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UPDATE: "Gut and Amend" Bill That Attempted To Keep Garcia On Coastal Comm'n Is Kaput; Statement By Unnamed Conservation Activists Implies Sac'to Dem Leadership Won't Advance 11th Hour "Gut and Amend" Bill To Change State Law For Long Beach Mayor Garcia...Meaning Garcia Would Exit Coastal Comm'n By Mid-September And What's Next Is Currently Uncertain

15 other L.A. County and OC elected officials have submitted their names for consideration to fill vacancy

(Aug. 31, 2014) -- A "gut and amend" bill (that inserted unrelated bill text to avoid otherwise required hearings and votes) in attempting to keep Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia on the Coastal Commission (a position for which CA's Attorney General Office deemed him ineligible to retain since his Mayoral election in which he gave up his voting Council position) died without being brought to the Senate or Assembly floors by Dem leadership.

Garcia is now legally required to exit the Coastal Commission, which controls land use and development projects along all of CA's coast, by mid-September.

(Aug. 30, 2014, 7:25 a.m.) -- has received a statement (below) from currently unidentified conservation community activists implying that Sacramento Dem leadership won't advance a bill under the state legislature's much-criticized "gut and amend" procedure (inserting unrelated bill text and avoiding otherwise required hearings and votes) that would change state law to enable Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, ineligible under current law, to remain on the CA Coastal Commission past a mid-September deadline for his exit.

If the statement's description of events is accurate, Garcia would exit the Coastal Commission by mid-September...and what happens thereafter is currently uncertain.

The "gut and amend" maneuver was reported on Aug 28 on and on Aug. 29 by

[Scroll down for further]

Statement of Conservation Leaders on the Decision of the Senate Rules Committee to Fill the Vacancy of a South Coast District Local Elected Official on the California Coastal Commission

The August end-of-session legislative workload and the many transition responsibilities for the incoming Senate President Pro-tem elect Senator Kevin De Leon have been understandably heavy.

Given these unusual circumstances, Senator De Leon has asked for the discretion to extend the time period to interview the exiting candidates and complete his due diligence prior to a Senate Rules Committee appointment of a new Commissioner.

We recognize and respect that Senator De Leon would like to spend the needed time to interview the existing nominees for the vacant position of a South Coast locally elected representative on the California Coastal Commission.

At this time, we understand that Senator De Leon would like to retain the list of fifteen candidates and is not calling for a rejection of the list nor calling for a new list.

Conservation community leaders have recommended who we believe are the most qualified candidates from this list due to their knowledge, ethics, judgment and public service careers. We are confident that the Rules Committee can choose from this list.

We appreciate that Senator De Leon and the Senate Rules Committee are committed to have the Senate Rules Committee take action on an appointment of a South Coast Commissioner as soon as possible.

As reported by, in June 2014, the CA Attorney General's office said Garcia became ineligible to remain on the Commission as a result of his Mayoral election...since his Coastal Commission appointment eligibility stemmed from his status as a voting Councilmember. The gut-and-amend version of AB 1759 sought to circumvent this by changing state law to deem Mayors of cities governed by City Charters (mainly large cities) to be Councilmembers for purposes of Coastal Commission appointments.

On August 13, 2014, Garcia traveled to Sacramento for what his office said was a meeting with Governor Brown and mayors of CA's nine largest cities...and also scheduled meetings with outgoing pro Tem/Rules Committee chair Darrell Steinberg (D;, Sacramento) and incoming President pro Tem-elect Senator de León (D, Los Angeles) as well as Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D, San Diego). Garcia's office didn't disclose the subject matter of Garcia's discussions with the Dem legislative leadership but the "gut and amend" measure materialized a few days after his Sacramento trip.

On August 28, reported that Garcia's "allies in the state legislature are pushing what it called the "hastily amended bill" and said critics note that Garcia "has received campaign donations from lobbyists, land-use experts, developers and others. said state Senator Ricardo Lara (D., Long Beach/Huntington Park) is reportedly the "driver behind the bill."

At stake is a vote on the powerful state body that controls land use and development along all of CA's coast. Big city Mayors typically attract campaign contributions exceeding those of Councilmembers. Garcia received 52.04% of the vote in June 2014 Mayoral runoff amid contributions to his campaign and to supportive "independent expenditure committees" exceeding all previous total sums in any Long Beach election. One of his campaign's fundraisers was held in the San Fernando Valley home of a Coastal Commission member.

In many cities, but not Long Beach, the Mayor is a rotated position among voting Councilmembers. The Attorney General's office notes that Garcia was appointed under a Coastal Act provision deeming him eligible based on his status as a voting Council member...and since as of July 15 he no longer holds that voting Council position, he is ineligible to continue on the Coastal Commission and must exit within sixty days of July 15 (by mid-September.)

The state Senate Rules Committee has already received the names of 15 L.A. County and Orange County elected officials who are eligible to fill the Coastal Commission vacancy. Eleven elected officials are from Los Angeles County; four are from Orange County. They are:

Nanette Barragan - Hermosa Beach City Council
Tony Vasquez - Santa Monica City Council
Nury Martinez - L. A. City Council
Robert Pullen-Miles - Lawndale Mayor
John Duran, Councilmember, City of West Hollywood
Bill Brand, Councilmember, City of Redondo Beach
David Lesser, Councilmember, City of Manhattan Beach
Wayne Powell, Mayor Pro-Tem, City of Manhattan Beach
Jim Knight, Councilmember, City of Rancho Palos Verdes
Lou LaMonte, Councilmember, City of Malibu
Laura Rosenthal, Councilmember, City of Malibu
Tim Brown, San Clemente (Mayor)
Ross Chun - Aliso Viejo (Council Member)
Ellery Deaton - Seal Beach (Mayor)
David Shawver - Stanton (Council Member)

Further as we learn it on

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