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Oden on the Web, Clute on parade May 24, 2006

Posted by ronodenmedia in In the Media.
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Cindy Uken
The Desert Sun
May 24, 2006

Steve Clute and Ron Oden, rivals vying to become the Democratic Party’s candidate in the 80th Assembly District race this fall, have run different campaigns leading up to the June 6 primary.

Clute of Palm Desert has approached his race from a personal, one-on-one perspective since announcing his intentions last August. He has made his presence known at picnics, parades and party functions in Imperial County, where this particular race will be run or lost. Clute calls it a ground campaign and to date has raised about $45,000.

Oden, mayor of Palm Springs, has relied heavily on bilingual advertising. He has made occasional trips to Imperial County since announcing his candidacy in March. In the latest twist, Oden, who has raised about $78,000, has taken his campaign to the computer. He’s recorded 5- to 7-minute video blogs which appear on his Web site, http://www.OdenForAssembly.com. They are question-and-answer format and are billed as “uncensored and unedited.” Topics range from the personal to the political to the controversial.

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I received several queries recently from suspicious taxpayers, wondering what conference Desert Hot Springs Mayor Alex Bias and Interim Police Chief Walt McKinney were attending, where it was and whether taxpayers were picking up the tab.

All fair questions, of course.

The conference was “Restoration 2006: Community and Economic Recovery After a Disaster” in New Orleans.

Bias, McKinney and Ernest Calderon, emergency services director, all attended the two-day conference at city expense – $5,180.

“It was money well-spent,” said Mayor Pro Tem Gary Bosworth, reminding taxpayers that the San Andreas Fault Line rips through Desert Hot Springs. “If we do not prepare to become a disaster-resistant city, our residents are shortchanged.”

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Service Employees International Union Local 700, which represents more than 12,000 local government service employees in the Greater Central Valley and is affiliated with 1.8 million members, has endorsed Ron Oden.

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Here’s hoping that what happens in Vegas does not stay in Vegas.

Indio city leaders are in Las Vegas this week to attend the International Council of Shopping Centers, which runs through today. The mission is to talk with developers of commercial property and bring retail to Indio – not let it stay in Vegas.

Attending are City Manager Glenn Southard, Mayor Gene Gilbert, Mayor Pro Tem Ben Godfrey, Councilman Michael Wilson, Councilwoman Lupe Watson, and Community Development Director Steve Copenhaver, Development Manager Mariano Aguirre, Economic Development Specialist Karen Hawkesworth, Chief Building Official Tom Hosey, and Community Development Administrative Assistant Carol Emery.

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