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PortantinoPerez.jpgRemember the old adage about getting handed lemons, then turning them into lemonade?

Apparently Assemblyman Anthony Portantino does.

The Democrat from La Cañada-Flintridge has scheduled a community charity event, "Lemon Aid," in response to Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez's decision to furlough his entire staff for six weeks, beginning Oct. 21.

Portantino contends that the speaker is punishing him for casting the lone Democratic vote against this year's state budget. Pérez, through a spokeswoman, has said that Portantino is projected to exceed his budget.

"Exhibiting an unbroken spirit in the wake of the mean-spirited actions of the Assembly leaders, my staff has come up with a great idea that they call 'Lemon Aid,'" Portantino said in an electronic message to constituents.

Participants in the Oct. 5 charity event at Portantino's Pasadena office are asked to bring a non-perishable food item for two non-profit groups. His aides will attend to "provide contacts to state agencies in case you need assistance while the office is shut down," Portantino wrote.

"We will support a worthy cause and renew our support for the right kind of public service that the 44th Assembly district understands but leaders in Sacramento seem to have forgotten about," he concluded.

PHOTO: Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, right, has a heated discussion with Assemblyman Anthony Portantino over the budget. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua



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