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— Clinton's nominees to the federal bench are drawing heat for making too much money. According to a survey conducted by the Washington-based Alliance for Justice, 34.1 percent of Clinton's judges have been millionaires, in comparison to 32.5 percent of George Bush's judges, 21.4 percent of Ronald Reagan's, and 3.9 percent of Jimmy Carter's. Using questionnaires filed with the Senate, the group found that of the 25 nominees to U.S. District Court and Court of Appeals, 15 are millionaires, including seven women. Their average net worth, including the assets of "significant others," is $1,798,670. Lynne Lasry, a 41-year-old partner at San Diego's Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves and Savitch, whom Clinton has nominated to the district court here, reported she is worth $1,585,840, according to a disclosure form filed with the Senate judiciary committee. Lasry and her husband Allen C. Snyder, a USD law professor, own more than $760,000 worth of securities, $170,356 in government securities, and $675,000 in real estate, along with cars and other personal property worth $60,000. Debt on the real estate was just $147,000. She reported averaging $3000 in monthly credit card charges. Lasry was recommended by Senator Barbara Boxer after her first choice, Superior Court Judge Judith McConnell, ran into conservative opposition over a ruling she made in favor of a gay parent in a controversial child custody case. Jeffrey Miller, 54, who is also seeking to become a federal judge, is well down the list with a reported net worth of only $458,500.

Losers and winners

Cracks have developed in the tail cones of six of the Navy's Sikorsky H-3 Sea King helicopters, including one at the Naval Air Station here, says Armed Forces Newswire. The aging choppers have been quietly grounded pending a major overhaul, resulting in fleet-wide inspections and hurry-up repair jobs for the other 60 or so of the Navy's giant heavy-lifting helicopters ... The San Diego International Sports Council, a group of wealthy fans who supported the city council's successful drive to keep stadium expansion off the ballot, has been awarded $35,000 in city tax revenue "to be used for support of general operations and promotional activities." According to documents on file with the city clerk, the group has a total budget of $347,600, $200,000 of which goes to wages and benefits ... Another big stadium winner: the downtown law firm of Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps, which picked up $50,000 from taxpayers for its legal work on behalf of the city council. The chief lawyer on the case, Charles Bird, made $275 an hour, according to city records.

Cash in the hat

The commercialization of Dr. Seuss, commenced by La Jollan Audrey Geisel, widow of Cat in the Hat creator Ted Geisel, continues unabated. Latest to cash in: Esprit, a $250 million San FranciscoPbased clothing retailer that's launching a Dr. Seuss apparel catalog site on the World Wide Web this month. "Dr. Seuss is part of today's lifestyle," trumpets the company's "Dr. Seuss" division in a news release. "Even calling someone a grinch is part of our culture." The site will hawk hats, ties, slippers, T-shirts, sweatshirts, books, CD/ROMs, watches, bathrobes, menswear, and Halloween costumes, as well as $375 jackets and Dr. Seuss women's boxer shorts, priced at $15. Unsated consumers will also be referred to other web sites selling Seuss merchandise, including one run by Seuss publisher Random House and another operated by the UCSD library. "Dr. Seuss has had a cult following among college kids," according to Esprit, "due to some of the morally rewarding lessons from Dr. Seuss books."

Rewarding the faithful

San Diego's Convention and Visitors Bureau has put its $4 million annual advertising account up for review for the first time in 12 years, says the trade magazine Adweek. ConVis brass profess to be satisfied with their current ad agency, San Diego's Chapman Warwick, but a Long Beach consultant hired by the bureau has recruited 50 local ad agencies and design houses - including DiZinno Thompson, which cooked up that successful series of Union-Tribune ads designed to convince a judge to keep the $78 million stadium expansion off the ballot - to take a crack at the job. The bureau gets about 80 percent of its budget from city coffers.

Contributor: Matt Potter

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