The Skinny

So, we know that Karen Bass is still getting her speaker’s seat warm. But in this era of term limits, is it ever too early to start thinking about who’s next? The hot war that blazed through the Assembly Democratic Caucus in the weeks after the February election has subsided, with the caucus firmly united behind their new leader. But as the June election approaches, it may be instructive to watch some of the contested Democratic primaries for some clues about whose political allegiance may belong to whom with the incoming freshman class. No member has been more out front with his endorsements than Anthony Portantino. The La Cañada Assemblyman has endored candidates in nearly all of the hotly contested races, including. In the 78th, Portantino is with Marty Block, while Kevin DeLeon is supporting Auday Arabo. In the 40th Assembly District, Portantino is with Stuart Waldman, Fiona Ma is backing Laurette Healey, and Felipe Fuentes is backing Bob Blumenfield. Will any of this have any bearing on the next speakership race? Who knows? But as a Capitol parlor game, it’s about the best thing going…Speaking of the race in AD 40, conspiracy theories abound about the strong backing of Blumenfield by Latino Democrats in the San Fernando Valley. Latinos have long wanted a congressional seat in Howard Berman’s neighborhood, a traditionally Jewish part of Los Angeles which has become increasingly Latino over the last 15 years. The grassy knoll theorists surmise Blumenfield’s support of Fuentes, Alex Padilla and others is part of a plan to get that Latino Congressional seat in the Valley, a move that may come at the expense of incumbent Brad Sherman. But that’s not until 2012. And that may a little early to think about, even for us…

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