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    Former Baker Chief of Staff Taylor Resigns As Foster for Mayor Campaign Manager

    (February 17, 2006) -- Mark Taylor, Campaign Manager for Mayoral candidate Bob Foster and previously Chief of Staff to recently-resigned 2d district Councilman Dan Baker, has resigned from his Foster campaign post.

    The following is the text of an email to from Mr. Taylor:

    I joined Bob Foster's campaign because I know he is the right person to lead my city and to keep it a place where my children will be able to raise their families.

    I have decided to resign from his campaign today so that I will no longer distract from Bob's message.

    I wish him every success and look forward to seeing him become the Mayor of Long Beach.

    Foster Sept 12/05In September 2005, Mr. Taylor attended a midmorning press event announcing Mr. Foster's candidacy for Mayor and distributed Foster press materials listing Taylor's personal [non-City Hall] cell phone number as a contact. Asked by about his role in the campaign at that time, Mr. Taylor indicated (and we reported) that he was doing some part-time work for the Foster campaign.

    In November 2005, Mr. Taylor told us (and we reported) that he'd taken an extended leave of absence from serving as Councilman Baker's Chief of Staff to become Campaign Manager for the Foster for Mayor campaign full time.

    In November 2002, Baker and Taylor formed and were listed as president and vice president, respectively, of Green Valley Investments, Inc., an entity incorporated in Virginia which acquired real estate outside LB in multiple states. (Baker is also listed in other real estate activities independent of Taylor.)

    On February 7, 2006, Councilman Baker (who sought reelection in 2004 after an unsuccessful 2002 Mayoral run) resigned at the start of the evening's Council meeting after stating his unwillingness to disclose real estate investment information he said is not legally required to be disclosed.

    On Feb. 14, the City Council voted to declare the 2d district Council office vacant and proceed with plans for a June special election to fill it.

    On Feb. 15, Mayor Beverly O'Neill accepted Mr. Taylor's resignation from his 2d district Council office Chief of Staff position (from which he was on the extended leave of absence for the Foster campaign) and invited resignations from, and ultimately terminated, three other Baker City Hall staffers (a field rep was allowed to remain). The Mayor cited her desire to have her own chosen staff in the office whose administrative functions she's overseeing until 2d district voters choose a new Councilmember in June.

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