Political Landscape: New chair for entertainment industry caucus

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) will succeed Rep. Diane Watson (D-Los Angeles) as the chair of the Congressional Entertainment Industries Caucus in the 112th Congress, which convenes in January.

The Entertainment Industries Caucus was established in 2003 and seeks to address issues such copyright protection and so-called runaway production, or filming of television shows and movies at locations outside of California.

In recent years the caucus drafted legislation to extend film industry tax credits and facilitate industry members' charitable contributions abroad.

"I am honored to follow Congresswoman Watson as the next chair of the Entertainment Industries Caucus," Sherman said in a statement. "The entertainment industry generates billions of dollars and millions of jobs, and the caucus will remain dedicated to ensuring that continues to happen."

Questionable voter registration report finished

Officials with the Los Angeles County registrar's office have completed their review of alleged voting irregularities in the 43rd Assembly District, which includes Glendale and Burbank, as well as Silver Lake.

Jane Barnett, chairwoman of the Los Angeles County Republican Party, filed a complaint in October saying she uncovered "a possibly significant and disturbing trend of potentially ineligible voters" around Silver Lake.

In a letter to county Registrar-Recorder Dean Logan, Barnett said she had identified a person who she said was deceased, but remained on the voter rolls. The man, who is registered on Kenilworth Avenue near the Silver Lake reservoir, was listed as being 117 years old.

Barnett also alleged that several voters were registered at an apparently vacant home, others are improperly registered at a post office box location and still others who were registered in apartment buildings failed to provide their apartment numbers.

In this last instance, she wrote, "Ballots may be being mailed to voters who are deceased or who no longer reside in those apartments (or) may be being collected and utilized by persons other than the registrant."

Barnett identified 149 questionable registrations, all in Los Angeles. Forty-seven were on Los Feliz Boulevard, 28 others on Griffith Park Boulevard.

On Wednesday, the registrar's office completed its review and found no significant problems, according to Efrain Escobedo, executive liaison officer for the office.

Escobedo said that the man on Kenilworth was listed as 117 because of a database error. He is in his 30s and alive, Escobedo said.

Escobedo said the registrar investigated all of Barnett's claims using registration, postal change-of-address and health records.

"On most of them, we did not find anything to be an issue," Escobedo said.

Only two of the 135 people Barnett flagged with questionable apartment registrations failed to provide their apartment number, according to a letter to Barnett from Registrar Dean Logan. Logan found no problems at the allegedly vacant home. He confirmed that the post office box address is legitimate, and said the has received confirmation responses from three of the 10 people who registered at that address. His office is following up with the other seven, he wrote.

The inquiry is separate from Barnett's request that county prosecutors look into whether Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake) resides at his listed address. Barnett noted that Gatto has made political donations with checks listing an address outside the 43rd Assembly District.

Prosecutors have since opened an inquiry. Gatto said the address is a rental home he acquired in 2008 and that the claim is meritless.

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