Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

After win in Sacramento, L.A. football stadium developer backs easing of term limits

December 30, 2009 | 11:28 am

Two months after state lawmakers exempted a football stadium proposed for the City of Industry from environmental laws, the sports venue’s developer has contributed $300,000 to a ballot measure that would allow future legislators to stay in one office longer.

Majestic Realty’s contribution is the largest so far to the group Californians for a Fresh Start, which hopes to collect 694,000 signatures to qualify a measure for the November 2010 ballot that would change the state’s legislative term limits.

The campaign committee is headed by Maria Elena Durazo, who led a lobbying campaign for the Industry stadium bill as executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor AFL-CIO.

Currently there is a limit of three two-year terms for serving in the state Assembly and two four-year terms in the Senate. The proposed ballot measure would allow legislators to serve 12 years in one house. It would only apply to legislators first elected after the ballot measure is approved.

A similar measure was pushed earlier this year by lawmakers but was defeated by voters.

Ronni Levine of the group Citizens Against the Stadium said it was "self-serving" for Majestic to bankroll the ballot measure easing term limits after the Legislature exempted the proposed pro football stadium from state environmental rules.

"I look at it as a way of returning a favor," Levine said.  Neither Durazo nor John Semcken, a vice president for Majestic Realty, could be reached for comment.

-- Patrick McGreevy