The LA Times probably had its farewell lined up for weeks. Last year, the newspaper went after the California State Assembly Speaker for his sleazy handling of political contributions with a special kind of glee. On Tuesday, the Eastside pol will be termed-out and replaced, and today the Times thoughtfully dedicated several inches of its “California” section for a send-off piece, which recounted Nunez's highs and lows as one of the state's leading legislators. The paper, though, forgot to mention one thing–Nunez, who endorsed Sen. Hillary Clinton, will be succeeded by a vocal and active Sen. Barack Obama supporter. Her name is Karen Bass.
Bass, a Democratic assemblywoman who serves the 47th district, which includes Westside and South LA locales such as Culver City and Crenshaw, as well as parts of Koreatown, came out for Obama well before most California politicians, many of whom, like Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, kowtowed to the Clintons.
Now Bass will be one of the most powerful legislators in the state, with a very grateful ally possibly sitting in the White House. Unlike Villaraigosa, who campaigned heavily and over-enthusiastically for Clinton throughout the country for weeks, Bass is looking solid politically. Nunez's departure may also be one more sign of the inevitable–Clinton is out, Obama is in. Don't be surprised if you soon see a hyper Antonio Villaraigosa working the union-hall-and-town-meeting circuit for Obama in the months to come.