News

The Weekly Roundup

Thursday, Feb. 16
Today brings another reason for state legislators to aspire for election to
Congress–free subscriptions to Hustler magazine.

“Tucked in a conservative-looking manila envelope, the latest edition of
Hustler goes to all 535 members of Congress. Free of charge. Not that most
members want it,” reports the Salt Lake Tribune. “It usually gets thrown in
the circular file marked ‘trash.'”

(And then pulled out of aforementioned circular file when nobody else is
looking.)

Also today, money began pouring in for Don Perata‘s infrastructure media
campaign. Ameriquest and San Diego Padres Chairman and UC Regent John Moores
each chipped in $100,000 for Don Perata’s infrastructure campaign. Bay Area
developer Albert Seeno added another $50,000.

Good thing the Democrats found a way to get their hands on some cash that
doesn’t fall under Prop. 34 limits!

Friday, Feb. 17
Sad news from Palo Alto, as reports find that the Stanford Tree was, well,
out of her tree at a recent basketball game. “The student wearing the
costume of the legendary mascot was suspended from duty after UC Berkeley
police observed her drinking from a flask during a Stanford-Cal basketball
game last week, officials said today.

Really, why else dance around in a giant pine tree costume if you can’t have
a pull or two off the flask? Is it really going to affect her job
performance?

The tree was later avenged by a streaker who had the word, ‘Tree’ and a tree
image painted on his chest and abdomen and the words ‘To be continued’ on
his back. He dashed across the floor at Maples Pavilion during a break in
Sunday’s game against University of Arizona, ran up a stair aisle, out an
exit and streaked off.”

Saturday, Feb. 18
Federal prosecutors said they would seek the maximum, 10-year penalty for
Duke Cunningham, the former congressman forced to resign in disgrace after
allegedly taking bribes from military contractors. Prosecutors also revealed
the existence of a “bribe menu” allegedly discovered on Cunningham’s
stationery, listing prices for various government contracts.
Cunningham’s attorney, K. Lee Blalack, said that “for a man of Duke’s age
and medical condition, such punishment would likely be a death sentence.”
Cunningham has undergone surgery for prostate cancer.

Sunday, Feb. 19
The Chronicle goes after Steve Westly‘s stock sales, arguing he “made a
$286,000 profit at the height of the dot-com boom through a pattern of stock
trades that experts say is consistent with participation in a banned
stock-market manipulation scheme.” Westly did not comment in the story, but
later issued a statement criticizing the piece as “misleading.” “While I
invite and expect scrutiny, I expect such scrutiny to be fair and accurate.
This article is neither.”

Monday, Feb 20
The LA Times’ reports on new television spots, funded by Rob Reiner‘s
tobacco tax initiative, which critics say are timed to help boost support
for Reiner’s universal preschool initiative in June. “Although Reiner did
not directly approve the spots, their timing and substance highlight ties
between the public commission and his private political campaigns and raise
questions about whether the state-funded commercials were used to boost the
initiative’s prospects.

Tuesday, Feb. 21
The state postponed condemned murderer Michael Morales‘ execution
indefinitely Tuesday just hours before the execution was scheduled to begin.
Prison officials said they could not comply with a federal judge’s latest
order to revise California’s lethal-injection procedures. After
anesthesiologists walked out on a scheduled execution yesterday morning,
prison officials planned to inject Morales with a lethal dose of
barbiturates at the scheduled execution time Tuesday evening.

Less able to stave off the inevitable was LA County Labor Federation leader
Martin Ludlow, who resigned his post, and announced he was cooperating with
federal investigators about campaign misdeeds.

“A veteran political figure and close confidant of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio
Villaraigosa
, Ludlow served just eight months as executive
secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor after
resigning his council post to fill the union void left by the unexpected
death last May of his mentor, Miguel Contreras,” reports the LA Times.

“According to sources, authorities offered Ludlow a deal that might allow
him to avoid jail but he would face $181,000 in fines, $81,000 in
restitution and be barred for more than a decade from serving in public
office or a union leadership position.”

Wedneseday, Feb. 22
A bit of bad news for the governor, as the latest PPIC poll shows he’s lost
some of the momentum he appeared to have after his State of the State
address. The poll showed Schwarzenegger’s support among likely voters had
fallen from 45 percent last month to just 40 percent.


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