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Rogan Shrugs Off Democrats’ Threats

February 19, 1999

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) _ A feisty James Rogan returned to his congressional district, dismissing challenges by Democrats who vow to unseat him because of his role in President Clinton’s impeachment trial.

``I’ll wear that bull’s eye proudly,″ he said Thursday. ``Let them go ahead and make an issue of it because I might just end up jamming it down their throat.″

Rogan, among the most visible House impeachment managers, toured his 27th Congressional District for the first time since Clinton’s acquittal on obstruction of justice and perjury charges a week ago. No one but reporters asked him about the impeachment trial.

The Glendale Republican was re-elected in November by a bare 51 percent to 46 percent and is considered vulnerable in the 2000 election. His district, once a conservative stronghold, has become more moderate with an increase in black, Hispanic and Asian-American voters.

The former Municipal Court judge and deputy district attorney said he was proud of serving on the House Judiciary Committee and was ready to face any challenges.

``Let (Democrats) go out and explain why sexual harassment laws and civil rights laws are only applicable as long as it isn’t their guy who’s violating them,″ he said. ``That’s a debate I look forward to engaging in.″

Rogan said he’s ready to move on to other issues, but some of his constituents said the impeachment saga may take time to overcome.

``He’s got some fences to mend around here,″ said David Rose, a 44-year-old Democrat who voted for Rogan in the November election.

Has his opinion of the congressman changed since the trial? ``A lot less positive,″ Rose answered.

Rogan does have devoted supporters, including South Pasadena resident Ralph Rivet, 81.

``We’ll just have to work to overcome″ the impeachment fallout, he said. ``People are going to have strong feelings about that. What we have to do is turn the focus to the good work Rogan does in Congress.″

Rogan began the day with an appearance at a Glendale elementary school, telling a classroom of fifth-graders about the dangers of drugs. A picture of a smiling Bill Clinton hung in the corner of the room.

``Are you going to run for governor or president?″ one boy asked.

``From what they tell me in the newspapers, I’ll be lucky to run for Congress,″ he replied amid laughter from teachers and reporters.

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