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Tuesday, July 29, 2003

What's with Wu?

Today's Tribune tells of the festering "blood feud" between our area congressmen, Earl Blumenauer and David Wu, over the renovation of the Pioneer Courthouse. Blumenauer opposes adding basement parking spaces for the Ninth Circuit judges and evicting the Post Office, and he's been threatening to block the project. But now Wu has trumped Earl's ace by voicing his support for it. And since the historic courthouse is in Wu's district, not Blumenauer's, it looks like the parking and the eviction of the P.O. are a done deal.

The grassroots groups who oppose the changes to the city's oldest building are furious. They claim that Wu hasn't so much as returned their calls, and yet he's throwing his weight around on the courthouse flap. Wu once clerked for a Ninth Circuit judge in the Pioneer Courthouse, and says he's sensitive to the historic nature of the building, but, like the judges who will benefit from lavish new digs, he doesn't think the renovation will mar the Pioneer's character.

Wu, whose district is not safe for him as a Democrat, will lose a lot of friends, and some votes, on this one. And I disagree both with his position and with how he's handling it. I clerked for the same judge Wu did, and I think that the basement garage and the loss of the Post Office are a crying shame. I also think that if you're going to pull high-level strings on an issue like this one, you have to face the music with the many citizens who care deeply about the issue.

Arrogant behavior from Wu does not surprise me at all. That guy has always made even my bloated ego look positively tiny by comparison.

Keep this up and he'll be back at a law firm, or somewhere else in the private sector, come January 2005. Lobbyist for companies with Pacific Rim ties -- that sounds about right.

Another interesting feature of the article is Blumenauer's proposed blue ribbon "community" panel on the courthouse, which would be headed by former Mayor and Gov. Neil Goldschmidt, now a high-priced power broker for big-shot developers and corporate villains. Too bad we won't get his unbiased thinking. Perhaps there is room in the courthouse for some condos. Maybe the judges could get an aerial tram built from their West Hills homes down to the courthouse.

Yet another clue that Blumenauer is just Vera Katz in a bow tie.

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