While the nationâs eyes were on the riveting Vice Presidential Debate in Kentucky Thursday night, some politicos in the Los Angeles area were focused on the seriously contentious debate for the re-districted 30th Congressional District between Reps. Brad Sherman and Howard Berman at Pierce College.Â In a heat exchange in which Sherman vociferously challenged whether Berman deserved credit for authoring the Dream Act, Berman called Sherman âdelusional,â and then, according to the Pasadena Star News:
Berman took a step toward Sherman as a debate moderator began speaking to the two.
“Don’t you dare stand up here in the West San Fernando Valley and get in my face!” Sherman shouted.
Berman began repeating, “You are wrong, you are wrong.”
Sherman pushed back his chair, stood up, got into Berman’s face, threw his arm around the almost 71 year old congressmemberâs shoulders, clutched him close then spat out: “You want to get into this?”
The crowd seemed to be cheering Sherman on until a sheriff’s deputy and then a nearby woman rushed up to cool the moment. Berman stepped away and Sherman seemed to acknowledge to his supporters that heâd pull back. The Berman campaign was up immediately with a YouTube video calling Sherman a bully; Berman was apparently shaken up.
Sherman campaign consultant Parke Skelton told the Pasadena Star News that âSherman regrets the incident, but said the contention that he was challenging Berman to a fight is âridiculous.â Skelton added that Berman initiated the exchange by stepping toward Sherman first. “Brad regrets his role in the process by which the whole thing got too heated,” Skelton said. “Brad regrets that for sure. Â But again I think it was a mutual losing of cool there, and it’s one of those things that happens in a campaign sometimes.”
Last February, CallBuzz summed up the race this way:
Berman v. Sherman: As Calbuzz reported, in the definitive piece on the 30th CD to date, this is a race between a small-p politics congressman and a big-P Politics congressional macher for whatâs essentially an open seat in a newly created district.
Sherman is a grassroots guy, who works the garden clubs and local Democratic Party barbecues while Berman is a heavy-hitter in D.C., with people like Jerry Brown and Steven Spielberg pitching for him. Sherman knows your daughterâs Hebrew name; Berman has no idea who you are but gets shit done.
BTW â this is the first time the Sherman camp has gotten physical. In a brief dispute over delegate voting at the California Democratic Party earlier this year, a man associated with Brad Sherman’s campaign shoved a delegate, who then fell into a stack up of people trying to get into the convention room. Several people stumbled and two people (including this reporter) fell to the floor. When asked why he did it, the man who would not identify himself simply shrugged.
Sherman has been endorsed by the Stonewall Democratic Club and Stonewall Young Democrats while Berman has been endorsed by the LA County Supervisors and many of his congressional colleagues, including openly gay Barney Frank. The California Democratic Party did not endorse in the race.