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The Los Angeles City Council has become a convenient destination for local members of the Legislature who are forcibly retired by term limits.

Out-of-work legislators are drawn to the council's higher salaries and more generous perks. The current council has five with another half-dozen local Democratic lawmakers eyeing council seats in the next set of city elections in 2013, as the LA Weekly points out in a profile of Herb Wesson, an ex-speaker of the state Assembly who just became council president.

Wesson became speaker in 2000 -- as part of the informal rotation of the office among Los Angeles Democrats -- and left two years later to pursue his political career in Los Angeles.

The LA Weekly article says that Wesson gained the council presidency, which is analogous to the speakership, via old-fashioned political horsetrading. While widely praised for his affability, the story says, he's not likely to offer much leadership for the troubled city, which would also be analogous to his brief speakership.


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