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5 LA Area State Dems Eye Speaker of Assembly Gig

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Since Proposition 93 was rejected by voters yesterday, termed-out assemblymembers are out of a job come next year -- that includes Los Angeles Democrat Fabian Nunez who represents downtown (and south of it) and has been Speaker of the Assembly since 2003. Now, assemblymembers from up and down the state are looking to fill the speaker's shoes.

But what the heck is so special about being Speaker of Assembly? What does this person do?

The California State Assembly is the state's lower house and acts similar to how the House of Representatives in Washington do (so Nancy Pelosi is to House as Nunez is to Assembly). If California had an organizational chart, the speaker would be the second or third most powerful position (however, Nunez is considered the 2nd most powerful California politician next to Schwarzenegger. And for the last ten years, local representatives have dominated the role including Mayor Villaraigosa, LA City Council Herb Wesson and Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle.) The speaker is the leader of the Assembly, controlling every committee assignment (which rep sits on transportation, etc) and has a great deal of sway in regards to which legislation moves forward or not.

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The Sacramento Bee's Capitol Alert blog (registration required, but worth it if you like CA politics) published a little who's who of who could be the next speaker of the California Assembly. For Los Angeles, there is...

  • Karen Bass (current Majority Leader, but is rumored to maybe run for State Senate or LA City Council): Westwood, West Los Angeles, Ladera Heights, Palms, Culver City, South Carthay, Miracle Mile, Country Club Park, Baldwin Hills, Hyde Park, Windsor Hills, Leimart Park, Century City, Beverlywood, South Carthay
  • Kevin de León: Angelino Heights, Atwater Village, Chinatown, Cypress Park, City Terrace, Echo Park, El Sereno, Elysian Valley, Glassell Park, Highland Park, Historic Filipino Town, Hollywood, Ramona Gardens, Silverlake, Temple-Beverly & Thai Town
  • Hector De La Torre: Bell, Bellflower, Bell Gardens, Commerce, Cudahy, Downey, Lynwood, South Gate, and the unincorporated communities of Florence-Graham and Walnut Park.
  • Charles Calderon: East Los Angeles, Montebello, Pico Rivera, Whittier, Hacienda Heights, Downey
  • Mike Feuer: Sherman Oaks, Studio City, North Hollywood, Valley Glen, Valley Village, Toluca Lake, Universal City, Griffith Park, West Los Angeles, Brentwood, Bel Air, Holmby Hills, Beverly Glen, Westwood, Century City, Hollywood, Fairfax, Hancock Park, Los Feliz, and the Cities of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood.
  • Ted Lieu, D-Torrance ("dark hose candidate")
  • Anthony Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge ("dark hose candidate")

NOTE: Assemblymembers may represent all or parts of the cities and neighborhoods listed.

Photo by Will Murray (willscrit) via Flickr

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