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    TV Campaign Ad For Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante Features LB Area Assemblywoman Jenny Oropeza

    Ad ends with Bustamante flanked by Oropeza and two other state legislators: "Leading California's new leaders"

    (October 27, 2002) -- A statewide TV campaign ad for Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante features LB area Assemblywoman (and former LB City Councilmember) Jenny Oropeza.

    The ad shows Assemblywoman Oropeza as a voice over announcer identifies her as Chair of the State [actually Assembly] Budget Committee:

    [announcer] "Cruz Bustamante wrote the law to sue tobacco companies.

    Assemblywoman Oropeza in Bustamante ad #1[begin video of Assemblywoman Oropeza] The Chairwoman of the State Budget Committee says Cruz's law protected health care for kids. [end Oropeza video]"

    The ad ends by showing Assemblywoman Oropeza, Assemblyman Dean Florez (southern San Joaquin valley area) and State Senator Joe Dunn (Orange County) flanking Lt. Gov. Bustamante as audio and superimposed video text state:

    Assemblywoman Oropeza in Bustamante ad #2"Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante. Leading California's new leaders."

    The ad is one of three rotating ads that follow the same basic format; the others feature Florez and Dunn and focus on other issues.

    Lt. Governor Bustamante has had major impacts on LB -- arguably more than any Lt. Governor in recent memory. The Lt. Gov. is one three members of the CA State Lands Commission, a body that can prove extremely important for LB because it oversees use of taxpayer owned tidelands property.

    After natural gas prices soared in early 2001, LB City Hall sought to renegotiate disadvantageous payment arrangements for materials extracted from the LB tidelands. The renegotiated arrangement is more advantageous for LB taxpayers. Lt. Governor Bustamante voted to approve this.

    Lt. Governor Bustamante also voted for a controversial, City Hall sought tidelands trust "land swap" that helped facilitate the Queensway Bay (now Pike at Rainbow Harbor) retail/entertainment project...but not before throwing City Hall a curve.

    At an April, 2001 State Lands Commission meeting at which LB area environmentalists turned out in force to lambaste City Hall's plans, Lt. Gov. Bustamante indicated he would not support what he viewed as potentially precedent setting commercial uses on tidelands unless LB City Hall provided additional public benefits or improvements as compensation in the tidelands. In comments directed to Mayor Beverly O'Neill, Lt. Gov. Bustamante said:

    "The unfortunate thing for you is that the people who spoke in opposition are right. They raise an issue this an activity that is within the [tidelands] public trust?" He continued, "I want to make sure that the Mayor knows that we're not attempting to put something on the table here at the last minute to try and squeeze you for something else...We really do believe that there is responsibility for us to find some mitigation for what we're giving up. And then they [members of the public] are right several things, one which is that it's finite in terms of the land and for us to give up something there needs to be something given back...Let's find something that people value. Let's find something that we can in fact have a win-win situation here."

    For several months, negotiations proceeded behind closed doors between City Hall and State Lands Commission staff. Eventually, a proposed tidelands trust "land swap" was unveiled that would remove state tidelands trust designation from some of QW Bay's commercial footprints (roughly three acres) in exchange for putting tidelands designation on roughly ten acres of city owned property west of downtown.

    (The ten acres include a land locked freeway median currently inaccessible to the public west of Cesar Chavez park plus a larger swath of land adjacent to the L.A. river's east bank surrounding the 7th St. Shoemaker bridge.) [QW Bay/Pike at Rainbow Harbor developer, Developers Diversified Realty, was not a party to the land swap.]

    At a special meeting called on 24 hours notice (after cancellation of the Sept. 11 Council meeting following that day's terror attacks), the LB City Council voted 8-1 (Grabinski dissenting) to approve the proposed QW Bay tidelands designation exchange. Within days, City Hall brass (Mayor O'Neill and City Manager Taboada in support) and grassroots local activists (including Bry Myown, Ann Cantrell, Traci Wilson-Kleekamp, Diana Mann, Don May and Norm Ryan, opposed) journeyed to Sacramento to be heard. The California Channel televised the meeting statewide.

    With Lt. Gov. Bustamante voting yes, the State Lands Commission approved the tidelands designation "land swap."

    CA Earth Corps, headed by veteran LB area environmentalist Don May with its main office in San Francisco, filed suit challenging the State Lands Commission's approval. A Sacramento Superior Court sided with the State Lands Commission and upheld the land swap. CA Earth Corps is appealing that lower court decision.

    The CA League of Conservation Voters (CLCV) has endorsed Lt. Governor Bustamante's re-election bid. A web site maintained by the CA Democratic Party's Environmental Caucus states in part:

    Bustamante has used his position on the California State Lands Commission (CSLC) to further his strong commitment to coastal protection. In 1999, Bustamante became the first person in the history of the CSLC to exercise the power of the Chair to order an oil platform closed. The order forced Venoco's Platform Holly to remain shut down until critical repairs were made after a toxic emission of hydrogen sulfide. Bustamante has also actively sought to phase-out of offshore oil development -- formally calling for the continued moratorium on offshore oil drilling off of California's coast.

    This past year, Bustamante took an active role in working to defeat SB1 -- the Rigs to Reef initiative -- which would have allowed oil companies to abandon rigs, toxic shell mounds and other drilling related debris on our ocean floors. He also joined efforts with environmental groups to help ensure the passage of SB 497 (Sher), which closed a loophole used by real estate speculators to drive up the cost of coastal lands being acquired for preservation.

    Earlier this year, Bustamante was awarded the inaugural "Coastal Hero" Award by Robert Kennedy, Jr. and the California CoastKeeper Alliance for his long- standing commitment to coastal environmentalism. He has also earned the endorsement of the Sierra Club.

    "I am proud to have again earned the endorsement of the CLCV," Bustamante said. "I look forward to continuing my work with environmental advocates to strengthen and protect California's natural resources, especially our coast and waterways."

    In November, 2001, Lt. Gov. Bustamante announced the appointment of 6th district LB Councilwoman Laura Richardson-Batts as Director of his L.A. Regional Office.

    Councilwoman Richardson-Batts told at the time that the position is office management, not policy direction or recommendations.

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