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Assembly speaker appoints ex-lawmaker to plum post

January 3, 2013 |  2:34 pm

MichaelAllenFormer Assemblyman Michael Allen may have lost a close race for reelection in November, but his state service is far from over.

Assembly Speaker John A. Perez (D-Los Angeles) appointed the former one-term lawmaker to the state Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board on Thursday.

The board provides citizen oversight of appeals when unemployment claims are denied. The post comes with a $128,109 annual salary.

The unemployment board has become a sort of landing pad for termed-out or ousted lawmakers.

In 2010, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed former state Sen. Roy Ashburn of Bakersfield to the board. Ashburn was one of a handful of Republicans who broke party ranks to join Schwarzenegger in voting for tax increases in 2009.

Last year, Perez had backed Allen in a fiercely contested race for an Assembly seat in Northern California wine country. The incumbent lawmaker lost to fellow Democrat Marc Levine by 4,448 votes.

In announcing the appointment, Perez's office noted that Allen was a former labor leader who had championed legislation to bar employers from discriminating against unemployed Californians when they apply for jobs.


Obama claims victory, heads back to Hawaii

'Fiscal cliff' plan clears House with GOP divided

Federal budget standoff could hurt California economy

--Michael J. Mishak in Sacramento


Photo: Then-Assemblyman Michael Allen (D-Santa Rosa) at the Capitol in August. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press