Chuck DeVore may be a long-time Orange Countian, the member of the state Assembly whose Irvine-based district includes the future Orange County Great Park and a possible friend in a high place if he scores an upset victory next year to become the junior U.S. senator from California. But it is DeVore's likely foe, Sen. Barbara Boxer, who is reaping the thanks of the Great Park Corporation Board of Directors this week.
The board is simply giddy over Boxer's sponsorship of a $470,000 appropriation to restore a historic airplane hangar at the former Marine air station--the park's first federal appropriation--and they told the senator's field rep Gina Semenza as much Thursday.
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"We truly thank and honor Senator Boxer for her leadership," said Larry Agran, the board's chairman, Boss Hogg of Irvine politics and little liberal Democrat dynamo from California at least as long as Boxer has been one. "Senator Boxer's actions are of historic significance. Millions of men and women served at El Toro over its 60-year military existence. Now, those coming to the Great Park in the future will be reminded of the historic significance of the site."
"The Orange County Great Park is one of the most successful base closures in the country," said Semenza in lapping up the board's thanks. "Restoring the historic Hangar 244 and related buildings is a wonderful project to embrace. The senator supports your vision to make a great park and all you are doing to preserve its historic significance."
The pork, er, earmark, um, appropriation funding will be used to refurbish the 65 year-old historic aircraft Hangar 244, which is being turned into a Marine aviation museum.
"Senator Boxer's appropriation is like a small seed that will grow into something big," said Irvine Mayor and board member Sukhee Kang. "We look forward to inviting her back to the Great Park to see how her support has benefited the park and its community."
Anyone else smell a Boxer campaign stop in the heart of DeVore country?