My first real understanding of politics came during the time I was working in the newsroom of KMPC radio during the 1964 election of President Lyndon Johnson. As a 21 year old married, college dropout from Santa Monica City College, I was well on my way to a career in Radio and perhaps pursuing my dream as a Baseball play-by-play announcer.
In that election I voted for the "peace" candidate LBJ. In 1965, the jerk drafted me.
I spent close to a year as a soldier with the 4th Infantry Division in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, about a mile from the Cambodian border. More on that in other posts.
As I witnessed much prejudice against Black soldiers in Vietnam and while back at Fort Polk in Leesville, Louisiana, I understood how the current political power structers were used to keep certain people down. The local police would arrest the African-American soldiers on traffic violations on Fridays, so they could be thrown in jail for the weekend. Thus they couldn't be bailed out until Monday.
While a child growing up in a middle class family in Los Angeles, I understood some of this prejudice, but it wasn't until my stint in the Army and the South that it hit home. More of that on later blogs.
So, I finally made it home and worked at ABC Radio news, and Radio News West for a bit, before getting involved in Alan Cranston's campaign as traveling Press Secretary for California's US Senate seat in the 1968 election against reactionary Max Rafferty. I was hooked on politcs after his win.

In what the LA TIMES called the Most racist campaign ever West of the Mississippi River, I worked on City Councilman Tom Bradley's losing 1969 campaign against Mayoral incumbent smear monger Sam Yorty.

As the 1973 campaign Press Secretary for Tom Bradley's historical victory for Mayor over Sam Yorty, I watched first hand as my dream came true--break apart the power structure in Los Angeles which kept minorities out of power.

The SLA plot to kill Mayor Bradley

Mayor Bradley appointed me as his first Press Secretary. I loved it.
I had a great relationship with the LA Times reporters. I could get my childhood news idol, Stan Chambers of KTLA TV into see Tom anytime he wanted.
I was always above board with the journalists and made access to the Mayor, even with critics, a priority. I opened up city hall and changed the policy so that reporters could walk into my office at anytime without prior notification.
Society had slayed the bad power structure and individuals, regardless of race had a chance to succeed.
That feeling lasted until the mob rule mentality of the late '60s and early '70s came to fore and the Symbianeze Liberation Army of white thugs and other social misfits moved down to Los Angeles.
For the first and last time, I was asked not to reveal information that reporters were asking about.
Deputy Mayor Manuel Aragon told me that a Los Angeles Police informer said that the SLA moved to Los Angeles and were gunning for Bradley. I was not to reveal this. For some reason KTLA and KTTV had some inside info and kept pressing me on "rumors" about the SLA. There was some credibility to this threat since the SLA had already murdered Marcus Foster, the Black Superintendent of Public Instruction in Oakland.
I hated my role in this and really appreciated why President John Kennedy never told his Press Secretary Pierre Salinger about the Cuban Missle Crisis.
Tom and I were at Hank Aaron Night at Dodger Stadium when the news came that there was a police shoot out going on at a house in South Central Los Angeles(now described as South Los Angeles)
We listened to KFWB radio as top reporter Jim Mitchell was giving the play by play on the standoff, while we drove to another event at a hotel where a command center was set up by the LAPD.
I believe it was the next day when I went with the Mayor to the city morgue to talk with the Cororner Thomas Naguchi about the dead bodies. We were informed that Patti Hearst was not one of the bodies.
The Hearst papers always gave Tom a bad time. However the first thing he did was get Patti's father, publisher Hearst, on the phone to give him the good news.
Some reporters wanted to know why he called Mr. Hearst. It seemed to them an "unnatural" event.
But, I knew Tom well enough to understand that it was the right and humane thing to do.
Check back MONDAY, APRIL 24(6 PM PDT) and I'll talk about my favorite all time United States Senator, Harold E. Hughes of Iowa, with whom I worked as a communications advisor as he consdered running for President. He was a recovering alcoholic, former Truck Driver, World War II rifleman, who became suicidal,a left wing "Born Again" lay Methodist preacher. On Sunday April 30, I will discuss Vietnam and Vietnam Vets(welcome home!)

Thanks for reading. ----click to enlarge photo's. ---The blond is Jayne Mansfield.
Bob Kholos

HartCBS_KY how many troops_

Edap_enang_montanyard_resettle Bob_kholos__al_on_guard_viet_nam


I worked kmpc at the same time. must be the same guy. Just to say hi. Bob Miller K(engineer)

I covered LA City Hall as a reporter for KFWB and KMPC in the late '60s and early '70s. Bob, you were one of the best press guys I ever worked with. Glad to see you are still kicking. Your reminiscences bring back a lot of memories for this old newsguy.

Bob: What a wonderful surprise to have you back in the Los Angeles "communication" network, cyber network this time. I can only imagine how you would of used "blogging" during the '69 and '72 campaigns.

I remember the rumors about the SLA's arrival, and as young Bradley staffers we were terrified of the consequences.

Thanks for the memories, and I look forward to more stories.

Great to see that your fans in the media remember what a true professional you were. Not always the case in City Hall...

All the best,

Norm Emerson

Dear Bob:
Your credibility with the media was one of Tom Bradley's greatest assets. I enjoyed reading about your involvement in that historic era.
All the best,
Anton Calleia

Dear Bob:

I started with Tom Bradley in 1969 and in the 1973 campaign as your press deputy before forming the Office of Protocol after we were elected.

What a ride we had and it was wonderful working with you. I am still working for the boss for the opening of the Tom Bradley Gallery at UCLA.

Keep writing!

Bee Canterbury Lavery

bob: shoot me an email? thanks, john. kpcc-radio.

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