Rep. Kim Must Serve Sentence Here, Miss Campaigning in Calif. Primary
By Walter Pincus
Rep. Jay Kim (R-Calif.) will have to serve his two-month sentence of home confinement for violating campaign fund laws in the Washington area, preventing him from campaigning for reelection in person in the June 2 Republican primary.
Pam Williams, Kim's newly appointed campaign manager, said yesterday the three-term House member and his advisers are putting together a campaign strategy based on U.S. District Judge Richard A. Paez's decision, which rejected a request by Kim's attorney to delay home confinement until after the primary.
Instead, Paez ordered the 60-day confinement to be observed at Kim's working base in Washington and not in his congressional district. Since the sentence is to begin shortly, it will effectively keep Kim from traveling to California until after primary election day. Kim has traveled to his home district only once since his sentencing March 11.
"We will carry on a campaign," Williams said yesterday, "and hope his constituents will look at his record." Kim's campaign is currently taking its first poll of the district, with results expected next week, Williams said. Meanwhile, fund-raising has begun and volunteers are being sought, she added.
Kim press secretary P.J. O'Neil said yesterday that Kim, the first Korean American to serve in Congress, was named a House conferee on the $217 billion highway construction bill because he chairs the House Transportation and Infrastructure public buildings subcommittee.
Pete Pierce, an Orange County deputy district attorney and one of Kim's two GOP opponents in the primary, said yesterday he was "disappointed" that Kim was named to that position. "It shows the [House GOP] leadership is at least tacitly standing by him," Pierce said.
Kim pleaded guilty last August to five misdemeanor violations of the campaign finance laws. He admitted that he had received $145,000 in illegal contributions in his first congressional election in 1992. He is also under investigation by the House ethics committee for those same campaign violations and for allegedly filing incorrect financial disclosure statements with the House clerk.
Pierce said Kim's confinement is a "severe psychological blow and may severely affect his ability to win the primary." But then Pierce added that "it could help by keeping him out of the spotlight."
California Assemblyman Gary G. Miller, a multimillionaire developer and Kim's other GOP opponent, told the Los Angeles Times that the detention in Washington was only a "slight inconvenience" that might not affect Kim's campaign. "Any major political function he would have went to, some reporters would have been there," Miller told the newspaper.
Ten days after sentencing Kim, Paez was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on 12-6 vote to move up to be a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
The six votes against him came from Republican senators. Paez awaits full Senate approval.
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