It's Sherman versus Berman in 30th congressional district


It's Brad Sherman versus Howard Berman. The two democrats are facing each other because of redistricting that created California's 30th congressional district.

Howard Berman has been in Congress 30 years and wants to stay there. He has to defeat Brad Sherman, who has been in Congress more than 16 years.

The incumbents are now in the political fight of their lives. Because of redistricting, the two democrats are running for the same San Fernando Valley seat.

"Here in the west San Fernando Valley people know me they know of my constituent service program. They know I take valley values to Washington," said Sherman.

Naturally, Berman disagrees.

"I'm a better legislator I know how to build coalitions better, I know how to pass laws better," said Berman.

With only weeks to go before the primary, both incumbents are trying to saturate their would-be constituents with advertising. But actresses Wendy Malick and Betty White did spots for Berman.

Both men are eying the impact of the 405 Freeway. Both claim primary responsibility for the federal and state funds used to widen and try to improve traffic on the terminally congested freeway.

"He is a legend in his own mind," Berman said of Sherman. "Everyone involved knows that I was the leader of this project, I was the one who lead the effort to secure the federal money."

Sherman disagrees. He says Berman is simply wrong.

"At the very beginning where we got the money to make the case, I was the only one there. When in Sacramento over 60 percent of the money was allocated for the project, I was the only member of congress there," said Sherman.

When President Obama proposed what became known as the multi-billion dollar TARP bailout Sherman was one of those in Congress who fought against it. TARP eventually passed.

"I led the battle against the TARP bailout of the banks. We found changes in the program that saved the country over $400 billion. That one accomplishment dwarfs everything that Howard claims, and of course his claims exceed reality," said Sherman.

The reality according to Berman is that the bailout stabilized the banking system and saved the automobile industry.

"By and large it saved the financial system from collapsing and I don't hear much dispute about that. Brad made a mistake there," said Berman.

It's probable that Sherman and Berman will face each other again. The two top finishers in the June 5 primary compete in the general election in November.

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