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Council Refuses to Vote on Holden's Mailing

April 30, 1998

By a large majority, the Los Angeles City Council refused Wednesday to suspend its rules and vote immediately on a motion by Councilman Nate Holden making Mother's Day a city-sponsored special event.

Holden is seeking the council's backing so that he can pay for 15,000 Mother's Day cards he wants to mail to women voters in his district with his officeholder funds. The city's Ethics Commission staff told Holden last week that city rules prevent Holden from using his office funds for the mass mailing. Instead, those funds are to provide information about city-sponsored events or an official's position on any matter before the council or the mayor.

The council, however, backed away from the issue Wednesday, refusing by a 11-2 vote to suspend its rules and vote on the matter. Now, Holden's motion will be sent to the council's rules and elections committee.

"Are you afraid to hear about Mother's Day?" Holden said. "You all are insane. You're anti-mother."

At that point, an exasperated Council President John Ferraro turned to the council technicians and said: "Don't turn on his microphone."

Holden quieted down.

But the councilman said in an interview that he is requesting from the Ethics Commission all the records of expenditures made by council members from their office holder accounts. And, he said he plans on publicizing them.

"That will show them," he said.

He also said he will find another way to send his cards--maybe campaign funds or maybe even from his own pocket.

"I can't think of a better use for the money than to honor the women of our communities who are so deserving of praise," Holden said.

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