Watery campaign comes adrift in LA
Friday 16 April 1993
The underwater press conference held by the aspiring politician Tom Houston about a mile off the Californian coast would have been far more successful if he had not been rescued by a dive master after shooting up to the surface, coughing and spluttering.
It would have also gone better if his campaign staff, togged up in scuba diving gear, had not plunged into the waters only to find visibility so poor that several of the party lost contact with their partners, causing panic on board their diving boat (aptly named Disappearance).
The notoriously dirty seas turned out to be so choppy and murky that Mr Houston's large mayoral campaign banner was never unfurled. He also had to abandon plans to produce his underwater slate, and write down a summary of his proposal to tackle pollution.
Mr Houston's intention was that he, and a team of diving reporters, would have swum down 60 feet to the mouth of an old sewage pipe in the Santa Monica Bay, where he would have given a gurgling account of his plans to clean up the ocean floor, speaking through his respirator to an eager press.
Unfortunately, the media cancelled their plans to attend because of rumours that a verdict in the Rodney King case was imminent. (In fact, the judge merely announced a juror was sick. The juror yesterday returned, and deliberations continued for a sixth day).
The only reporter to turn up was Marc Lacey from the Los Angeles Times, who became seasick and vomited over the side of the boat before venturing into the water. 'We were 10 feet down when Mr Houston suddenly shot up to the surface,' said Mr Lacey. 'He was breathing quickly and waving his arm, which is a sign of distress. He had to be taken back to the boat by life raft.'
Life has not been made any easier for the 24 candidates in the LA mayoral race by the fact that it is dominated by two strong and well-funded front-runners who are tipped to get through to a run-off after next Tuesday's election. Millions of dollars have been spent in an effort to attract public attention, with limited results.
Lammily: Barbie-like doll hits Kickstarter fundraising target in a day
12 Years A Slave star Lupita Nyong’o on racism in beauty: 'Every day I woke up hoping my skin was a little lighter'
Belle Knox: How a porn star student from Duke University became bigger than Justin Bieber
Oscar Pistorius trial: Neighbour feared South African athlete would use gun that killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp to shoot himself
Top 10 most expensive cities in the world: Singapore named costliest place to live – but what about London?
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
- 3 Study suggests that 'gaydars' are real - at least for women
- 4 Man stabbed with Legend of Zelda Master Sword in serious condition
- 5 First clip of Outkast's Andre 3000 in Jimi Hendrix biopic All Is By My Side emerges
£6.31 per hour: Inspiring Interns: This growing predictive analytical software...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education is the largest ed...
£18000 - £25000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Geoenvir...
£35000 - £42000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Senior - Top 20 -...