Boasting that he had a doctorate didn't help Omar Bradley in his bid for a third term as mayor of Compton, California. But then, he wasn't exactly an Ivy League graduate anyway.

Bradley holds an honorary Ph.D. from Yuin University, a school of acupuncture. Henry Yu, Yuin's founder, has long battled with the state to win full licensure for the school. Part of his effort has been the granting of honorary degrees to local politicians in hopes of building support.

"When you're having brain surgery, you want the smartest, best- prepared doctor you can afford," Bradley suggested in a campaign brochure. "When you're running a city the size of Compton, you must have an adequate education to make the best-informed decisions."

Bradley's favored candidate for a city council seat touted her own Yuin Ph.D. in campaign materials. A member of the city council not up for reelection this year also bragged about his acupuncture doctorate in ads endorsing Bradley. But Bradley and his entire slate lost.

Eric Perrodin, a deputy district attorney in Los Angeles County and Compton's new mayor, had distributed a Los Angeles Times article about the Yuin-Bradley connection as a campaign flier. Perrodin, though, says the issue ultimately wasn't that important. Instead, Perrodin suggests that most Compton residents were less interested in academic credentials than charges of cronyism and nepotism in Bradley's regime.