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City (Union) Hall

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The election of Antonio Villaraigosa as Los Angeles mayor continues to have a "musical chairs" effect through city politics, as the players jockey for better seats to get their issues heard. This time it's the unions aiming for the political equivalent of floor seats at Staples Center.

Los Angeles Tenth District City Councilman Martin Ludlow has been nominated to head the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. The labor federation has to find a new chief after its former leader Miguel Contreras died unexpecetedly in May. The Federation itself endorsed James Hahn in the recent mayoral election, but Ludlow is an old ally of mayor-elect Villaraigosa (who was supported by some of the individual unions). In addition to serving on the City Council with him for the past two years, Ludlow worked for Villaraigosa when he was in the state Assembly. Villaraigosa, who was once a union organizer himself, is consistently pro-labor anyway. Still, of course the labor federation wants as much support as possible as it goes about unionizing security guards, boycotting hotels for better wages and benefits, and protesting outsourcing.

So now, in addition to a possible election to fill Villaraigosa's former council seat, this means another possible election to fill this tenth district seat. Council District 10, appropriately enough, spans a stretch of the 10 freeway in central Los Angeles, with the bulk of it between Western Avenue and La Cienega Boulevard, Olympic Boulevard and Rodeo Road (not Beverly Hills — that's Rodeo Drive and a separate city — but a bit southeast of it: Baldwin Hills, and parts of Mid-City, Koreatown, and West Adams).

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The LA Times suggests that, if there is an election to fill the seat, former Assembly speaker Herb Wesson or State Senator Kevin Murray are possible candidates, though they say they don't want to run against each other. Wesson introduced bonds for constructing schools and housing. Murray has introduced a lot of legislation pertaining to the Internet and entertainment industries, including bills to punish proliferators of spam and spyware, and a stringent bill on file-sharing software that would require any maker of the software to include filters to block copyrighted material and that would punish people who share copyrighted files over the systems.