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— Along for the ride on Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's VIP trade mission to Mexico last week were a gaggle of big-business types from San Diego: ex-Scripps Clinic V.P. David Gollaher, now president and CEO of California Healthcare Institute, which bills itself as "an independent organization devoted to researching and advocating policy to forward the interests of California's biomedical community"; Marilyn Hannes, director of sales and marketing for SeaWorld; Dr. Catherine Mackey, a senior vice president of Pfizer, Inc.; and Sempra international affairs V.P. Michael Morgan. In all, 60 individuals from the ranks of business and agriculture went with the governor. ... Word around the state capitol has it that termed-out assemblyman Juan Vargas, who lost the Democratic primary against incumbent congressman Bob Filner, may be in line for Cheryl Peace's spot on the state's Integrated Waste Management Board, a political plum bestowed by the state senate's rules committee, led by Vargas's Democratic cohort Don Perata. The job, requiring attendance at just one meeting a month, pays $117,818 a year. Peace, wife of ex-Democratic senator Steve Peace, began her four-year term in January 2003. None of the other five positions, four of which are filled by the governor -- who once recommended that the board be eliminated -- and the other by the speaker of the assembly, is expiring soon.

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