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Sanchez Has New Fund Raiser Site

August 16, 2000

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. (AP) _ Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., left open the possibility Tuesday of holding a future fund-raiser at the Playboy Mansion after party leaders blocked a planned event there during the Democratic National Convention.

``It could be two years from now, it could be 10 years from now, it could be 15 years from now,″ she said.

Sanchez reluctantly moved the Hispanic Unity event after heavy pressure from fellow Democrats.

Sanchez made clear she is unhappy with the attention the episode has generated. Asked whether she was fueling it by leaving open the possibility of a Playboy Mansion event, Sanchez said no.

``Go find another story,″ she said. ``Write a story about what’s going on. Democrats are talking about what we plan to do with the next four years, and that’s what’s important, not some party, not where it is.″

Sanchez rescheduled the fund-raiser for Hispanic Unity’s voter registration drive for Tuesday night at B.B. King’s Blues Club in Universal City.

The nonpartisan group, headed by Sanchez, was a key factor in her close 1996 victory over Republican Rep. Bob Dornan. The victory got her noticed within the Democratic Party.

But party leaders threatened to remove her as party co-chairwoman and cancel her convention speaker’s slot if the fund-raiser went ahead as first scheduled. Later, Sanchez declined her invitation to speak at the convention.

Although convention and party officials disavowed any connection to the planned event at the Playboy Mansion, Republicans criticized it just the same.

Playboy’s Hugh Hefner, appearing on CBS, accused the Democratic Party in this case of ``behaving like right-wing Republicans, and in a brutish way.″ Still, he said, he planned to vote for Vice President Al Gore as the ``lesser of two evils.″

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