Represent! | Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Son of legendary LA sportswriter Vincent X. Flaherty sells off collectibles to run for Congress

LA Congressional candidate Vincent Flaherty is selling collectible letters like the one above to fund his campaign.
LA Congressional candidate Vincent Flaherty is selling collectible letters like the one above to fund his campaign.
Courtesy Vincent Flaherty

His father has been credited with helping bring the Dodgers to Los Angeles. Now the son is using the father's fame to finance his campaign for the 33rd Congressional district.

Vincent X. Flaherty was a legendary sportswriter for the old Los Angeles Examiner. This was back in the days when, in the words of the late L.A. County Supervisor Kenny Hahn: "Everybody said Los Angeles was not ready to be a big city. Not ready for major league baseball."

Hahn described Flaherty as an: "Absolute fan and everything he wrote, thought, and talked about was about bringing a major league team" to Los Angeles

But before Flaherty was a sportswriter, he was a nationally syndicated political columnist. He took his then 13-year-old son with him on a reporting trip on a train with then-Senator Jack Kennedy.

"That was pretty inspiring," said the son, Vincent Flaherty.

So inspiring, the younger Flaherty considered going into politics. But "not being rich," he gave up and pursued an acting career. He had a recurring role on "The Donna Reed Show" and even made the final callback for the role of James Bond.

When Henry Waxman announced he was not going to run again after 40 years in Congress, Flaherty jumped into the race.

Money was still an issue, so the younger Flaherty turned to the treasure trove of letters his father received over the years. They include notes from J. Edgar Hoover, Ronald Reagan and John Wayne.

Flaherty is selling his father's letters and a catalogue of baseball memorabilia to raise cash for his campaign war chest. For $500, you can pick up an invitation to JFK's inauguration. A letter from LBJ will cost you $4,500. And if you're a baseball fan, an autographed Ty Cobb bat is a $100,000.

The candidate says his political experience is limited to serving on the Pacific Palisades community council and his role as lifetime director of the local historical society. He platform includes support for a flat tax, reforming financial institutions, and changing or eliminating the electoral college.

"Seems to me there’s a lot of things that need to be done, so you may as well do them all," the younger Flaherty said.

Vincent X. Flaherty can also take credit for first predicting his son would choose a political career: he wrote about it in a column half a century ago. The elder Flaherty died in 1977.