Rally Backers Plan Voter Drives; Foes Press Own Proposals

A day after more than 400,000 demonstrators mobilized in Los Angeles seeking rights for illegal immigrants, organizers announced plans for massive naturalization and voter registration drives while opponents revealed their own strategy for halting the influx of undocumented immigrants, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. Spurred by marches in communities and cities around the nation, immigration advocates and diverse church and labor groups say they are prepared to take the step from activism to political participation. But some say calls for reform will be countered by demands for greater restrictions on illegal immigrants.


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Governor, Mayors Make Pitch to NFL
Come back to the Los Angeles area, but understand there's no public subsidy for a sports palace, the governor of California and mayors of Los Angeles and Anaheim told an 11-member committee of NFL owners Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times reported. Understood, league officials said, forging ahead after presentations from backers of the Coliseum and Anaheim with plans for a return to the nation's No. 2 television market but stressing that the economics of doing business in Southern California must, as several government and league officials said, "pencil out."


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Gill Makes Sudden Exit From Warner Indie
In an abrupt shake-up, Mark Gill is leaving as head of Warner Independent Pictures, with Warner Bros. exec VP of production Polly Cohen reportedly in talks to run the specialty unit, Variety reported. Gill, who was brought on to launch Warner Independent in 2003, will depart the post Thursday. He's set to remain on the WB lot, however, as a producer. From the outset, Gill's style was said to clash with that of Warner production prexy Jeff Robinov. But with the breakout success of "March of the Penguins" last year, Gill was thought to have bolstered his standing. Gill's contract was to run through August.


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Ameriquest Parent to Lay Off 3,800
The Orange-based parent of Ameriquest Mortgage and Town and Country Credit said Tuesday that it is cutting 3,800 jobs and closing retail branches nationwide amid a slowing housing market and fierce competition for customers, the Orange County Register reported. The cuts represent about a third of the work force at ACC Capital Holdings, which closed 229 branches across the U.S., mostly outside Orange County. ACC, a leader in making loans to consumers with poor credit histories, is keeping regional centers with retail services in Sacramento, Arizona, Illinois and Connecticut. The layoffs by ACC Capital are the most extreme example yet of cost-cutting in this mortgage-industry cycle, analysts said.


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Federal Judge Rejects Law Barring Day Laborers
A federal judge has barred Redondo Beach from enforcing its 19-year-old ordinance designed to prohibit day laborers from seeking work on city streets, Copley News Service reported in the Daily Breeze. U.S. District Judge Consuelo Marshall issued the decision last week in favor of the Comite de Jornaleros de Redondo Beach and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, which argued the ordinance violated First Amendment free-speech rights. Marshall's ruling was made public Tuesday.


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CalPERS Loses Board Vote
UnitedHealth Group Inc. shareholders overwhelmingly re-elected four corporate directors Tuesday despite opposition from some major investors, including the California Public Employees' Retirement System, the Sacramento Bee reported. CalPERS and other critics voted against re-election to protest steep compensation packages given to top executives, including stock options granted to McGuire now worth about $1.6 billion.


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