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Mike Wright

Karen Bass: Madame Speaker

Since California added term limits to the political rule book in 1990, the piece of furniture occupied by the speaker of the California Assembly has become both a musical chair and an ejector seat. We've had nine speakers in 14 years. Karen Bass is the latest, a Los Angeles Democrat and the first black woman in the job. She was elected to the Assembly in 2004. She became speaker a year ago, and she'll have to pack up and be gone next year. When I first met her, she was a physician's assistant and a community organizer, crusading for foster care and against the myriad liquor stores in South Los Angeles. Sure, today she sits next to the governor in the "big five"...

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