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Schwarzenegger nominates friend of Villaraigosa to seat on California Horse Racing Board

September 24, 2009 | 11:09 am
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today announced the nomination of one of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s closest friends and confidants, Keith Brackpool, to the California Horse Racing Board.

Brackpool, 52, is chief executive of Cadiz, a company that hopes to complete a water banking project in the Mojave Desert. Cadiz, based in Los Angeles, had tried unsuccessfully to sell the Metropolitan Water District on a $150-million water storage plan in the eastern Mojave Desert.

Villaraigosa worked as a consultant for Cadiz before he was elected mayor in 2005, and the governor's chief of staff, Susan Kennedy, also used to work for Cadiz: In 2005, while Kennedy was serving on the state Public Utilities Commission, the firm paid her $120,000 in consulting fees.

Appointments to the horse racing board are subject to Senate confirmation, and compensation for the post is limited to a $100 per diem. Brackpool is a Democrat.

-- Phil Willon at L.A. City Hall