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GOP Groups Set To End Silence on Issue of Secession

GOP Groups Set To End Silence on Issue of Secession

POLITICS by Howard Fine

While the Democratic Party of Los Angeles has announced its opposition to the Valley and Hollywood secession initiatives, local Republican organizations have been silent.

But not for long.

Shawn Steel, head of the California Republican Party said last week he expects most of the Republican organizations to announce their support for secession sometime later this summer.

“I would expect the Lincoln clubs and the Republican Party of Los Angeles County will support secession,” Steel said. “It fits right in with one of the core principles of the party, decentralization of government power.”

Conservative Republican homeowners in the northwest San Fernando Valley have formed the core of the Valley secession movement for decades, so official Republican support should come as little surprise. And while there aren’t many Republicans within the boundaries of the proposed Hollywood city, party organizations are likely to endorse that split as well.

Trouble for Steel

Meanwhile, Steel himself is in hot water after his run-ins with political operatives from the Bush Administration. Earlier this month, the staunch conservative resigned his post on the Republican National Committee’s executive committee.

Steel said last week he left the committee to devote more time to the campaign of GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill Simon. “I’m spending 40 to 60 hours a week trying to get Bill Simon elected; there just isn’t time for me to fly to Washington to participate in those committee meetings.”

But others say Steel was forced from the post after frequent run-ins with moderates in the Bush administration and the RNC. They believe Steel’s views are out of step with the mainstream of California voters.

The clash culminated a couple of months ago in Steel taking a public swipe at Gerald Parsky, the L.A. investment banker who is Bush’s point man in California. Parsky was scolded by Steel in an L.A. Times opinion piece for his decision to consult with the state’s two Democratic senators, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer on future judicial appointments.

Last week, Steel stuck by his criticism of Parsky, calling his decision to consult with Feinstein and Boxer “atrocious.”

Business Assistance

A half-dozen small-business owners from the L.A. area returned last week from a trip to Washington for a National Federation of Independent Business gathering. And, for a change, they were pleased with what they heard.

In a speech to the NFIB, U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao announced plans to make her department more business-friendly. She said she was creating a new permanent position director of compliance assistance to help employers comply with regulations. Also, a new office within the Occupational Safety and Health Administration would be dedicated to small business.

Staff reporter Howard Fine can be reached by phone at (323) 549-5225, ext. 227, or by e-mail at

hfine@labusinessjournal.com.

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