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The L.A. TIMES reports Los Angeles Marathon, Inc., the company that runs the L.A. Marathon, has reportedly admitted to laundering thousands of dollars for the campaigns of former L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley, Oakland Mayor Elihu Harris and others. The company has been fined $436,000 by the L.A. Ethics Commission and the CA state Fair Political Practices Commission. The firm admitted to being the "true source" of 137 campaign contributions while "illicitly" reimbursing its employees (L.A. TIMES, 9/27).
Sen. Howard Metzenbaum (D-OH), a longtime foe of baseball's antitrust exemption, threatened again last night to attach his legislation revoking the exemption as an amendment to an appropriations bill. But at the suggestion of Democratic colleagues, he again withdrew his measure for a later time. Metzenbaum and UT Republican Orrin Hatch are co-sponsors of a revised bill that would lift the exemption should the owners unilaterally impose a salary cap. Both senators argued their case last night that the baseball antitrust amendment should be attached to the HHS appropriations bill because of a parliamentary loophole that made it "germane" to that particular piece of legislation. Metzenbaum had claimed that the HHS bill would be the last chance for an amendment before adjournment (THE DAILY). BACK ON THE HILL TODAY: For the second time in two weeks, a House subcommittee will hold hearings on baseball's labor situation. Today, it is the labor-management subcommittee of the House Education and Labor Committee chaired by Rep. Pat Williams (D-MT). Williams has proposed legislation that would establish a three-person arbitration panel to settle the baseball dispute should no agreement be reached by February 1. Among those scheduled to appear: Chief management negotiator Richard Ravitch, MLB labor relation committee General Counsel Charles O'Connor, MLBPA General Counsel Gene Orza, the Yankees' Bernie Williams and the Dodgers' Orel Hershiser. Williams' bill is "not very likely to go anywhere this session," but it "would probably have a better chance" next year than the bill to strip the antitrust exemption (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 9/28). SPEAKING OF WHICH ... The House Judiciary Committee will vote, possibly as early as tomorrow, on a bill sponsored by Rep. Mike Synar (D-OK) to lift the exemption should the owners unilaterally impose a cap. The vote could come tomorrow (AP/PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 9/28).
A civil lawsuit brought against MLB by Vincent Piazza and Vincent Tirendi, who were rejected in their bid to move the Giants to FL, is scheduled to begin tomorrow in a Philadelphia federal court. The suit alleged that Piazza and Tirendi's civil rights, state contract laws and federal antitrust laws were violated by MLB. Harvard Law's Paul Weiler, noting that a jury may be prejudiced against the owners by the ongoing labor dispute: "There's no doubt the strike makes this a tougher case for baseball." The case will center around the issue of "defamation" concerning a '92 comment from Fred Kuhlmann of the Cardinals that Piazza had problems with his "background." Piazza alleges an anti-Italian bias. But the case has "the potential to bring down" baseball's antitrust exemption. While U.S. District Court Judge John Padova has already ruled that the exemption "won't have any validity in this case," the owners vow to appeal the case to the Supreme Court should Piazza and Tirendi prevail (Noam Neusner, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 9/28).