Fabian Núñez


Fabian Núñez

Infobox State Representative
name =Fabian Núñez


state_assembly =California
speaker =66th
term_start2 =February 9 2004
term_end2 =May 13 2008
predecessor2 =Herb Wesson
successor2 =Karen Bass
state_assembly3 =California
district3 =46th
term_start3 =2002
term_end3 =
preceded3 =Gil Cedillo
succeeded3 =Incumbent
nationality =American
date of birth =Birth date and age|1966|12|27|mf=y
place of birth =Logan Heights, San Diego, California
date of death =
place of death =
spouse =Maria Robles
profession =Politician
religion =Roman Catholic
party=Democratic

Fabian Núñez (Fabián Núñez, Fabian Nuñez and less commonly Fabian Nunez) (born December 27, 1966, Logan Heights, San Diego, California, United States) is a
Democratic politician and was the 66th Speaker of the California State Assembly.

Personal life

Núñez was born in San Diego, but lived in Tijuana, Mexico until he was 8 years old. His parents, (Pablo Núñez and Soledad Aréchiga) who were illegal aliens from Mexico, became citizens sometime later. He was one of twelve children and spent the rest of his youth in Logan Heights, a San Diego neighborhood.

At the age of 31, Núñez earned bachelor of arts degrees in both political science and education from Pitzer College in Claremont, a Southern California institution.

Núñez lives in downtown Los Angeles with his wife, María Robles, and their three children. Núñez and Robles were married twice. After the end of their first marriage in 1995, the couple remarried in 2005. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, himself a former Assembly Speaker, was Núñez's best man at the second wedding. Núñez also shares a penthouse in downtown Los Angeles with a prominent fundraiser. [ [http://www.sacunion.com/pages/state_capitol/articles/9278/ Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez Lives Well - Very Well ] ]

Early career

From 1996 to 2000, Fabian Núñez served as the Political Director for the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and, between 2000-2002, was the Government Affairs Director for the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Political career

Núñez was elected to the California State Assembly to represent the 46th district in 2002. Later, on February 9 2004 he was selected as the 66th Speaker of the California Assembly.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law legislation sponsored by Núñez, including bills designed to combat global warming (cosponsored with Assembly member Fran Pavley), reduce the price of prescription drugs, raise the minimum wage by a dollar, reform control of the Los Angeles Unified School District (Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's proposal), and increase competition among cable television companies (cosponsored by Assembly member Lloyd Levine).

Due to term limits, Núñez can only serve in the assembly (and therefore as speaker) through 2008. He actively campaigned for a statewide proposition to change the term limits law and allow him an additional six years as speaker. The ballot measure (California Proposition 93 (2008)), was widely seen as a power-grab by Núñez and Senate Majority Leader Don Perata. [ [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/01/10/EDI9UB836.DTL A deceptive Prop. 93 ] ] On February 5th, the voters of California rejected Proposition 93, issuing Núñez a humiliating defeat. [ [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/02/06/MN87UOCI7.DTL&type=politics Voters reject Prop. 93 on term limits ] ] Labor organizer John Pérez is the Democratic nominee in the race to succeed him in the 46th district.

It is not clear what the immediate future holds for Núñez, as he would have to wait until 2010 to run for governor of California, and 2009 for a Los Angeles mayoral bid - a scenario which is highly unlikely, given that Núñez is close friends with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa who will be running for re-election.

Goodwill mission to Mexico

In August 2005, Núñez traveled to Mexico — for the first time as an elected official — to meet with the then-Mexican President, Vicente Fox, and several high-level government officials and business leaders. The "Sacramento Bee" reported "California Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez met privately with Mexican President Vicente Fox at his government office here Thursday, hoping to strengthen ties that the Los Angeles lawmaker claims have deteriorated under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. After meeting with Fox, the Democratic speaker said he hopes to serve as a bridge to help foster understanding at the highest levels of California and Mexico governments." [ [http://www.sacbee.com/content/politics/story/13473591p-14314397c.html Politics - Núñez meets with Mexico's president - sacbee.com ] ]

As reported in the "San Diego Union-Tribune", the Speaker "invited Fox to address the California Assembly in Sacramento." [ [http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20050826/news_1n26nunez.html In Mexico, Núñez is forced to explain border comments | The San Diego Union-Tribune ] ] Fox accepted the invitation and spoke to a special joint session of the California State Legislature. Prior to his speech, Fox met privately with Núñez.

Criticism

On October 10 2007, the "Los Angeles Times" reported that Núñez had allegedly spent tens of thousands of dollars of campaign money for personal expenses, such as $1800 for a meal at a Parisian restaurant and $5000 for wine from Bordeaux. [ [http://articles.latimes.com/2007/oct/10/local/me-lopez10 Mr. Nuñez, who are you wining and dining? - Los Angeles Times ] ] The Sacramento Bee has alleged that Núñez played the race card when questioned about his use of campaign funds by saying, "Everyone's done it like this," and "The difference is there are some in politics who want to judge me in a certain manner. Because of the fact I am Mexican, they think I have to sleep under a cactus and eat from taco stands." ["Dan Walters: Núñez has last word on spending flap, regrettably" By Walters, Dan The Sacramento Bee May 27, 2008 Pg. A3 http://www.sacbee.com/111/story/967235.html]

Some have criticized Núñez for sponsoring major legislation because as Speaker, they believe he should allow other Democratic members to write the legislation and get the credit. Others have criticized Núñez for campaigning on behalf of measures in joint appearances with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger because Núñez was a Campaign Co-Chair for Democratic gubernatorial challenger State Treasurer Phil Angelides. In the past, Núñez has campaigned with the Governor on behalf of the Governor's Strategic Growth Plan (infrastructure bonds) but has recently ended public appearances, along with Democratic State Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, possibly to appease his critics. However, on October 27,2006 Núñez attended a rally before a sprawling crowd on the campus of the University of Southern California for Phil Angelides' campaign for governor in the United States House elections on November 7 2006. [ [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2006/10/28/BAG9IM1K3I1.DTL&type=politics CAMPAIGN 2006 / Obama gives lift to Angelides' underdog race / He stumps in L.A. for fellow Dem - governor visits S.F ] ]

References

Newspaper profiles

* [http://www.sacbee.com/content/politics/story/8228258p-9159214c.html "Sacramento Bee", "On the rise," February 7, 2004]
* [http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-nunez5oct05,0,2294927.story?coll=la-home-center "Los Angeles Times, "Nuñez travels the world like a high-roller," October 5, 2007"]
* [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/01/22/MN9UU0M5L.DTL How Núñez rose to power so fast Champion of Prop. 93, in Assembly only 5 years, had modest beginnings]

External links

* [http://democrats.assembly.ca.gov/members/a46/ Official California State Assembly profile]
* [http://www.joincalifornia.com/candidate/6140 Political History] at Join California
* [http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/kssgorg/hjhp/WebBookVol19.pdf Interview with the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy]


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