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The Weekly Roundup

UC’s sweetheart deal; recount in Bermudez vs. Calderon; the same old GOP

Thursday, July 13
From our Let There Be Light files: “The University of California has issued
thousands of low-interest home loans to executives, faculty members and
other selected employees but has refused to reveal who received the money,”
reports Todd Wallack in the Chron.

“That includes an unidentified UC Berkeley professor who received a $250,000
home loan at one-half of 1 percent interest a year–far less interest than
any bank would demand. Another went to an unnamed UC Berkeley dean who got a
$203,500 loan at 1.28 percent a year. And dozens of other loans went to
unidentified employees who usually wouldn’t qualify for the loans–because
they aren’t faculty members or top executives–but were awarded as
‘exceptions to policy.’

“‘It’s the arrogance of the UC system,’ said Sen. Gloria Romero, a Los
Angeles Democrat and member of the state Senate Education Committee. ‘Sadly,
despite all the promises of reforms, they are hoping they can wait the media
and the legislators out and thumb their noses at the people.'”

Friday, July 14
Members of the union representing L.A. Unified teachers tepidly endorsed
Antonio Villaraigosa‘s attempt to exert greater control over district
governance.

“In a special meeting that ran late into the evening, many in the union’s
300-member House of Representatives vented frustration that union leaders
had not consulted the House before striking a deal with Mayor Villaraigosa
over the contents of the bill.”

In the end, the House voted to support the bill 101 to 89. A motion to
oppose the bill failed by a similar margin.”

Saturday, July 15
From our Head for the Rockies files, the CEO of Coors Brewing Company has
lost his drivers license for driving under the influence. “Coors rolled
through a stop sign a block from his home in Golden and an officer stopped
him in his driveway.

“In one breath test, he registered a blood alcohol level of 0.073 percent.
In a second, 20 minutes later, he registered 0.088. In Colorado a blood
alcohol count of 0.05 results in a driving while impaired charge, while a
count of 0.08 results in driving under the influence.”

Sunday, July 16
Looks like there’s one unhappy millionaire in Los Angeles. Eli Broad has
expressed his displeasure with Antonio Villaraigosa on the mayor’s
compromise on the plan to take over the LAUSD. “Broad made it clear that he
was unhappy with the bill, saying in a letter to Villaraigosa that “true
mayor control of the Los Angeles Unified School District is vital for the
future of our city.”

Broad, a major supporter of Villaraigosa, is also backing a statewide parcel
tax on the November ballot to raise money for schools, and is a big
supporter of the charter-school movement.

“It is regrettable that you did not want to wage a campaign for true mayoral
control, but rather saw fit to negotiate with UTLA and CTA,” Broad wrote in
a letter dated June 30.

“I regret that I cannot support, in its present form, the bill that was
passed by the Senate Education Committee” last month, Broad wrote. “If
significant changes are not made, we may be better off having the bill
fail.”

Monday, July 17
“A recount began Monday in the 30th state Senate District Democratic June 6
primary where Assemblyman Rudy Bermudez trailed Assemblyman Ron Calderon by 305 votes,” reports Mike Sprague in the Press-Telegram.

“Bermudez, D-Norwalk, picked up a net three votes after 21 precincts in the
city of Norwalk were counted. The recount continues today.

“Calderon picked up an additional four votes, while Bermudez picked up
seven.”

Never one to miss a fund-raising opportunity, the recount likely explains
the creation of the Ron Calderon legal-defense fund, which allows him to
raise money without Proposition 34 limits.

Tuesday, July 18
L.A. Observed reports on the passing of former L.A. sports journalist Bud
Furillo. “Furillo was the sports editor of the late Herald Examiner, wrote
his column ‘The Steam Room’ there for many years, and served a couple of
stints as a radio sports talk host when that genre was first getting its
legs in Los Angeles. His death last night at age 80 was reported today on
the front office blog of the Dodgers.”

Furillo’s son, Andy, works for the Sacramento Bee capitol bureau.

Wednesday, July 19
Ventura County Star’s Tim Herdt takes a look at the governor’s failure to
remake the California Republican Party more moderate-friendly. “This spring,
the governor again chose to sit on the sidelines–even when two of his
closest legislative soulmates, Sen. Abel Maldonado and Assemblyman Keith
Richman
, were running for statewide office in contested GOP primaries.”

And while he stopped well short of Maldonado’s earlier criticism of the
governor, Richman had his own criticisms of Schwarzenegger. “‘The governor
has not taken any active role with regard to moving the party in a more
moderate or mainstream direction,’ he said. ‘I don’t think the Republican
Party is any closer to becoming a majority than it was six or eight years
ago.'”


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