Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn launched a broadside Wednesday against two of his opponents over their role in California's 2000 electricity crisis and the state budget deficit that followed months later. With Tuesday's election days away, Hahn criticized Councilman Antonio Villaraigosa and former Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg for collecting at least $348,000 in campaign contributions from utilities and power suppliers that either benefited from deregulation or sought financial relief once it passed, the Daily Breeze reported. Hertzberg called Hahn's accusations a last-minute "sucker punch."
Unions Reject Bid for Change at AFL-CIO
Dissident union presidents pushing for radical change in the AFL-CIO failed Wednesday to win approval of their proposal from a majority of the federation's 58 unions, the Los Angeles Times reported. The dissidents, led by the president of the nation's largest union, said they would continue to seek support through July, when delegates from member unions are scheduled to vote on reform proposals and the federation's top officers. The proposal rejected Wednesday would have deeply cut the AFL-CIO's budget and directed the money toward aggressive union-organizing efforts.
Grey Makes First Deal as New Paramount Boss
In its first major move under new studio chief Brad Grey, Paramount has set up the star-driven drama "Babel" with Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett and Gael Garcia Bernal, and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu directing a script by Guillermo Arriaga, Variety reported. Paramount was in final negotiations to close the deal Wednesday, the day after Grey officially succeeded Sherry Lansing. Paramount, which has been striving to remake its image as the town's most cautious studio, paid nearly $20 million for the rights, including North and South American distribution.
Resort Plan a Hot Issue in Beverly Hills
In Beverly Hills, voters are wrestling over a proposal to build a $200-million luxury resort hotel, public garden and parking garage in the commercial district known as the Golden Triangle. The proposed development has dominated civic discourse for more than a year and prompted a big-bucks campaign that pits developers of the planned Montage resort against the equally posh Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel, which is investing heavily to defeat the project. By the time voters go to the polls Tuesday to vote on Measure A, the two sides between them probably will have spent nearly $3 million on political consultants, precinct walkers, absentee-ballot mailings and other electioneering, interviews and campaign finance, the Los Angeles Times reported.
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