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Former politico John Burton -- back in the game?

September 19, 2008 |  9:54 am

Is John_Burton_really_coming_back A little birdie in Sacramento writes to tell us:

He's baaaaack.

You really didn't think that John Burton, former assemblyman, former congressman, former president pro tem of the Senate, was going to leave the political scene for very long did you?

Burton, a Democrat from San Francisco, confirms that some union and party leaders, including Sen. Barbara Boxer,  are urging him to run for chairman  of the California Democratic Party, a post held by former state Sen. Art Torres since 1996.

"I'm probably going to do it,'' said Burton, 75, whose political portfolio spans more than four decades. Toppled by term limits, Burton left the state Senate in 2004 as the state's most powerful Democrat and at a time when the election of a movie star governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, had put California government in the national spotlight.

Ever the master of political double speak,  Burton reacted to the possibility of yet another job in politics in typical style.

"I think there's truth to the matter that there's a rumor to that effect,'' he said.

I read that last sentence twice and now I'm dizzy.

As for the photo, it was tucked into a Valentine's Day gift in 2006, when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger sent  Burton a box of chocolates. Guess Forrest Gump was right.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Los Angeles Times