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The Weekly Roundup

Dellums wins, Dymally hits the wall, Antonio cuts a deal

Thursday, June 15
From our Keep on Digging files: “Enrique Mora was convinced that his neatly
trimmed lawn in a Montclair cul-de-sac topped a modern-day mother lode–so
two weeks ago, he started digging for gold.

“And digging and digging and digging, until the 60-foot shaft so alarmed
neighbors that someone alerted the city Fire Department, which shut him down
this week.

“Mora’s flirtation with residential treasure began about a month ago, when
he celebrated his retirement from a company that retrains injured workers by
dropping nearly $600 on a metal detector.
“As a test, Mora, 63, swept his frontyard. The detector went bonkers, he
said. This was a conundrum: ignore the beeping or tear up the lawn?
“‘It was like the next shovel would reveal gold and [Mora] got carried
away,’ said Deputy Fire Chief Troy Ament.”

Friday, June 16
“Republicans in the Legislature say they won’t vote for a spending plan if
it includes about $22 million the governor is proposing for county health
insurance programs that cover all children, including those who are
undocumented. Republicans also oppose another $1.8 million Democrats added
as a first step toward allowing all children to qualify for state health
care programs that serve low- and moderate-income families.

“At a news conference Thursday, Schwarzenegger agreed with Democrats that
the state should provide coverage to children regardless of their
immigration status.

“‘For me, we should not politicize the children and drag them into this,’
Schwarzenegger said. ‘Children need to get all the attention if they are
here legally or illegally. Every child should have the right to some health
care and the schooling and so on.'”

But Democrats later capitulated on the plan, making the promise of a budget
deal that much closer. We think.

Saturday, June 17
Former Congressman Ron Dellums was named mayor of Oakland, as provisional
ballots put him over 50 percent for the June 6 vote. That allows Dellums to
avoid a run-off with Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente.

“During a brief afternoon news conference at his Fruitvale home, De La
Fuente said he congratulated Dellums and pledged to work with him as mayor
of Oakland,” reported the Oakland Tribune.

“‘I will continue working very hard on those issues that got me into this
mayor’s race,’ De La Fuente said. Standing on his back porch, flanked by
aides as well as his wife and daughter, he did not take questions.’

Sunday, June 18
The Bee’s Kevin Yamamura sums up the security gate incident involving Merv
Dymally
‘s sedan last week.

“Dymally’s sedan hit the pop-up security wall Wednesday after a
close-trailing vehicle belonging to state Sen. Edward Vincent improperly
zoomed under the outside gate and triggered the barrier, according to state
Senate sergeant-at-arms Tony Beard Jr.”

“Dymally’s car hit the wall hard enough to trigger its airbags.”

“Two aides in Dymally’s car were sent to the hospital and treated with minor
injuries that day, and Dymally was not in the vehicle at the time, Beard
said. Vincent rode in his vehicle, which a staff member was driving, and it
did not collide with Dymally’s car.”

“‘The barrier did what it was supposed to do, but we have specific protocols
that weren’t followed,’ Beard said.”

Monday, June 19
Meanwhile, dozens of undocumented students “from across California came to
Sacramento to urge legislators to support Senate Bill 160 by Sen. Gil
Cedillo
, D-Los Angeles, which would allow them to apply for [student
financial aid] assistance,” reports Aurelio Rojas in the Bee.

We’re guessing they didn’t register as lobbyists, either.

Tuesday, June 20
The guv took questions from Internet users today, including one about his
favorite color from Mark in Fresno. “Probably red, even though this is not
my political thinking,” said the guv. “When you think of red in Europe it
means communism, socialism and all those things. But I like the color red,
because it is fire, and I see myself as always being on fire, being charged
up, so to speak. So that’s my favorite color.”
The governor also announced he would be headlining a fund-raiser for the Log
Cabin Republicans in Hollywood next week.

Wednesday, June 21
L.A. Mayor Antonio Villariagosa struck a deal with legislative and union
leaders over his plan to take over the Los Angeles Unified School District.
“But the compromise gives him only an advisory role in deciding the
district’s budget. The city’s elected school board will retain final
spending authority, and, through that, ultimate control over its education
priorities. The district suffers from dismal test scores and a staggering
50-percent dropout rate among minorities in some schools,” reports the AP’s
Aaron Davis.

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