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Thoroughly Modern Bob – Coming to a Legislature Near You!

Paul Hatfield
PERSPECTIVE-Thoroughly Modern Millie was a Tony Award winner. State Senator Bob Hertzberg is rolling out his own sequel. The only problem is the production cost. Actually, the real problem is we will be the ones bankrolling it if Bob gets the green light. It is the most expensive tax scam concocted, more than California HSR. I’m talking…

Elite Girls School Has Brentwood Up in Arms … Over Traffic

John Schwada
INSIDE LA-Hairdresser Mikell Powell is walking her two dogs in Brentwood along Sunset Boulevard just across the street from the Archer School for Girls (photo left). “I’m opposed to anything that would make driving on Sunset here anymore hellish than it already is,” Powell says as her dogs tug on their leashes. No question: there’s a 1.2 mile…

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Mike Bonin
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Can LA Afford Another Olympics?

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG-Boston bailed on hosting the 2024 Olympics when Mayor Martin Walsh refused to sign a host city contract with the United States Olympic Committee (“USOC”) that would have put Beantown (and possibly the Commonwealth of Massachusetts) on the hook for any cost overruns associated with this 17 day extravaganza. But Walsh’s refusal to…

The Petty Hypocrisy of Mandatory Ethics Training

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD-As a member of a neighborhood council board, I am required by state law to do 2 hours of ethics training every 2 years. Elected officials such as members of the City Council are also required to take this training. The curious thing about our California ethics rules is that they prohibit the small stuff while looking the other way…

Los Angeles: Brown lives Matter!

Fred Mariscal
LATINO PERSPECTIVE-According to the Los Angeles Times, over the last five years in LA County, coroner's data show that Latinos, who make up about half of the county's population, also represent about half the people killed by police. Of the 23 people fatally shot by law enforcement in the county this year, 14 were Latino. The Times raises an…

Grading the LA Times: Mike Feuer’s B+ Leaves Something Out

Noel Weiss
OTHER VOICES-Reading the LA Times’ Report Card grade of B+ for City Attorney Mike Feuer, it was good to see at least a 'hat-tip' to the issue of whether the City Attorney really is the “attorney for the people.” But their conclusion seems to be that he is not, and I believe that is wrong. Exactly who does the City Attorney represent? Certainly, he…

Beverly Hills Pounds Final Nail in Bike Lanes Coffin

Mark Elliot
GETTING THERE FROM HERE-If you expected that Beverly Hills might install bicycle lanes on our segment of Santa Monica Boulevard when reconstructing it next year, you will be sorely disappointed to know that City Council just pounded the final nail into the bike lanes coffin. City Council split on the Blue Ribbon Committee recommendation to expand…

Helter Skelter, Murder and the Looming Race War

Tony Castro
TONY CASTRO’S LA-In one of our last conversations before his death earlier this year, author and prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi lamented that while he had successfully imprisoned Charles Manson, he feared he had only made a dent in the threat of an apocalyptic race war that the mass murderer had hoped to ignite. “Madness and mad men,” said Bugliosi,…

 

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Thu Jul 30, 2015 @ 6:00PM - 08:00PM
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Assembly Catfight Over Guns

CALWATCHDOG - Retribution in politics isn’t unusual. Every year we witness members of the Legislature receiving punishment from party leadership, often followed by banishment to a tiny office and committee assignments taken away.

That’s the prerogative of party leadership.
However, Assemblywoman Norma Torres, D-Chino, has taken aim at a fellow member of the Assembly in a very public way. Torres authored AB 2182, which would require a police officer to arrest anyone for carrying a concealed handgun into an airport without a concealed weapons permit.
In the Assembly Monday, Torres said that last year there were 64 such gun incidents at airports, but only 34 of the offenders were taken to the police station; the other 30 were cited and released.

“African Americans and professional athletes are treated differently than business men and members of the Assembly,” Torres said.

As soon as Torres said this, the Assembly chambers ignited with chatter, laughs and stares at one member of the Assembly.

In Torres’ sights is Republican Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, from Hesperia. In January, Donnelly was stopped by the TSA in the Ontario airport for having a loaded pistol in his carry-on luggage. Donnelly told authorities that he forgot that the weapon was in his briefcase. He was charged by police with a misdemeanor.

Torres tried to claim on Monday that this bill was not aimed at Donnelly, and that actually she and her staff have been working on this since last fall. However, the bill was introduced in February, on the last day to introduce legislation, and after Donnelly had his dust-up.

Legislative target

When the bill was first introduced, Torres had language written in that even tried to ban the perpetrator from using the same airport in which a gun incident takes place. But that language was amended out of the bill in April. If there is any doubt of Torres’ intentions, the now-removed amended language should make it clear: “The bill would ban a person who is subsequently found guilty from entering the airport, and would make it a misdemeanor to enter the airport where the offense occurred.”

“This bill is an insult to this institution, and to the citizens of California,” Assemblyman Brian Jones, R-Santee, retorted. “It’s an insult to everybody.”

AB 2182 “is a direct attack on a member of this Legislature,” Jones said. “This is just an opportunity to bloviate, and get more recognition for ourselves,” Jones added. “None of us are perfect.”

Assemblyman Don Wagner, R-Irvine, challenged Torres and asked her to specify the intent of her bill, asking, “Crime or negligence?”

Torres seemed flustered and instead read from the notes she had with her, explaining how the law currently defines a lawful, responsible gun owner. “This bill is about irresponsible gun owners,” Torres said.

Jones asked for Torres to answer the question, and Wagner accused her of filibustering.  “This bill is an embarrassment,” Wagner said.

And then, Assembly Majority Leader Charles Calderon, D-Whittier, called out a point of order, asking Wagner to allow Torres to answer the question.

This was a moment of hilarity as it was evident to everyone in the room except Calderon that Torres did not want to answer the question, but now was faced with coming up with an answer.
Torres read again from her notes, but Wagner wasn’t satisfied. “We all know what this is about,” he said.

Torres told the Assembly that the comments about her bill were insulting, and at this time claimed that she had been working on it since the fall.

The Donnelly incident

Donnelly was charged with carrying a loaded firearm in public without a concealed weapons permit and possessing a gun in an airport, misdemeanors, and punishable by up to 18 months in jail and $2,000 in fines.

Donnelly later said that the incident was an “unfortunate mistake,” and that he had forgotten that he had the gun in his briefcase after placing it there while working in his home garage.

Donnelly was sentenced to three years on probation and a $2,215 fine.

Bill analysis

The bill analysis done by the Public Safety Committee pointed out that, with all misdemeanors, offenders are cited and released unless already guilty of other charges, or “a likelihood the offense would continue, or safety of persona or property is endangered.”

But the other question raised by the committee staff was if there was a reason to treat this misdemeanor differently than most misdemeanors: “Is there a demonstrable need to delete law enforcement’s discretion to cite and release in the case of carrying a concealed weapon within an airport?”

“This is all a big waste of time,” said Jones after the hearing. “It’s an abuse of power, and a waste of time by the Legislative counsel, Assembly staff, and the time of three different committees.”

“What an embarrassment by the Legislature,” Jones said, “like a junior high cat fight.”

(Katy Grimes writes for CalWatchdog.com where this article first appeared.) –cw

Tags: Katy Grimes, California State Assembly, guns, Tim Donnelly, TSA, Ontario Airport, Norma Torres








CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 42
Pub: May 25, 2012

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