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John Vasconcellos

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MAGAZINE
October 11, 1987
I am greatly dismayed by Jacques Leslie's reporting of my comments in "The Unsettled Self-Esteem of John Vasconcellos" (Aug. 23). The incident Leslie described and attributed to me was highly exaggerated, the language was not mine, nor was the situation presented within the context of our conversation. I have now, and always have had, great respect for Vasconcellos in his role as a legislator and as a caring human being whom I had the pleasure of working with for almost three years.
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OPINION
July 14, 2009
Re "A brief history of our sorry state," Opinion, July 10 How fascinating that John Vasconcellos, having "served" California for 38 years and who can be reasonably assigned his share of the blame for the state of the state, lists his "insights" into what got us here. With the exception of his point on term limits, they involve revenue being taken from the legislators. It is noteworthy that Vasconcellos never once mentioned out-of-control spending; I would imagine that all of California's politicians -- past and present -- would equally ignore their part in this mess and would equally fail to find the intestinal fortitude to fix it. David M. McCarthy Culver City :: Vasconcellos' article contained both bad and good points.
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MAGAZINE
August 23, 1987 | JACQUES LESLIE, Jacques Leslie contributes frequently to the Los Angeles Times Magazine.
IT'S BEEN A better-than-average day for John Vasconcellos. The tempestuously moody state assemblyman, a Democrat from Santa Clara, has spent the morning conducting hearings of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, which he chairs, and has managed to dispose of more than 80 bills without a hint of discord from any of its 23 members. Since amiability is not always the hallmark of the committee's deliberations, this is something of a victory, albeit one easily obscured by exhaustion. Vasconcellos' committee considers 2,900 bills a year, six times more than any other assembly committee, and the volume of legislation weighs on him so much that at the hearing's conclusion he confesses to Sam Yockey, the committee's chief consultant: "Geez, I remember now why I hate Ways and Means."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 3, 2004 | Robert Salladay, Times Staff Writer
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger dispatched a military jet and a 15-person team in April to retrieve an ailing state senator who was visiting Brazil -- at a cost to taxpayers of $147,187, the administration confirmed Wednesday. Sen. John Vasconcellos (D-Santa Clara), who has returned to work in Sacramento, said he was nearing the end of a nine-day goodwill trip to Brazil -- paid for with campaign funds -- when he started feeling pressure in his chest.
NEWS
February 4, 1998
State Sen. John Vasconcellos, who has spent the last several months pondering a bid for governor, reluctantly pulled out of the race Tuesday. The man who made his national name by encouraging self-esteem said that in the end he did not have it in him to beg for the money he needed to run a campaign. "I didn't have the stomach to get on the phone and beg," the Silicon Valley Democrat said. "My life is too precious."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 9, 1985
After slashing more than $1.7 billion in proposed legislation before my Assembly Ways and Means Committee, I was infuriated to pick up The Times (June 26) and read the headline: "Assembly Panel Goes on 2-Hour Spending Spree." In those two hours we approved about $160 million in legislation--less than 10% of the amount sought by various legislators. Now think about it--how does "Assembly Panel Goes on $1.7-Billion Slashing Spree" sound? Catchy and accurate. Picky? Maybe.
NEWS
December 13, 1989 | From a Times Staff Writer
Saying that Californians should invest in peace, the powerful and colorful chairman of the Assembly's budget-writing committee proposed a novel package Tuesday under which the state would provide $150 million in foreign aid to Eastern Europe and open a trade office in Warsaw.
NEWS
August 23, 1989 | CLAY EVANS, Times Staff Writer
After two separate bills were stalled until next year, Assemblyman Tom Hayden (D-Santa Monica) said Tuesday he will sponsor a voter initiative for 1990 that would stringently regulate atmosphere-damaging chemicals in air conditioners. Hayden's bill, which would have prohibited the sale of chlorofluorocarbons in small cans and require it to be recycled under strict guidelines, was held over by the Senate Natural Resources Committee. "(The committee) has got to be crazy to do this," Hayden said.
NEWS
May 24, 1995 | DAN MORAIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
At first, Assemblyman John Vasconcellos was hesitant to carry a bill that would legalize marijuana for medical use. But he changed his mind, and now believes that the decision may have saved his life. "Life's most curious in how our choices, our friends, determine our lives," Vasconcellos wrote, explaining his experience. Vasconcellos, a Santa Clara Democrat and one of the few remaining unabashed liberals in the lower house, asked AIDS researcher and specialist Dr.
NEWS
March 19, 1987 | DOUGLAS SHUIT, Times Staff Writer
The Democratic chairman of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday proposed raising state taxes by $1 billion to provide new financing for education and health programs. Going against a 10-year trend of tax cutting, the plan unveiled by Assemblyman John Vasconcellos of San Jose is the first proposal for a general tax increase since unsuccessful efforts in 1983, when the state faced a $1.5-billion deficit.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 20, 2003 | Jenifer Warren, Times Staff Writer
John Vasconcellos is in the twilight of his career, a time when many men with gray at the temples are studying the pension plan and searching for a condo on a golf course somewhere. But Vasconcellos isn't your garden-variety guy on the cusp of retirement. Elected to the Legislature in 1966, he is California's longest-serving lawmaker.
NEWS
May 19, 1998 | MARY CURTIUS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Spurred by a federal court ruling ordering six Northern California cannabis clubs to close, medical marijuana advocates joined state and local officials Monday in calling for a search for alternative ways to get pot to sick people. State Sen. John Vasconcellos announced that he will sponsor a May 26 summit in Sacramento to study other ways to distribute the drug.
NEWS
February 4, 1998
State Sen. John Vasconcellos, who has spent the last several months pondering a bid for governor, reluctantly pulled out of the race Tuesday. The man who made his national name by encouraging self-esteem said that in the end he did not have it in him to beg for the money he needed to run a campaign. "I didn't have the stomach to get on the phone and beg," the Silicon Valley Democrat said. "My life is too precious."
NEWS
November 23, 1997 | RICHARD LEE COLVIN and MARK Z. BARABAK, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Suddenly it seems every politician is running for PTA president. Even though the primary is more than seven months away, three of the four possible Democratic candidates for California governor have delivered major speeches outlining their education reform plans. Atty. Gen. Dan Lungren, the all-but-certain GOP nominee, is expected to follow. Lt. Gov. Gray Davis wants to conscript parents as homework helpers. Businessman Al Checchi wants to wire every high school for Internet access. U.S. Sen.
NEWS
September 14, 1997 | MARK Z. BARABAK, TIMES POLITICAL WRITER
Filling a personality gap and philosophical void, one of Sacramento's most colorful and sometimes controversial figures--state Sen. John Vasconcellos--will launch an exploratory bid this week for California governor. The Santa Clara Democrat said he will spend roughly the next six weeks gauging the potential for what even he concedes would be a longshot bid. "I've been in the belly of the beast for 30 years," said Vasconcellos, 65, who was first elected to the Legislature in 1966.
NEWS
August 27, 1997 | ERIC BAILEY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Atty. Gen. Dan Lungren, the most vocal critic of California's new medical marijuana law, announced his support Tuesday for a $3-million research program intended to settle the decades-long dispute over the drug's benefits and failings for the ill. The decision by the state's conservative top lawman to back a bill by liberal state Sen. John Vasconcellos (D-Santa Clara) unifies two political opposites who have clashed repeatedly over medical marijuana.
NEWS
January 4, 1989 | DOUGLAS SHUIT, Times Staff Writer
The chairman of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, quoting from a previously unreleased state report, said Tuesday that California will be $1.5 billion short of what it will need to adequately finance state programs in the next budget.
NEWS
February 5, 1997 | ERIC BAILEY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Even after voters legalized marijuana as medicine in California last fall, patients in need could hardly expect to find it at the local pharmacy. Instead, they have done as they did before: They have grown their own, tapped the back-alley black market or found one of the smattering of buyers clubs that sell to the medically needy. But if a Bay Area legislator gets his way, the state will step in to guarantee a ready supply of marijuana for patients. A special task force is being proposed by Sen.
NEWS
February 5, 1997 | ERIC BAILEY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Even after voters legalized marijuana as medicine in California last fall, patients in need could hardly expect to find it at the local pharmacy. Instead, they have done as they did before: They have grown their own, tapped the back-alley black market or found one of the smattering of buyers clubs that sell to the medically needy. But if a Bay Area legislator gets his way, the state will step in to guarantee a ready supply of marijuana for patients. A special task force is being proposed by Sen.
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