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The Oscars star in California-N.Y. drama

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The latest from the political grapevine, compiled by the CNN Political Unit.

Bill Schneider reports from Los Angeles that a storm is brewing between Tinsel Town and the Big Apple. The California state Assembly, which is struggling to resolve a $20 billion budget shortfall, is expected to take up a resolution next week urging the Motion Picture Academy to keep the Oscars in Los Angeles next year. Why? Because two weeks ago, New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, New York Gov. George Pataki and a group of New York entertainment executives urged the academy to move a significant part of the Oscar ceremony to New York next year as a show of solidarity and to help the city rebuild after last year's terrorist attacks.

But to suspicious Californians, somehow sharing the Oscars began to sound like moving the Oscars. Columnist Steve Lopez wrote in "The Los Angeles Times" that it "tells you something about the mentality of New Yorkers. They routinely trash L.A. and everything it stands for, but they secretly aspire to flip-flops and cool ocean breezes. They'd beat us over the head in a New York minute to host the Academy Awards."

One legislative staffer Schneider spoke to said, "We are not taking anything away from New York. They're trying to take something away from us." A letter to "The Los Angeles Times" called it "a shameless attempt to use the tragedies of September 11 as an excuse to rob Los Angeles of its rightful place as the home of the Oscars."

Speaking of the Big Apple.....


New York City Hall's eight-year snub of the U.S. Open tennis tournament is over. Mayor Mike Bloomberg attended a center-court ceremony Monday night dedicated to the heroes of September 11. And he drew cheers when he thanked the U.S. Tennis Association for its continued commitment to New York City. Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and the USTA battled over noisy flights from nearby LaGuardia International Airport during the tournament. He skipped the tournament during both of his terms.

And in Connecticut, a Green Party candidate for Congress is making the most of his links to a popular comic strip. Charlie Pillsbury is collecting signatures to run in the state's 3rd Congressional District. Pillsbury was a Yale roommate of "Doonesbury" comic strip creator Garry Trudeau. And Pillsbury was the inspiration for the character Mike Doonesbury. Trudeau is permitting Pillsbury to use the character in his race for his Congress. Pillsbury's Web site features the usual policy statements, along with a large drawing of Mike Doonesbury.




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