan says his personal conduct
mirrors his public rhetoric. He points out, for example, that his single
largest personal investment stake is in PIA, a national company whose African
American president, Tom Gloss, Riordan personally recruited. Drawing on
his experience as a businessman, the mayor observes that few blacks apply
for jobs at his downtown restaurant, the Original Pantry. "It's basically
Latino, for whatever reason," Riordan says. "They don't get man black applicants.
They have some black waiters, but not very many. I don't know the reason
and I hesitate to guess, but it's true to a great extent throughout the
city. [Waiters] tend to be more Latino. I think a lot of groups [like]
Filipinos become doctors and nurses." To Riordan, however, such comparisons
among groups "take your eye off the solution. You have different cultures
that have lasted for centuries, and then you have an African American who
started out . . . a little over a hundred years ago, started out from zero
as slaves. Maybe in the history of the world you can't expect them to have
gotten where other cultures have gotten over many centuries. But that doesn't
mean you give up. You have to fight, fight, fight to give them the tools
to compete." When asked to name the minority Americans they have most admired
during their lifetimes, Hayden and Riordan offered a virtual capitulation
of both their common ground and their radical divergence. Both named Martin
Luther King Jr. and United Farm Workers founder Cesar Chavez. But when
they were asked to explain the latter choice, their different reasons were
instructive. "Cesar may be the most important," says Hayden, "because the
legacy of the others, including King, has turned into books or stale articles
or remembrance days. But if you look at what's really happening in L.A.,
it's the mobilization of Latino workers. And every single economic justice
movement in Los Angeles that I know of is led by somebody who was originally
trained somewhere in the farm workers [union]." Riordan's perspective,
like his experience, is a different one. "I think our system works best,
is most just," he says, "when labor and management fight out their differences
on a level playing field. Cesar Chavez did more to level that playing field
under more difficult circumstances than anyone else in my lifetime."(LATimes,3-30-97)
JODI WILGOREN In what could be a boon to his struggling campaign,
state Sen. Tom Hayden (D-Los Angeles) said Friday that he has finally collected
enough small contributions to qualify for public matching funds, and expects
to receive $105,000 in taxpayer money next week. But
Hayden's aides do not plan to submit the checks until Monday, and the city
has three days to make sure he qualifies before issuing the check, which
could leave the underdog with dwindling coffers as he enters the home stretch
to election day, April 8. Records filed with the city Ethics Commission
this week show Hayden has less than $80,000 in the bank, compared with
more than $600,000 for incumbent Mayor Richard J. Riordan.
Indeed, records show Riordan has paid his political consultant more than
twice what Hayden has raised overall (not including the $100,000 Hayden
gave his own campaign). In jus the past month, according to his report,
the mayor has pumped $1.2 million into his television campaign, placing
commercials--one touting his accomplishments, the other attacking his opponent--on
nine channels. Running against an incumbent who had amassed a nearly $2-million
war chest before he even entered the race--and has a personal fortune estimated
at $200 million to back it up--Hayden has worked hard over the past month
to play catch-up. He has had several fund-raisers a week, collecting the
proverbial nickels and dimes of a campaign through small house parties
and interest group dinners. But the events have often fallen short of expectations.
More than 50 artists donated work worth more than $30,000 for an auction
last week; only 28 items sold, bringing in about $15,000, according to
the campaign. The treadmill continues: Hayden went all the way to Orange
County for a fund-raiser this week, and Monday is having a tea at the home
of Riordan's next-door neighbor, whose lush lawn boasts a "Hayden for Mayor"
sign. "We need somebody new," said Noreen Lucille Pollack, who has squabbled
with the mayor over property lines and loud parties. "I think every four
years you should really have somebody new. It gets to be old hat." The
other hotly contested elections in the city find the candidates far closer
in fund-raising. City Atty. James K. Hahn reported raising $93,000 over
the past month, bringing his total over $1 million. He has $110,000 left
to spend and is still raising funds, after spending $500,000 to buy television
commercials that will air during the campaign's last week. Hahn's opponent,
lawyer-developer Ted Stein, has nearly $178,000 in cash on hand, after
adding $200,000 of his own money and raising about $90,000 elsewhere. Stein
has collected more overall, though, and spent more than $923,000 in the
past month, inluding $800,000 on television ads. In the 11th Council District,
which includes parts of the Westside and the San Fernando Valley, front-runners
Cindy Miscikowski and Georgia Mercer were nearly neck and neck in terms
of fund-raising and spending over the past month, according to campaign
reports. Times staff writers Ted Rohrlich and Jim Newton contributed to
TODD S. PURDUM -- LOS ANGELES -- Early in state
Sen. Tom Hayden's half-hour campaign video -- a modest effort that is by
far the most elaborate media element of his shoestring race for mayor of
Los Angeles -- a woman accosts him at a farmer's market with a well-groomed
husky on a leash. "Why are places so un-dog-friendly
all of a sudden?" she demands. "Oh, the city is
hostile to nature in all its forms," Hayden replies drily.
"If you get to be mayor, are you going to change that?"
Hayden assures her, "Oh, the city's going to be wild with dogs."
It is only a moment in Hayden's quixotic bid to lead the nation's second-largest
city, but it sums up the madcap, anachronistic feel of the quest. With
polls showing him trailing badly behind the popular incumbent, Richard
Riordan, in next Tuesday's nonpartisan primary, Hayden doggedly crisscrosses
the city these days in a small yellow schoolbus proclaiming "L.A. Not for
$ale," a superannuated subversive with steel-gray hair and a merry prankster's
mischievous air. In the last 10 days, he has accused
Riordan, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, and her investor husband, Richard C. Blum,
of complicity in the death of a worker on a subway project being built
in part by a company in which Blum has a minority interest. (He declined
Blum's demand for an apology.) He has called Riordan "a racist." (He then
apologized and explained that he meant the remark as a sardonic distillation
of how the press would report his criticisms of the mayor as "racially
insensitive.") It would easy to poke fun at the
gonzo tactics of this former '60s radical, former husband of Jane Fonda,
former comrade of Cesar Chavez turned 15-year veteran of the state Assembly,
where he has crusaded on behalf of gun control, the environment and his
view of social justice. But it would also be wrong.
For better or worse, this 57-year-old survivor of the Chicago 7 is Riordan's
only real opposition, having joined the fray when more cautious Democratic
candidates declined. And he is doing his best to shake up what he calls
his "anarchic, sprawling city of enclaves." "Much
as I dispute the laid-back image that Easterners put on us, because we're
actually very intense, there's a ring of truth to the description of the
city because it's so de-politicized," Hayden said in an interview the other
day. "There is no other city on the Pacific Rim that is in the trouble
that L.A. is in: San Francisco, San Diego, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver,
they all have vigorous positive neighborhoods, and if you go there they
gossip about politics. L.A. is defined as a world in which everything is
entirely private, including civic life." There
is a touch of the poet in Hayden, and on the campaign trail his observation
has a poignant ring. On Wednesday, only three reporters trailed him as
he stumped through the gritty port area of Wilmington, stopping to protest
the layoff of safety workers at an oil refinery, to bemoan the plight of
contract truck-drivers who work long hours for steamship lines without
regular benefits or salary, and to warn that a city-sponsored coal export
terminal under construction would spread harmful particles into the lungs
of neighborhood children because the builders refused to cover its open
pit. "He is deeply insensitive to the issue of
air pollution and he's an elitist who does not care about the health of
people in areas such as this one," Hayden said of the mayor before heading
off to visit with drug addicts and prostitutes in a shantytown of unpaved,
sewerless streets that locals call "the Third World."
Asked several times just what he would do differently, Hayden talked of
appointing commissioners more sensitive to neighborhoods, but also seemed
nonchalant, once proclaiming, "I don't want to get specific." At one point
he walked away distractedly from his own mini-news conference to grab a
pineapple protein drink proferred by a supporter.
Hayden cannot afford standard television commercials and has relied instead
on radio advertisements, including one featuring an endorsement from the
Rev. Jesse Jackson, and the infomercial video, broadcast a few times on
a local cable channel. Local political experts confess puzzlement at his
campaign. "I initially believed that this campaign
had very little to do with 1997 and everything to do with the year 2001,
when the mayor's office is vacant and term limits mean Hayden will be out
of office in Sacramento," said Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, an analyst at the
Center for Politics and Economics at the Claremont Graduate School. "It
seemed like the perfect shakedown cruise, but his rhetoric doesn't fit
with that strategy." Hayden said he simply decided
he "could play a more effective role" as mayor than as a legislator, in
a climate in which "both parties seem to be abandoning the inner cities
as hopeless areas." He also uses more personal, mystic terms, borrowing
an American Indian parable to chart his life's progress from rebellious
eagle, to competitive midlife coyote to avuncular, experienced bear. "Being
a mayor," he said, "is kind of like being a bear."
But the candidate insists he has no wish to be a "noble loser," and dismisses
the assertion of his old friend Susan Estrich, who managed Michael Dukakis'
presidential campaign, that he is indulging in a midlife crisis.
"Susan is projecting," he said. "The midlife crisis is hers. She's suffering
with being a former liberal; I don't have that problem. These critics are
really talking about themselves; I'm just their ink blot. They would really
like me to stop irritating their conscience. I really think I'm doing what
I should at this point in my life, and they're not." (NYT,4-4-97)