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Schiff runs for triathlon

July 01, 2010|

By Bill Kisliuk

When Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) runs, it normally takes months of hand-shaking and many hundreds of thousands of dollars before he crosses the finish line.

On June 20, the congressman representing Glendale and most of Burbank completed a race in Washington, D.C., that merely required some jogging, bicycling and swimming. Schiff completed his first triathlon in one hour and 46 minutes.

"It was very hot," Schiff said. "It started out in the mid-80s and got into the 90s. I was done before it hit the 90s."


"I enjoyed it very much," Schiff said of the half-mile swim, four-mile run and 12-mile ride. "It was fun to train for, and I had set this for my Father's Day goal."

Schiff's next run for office is in November, facing Republican John Colbert, a former L.A. County Sheriff's detective. Schiff said he hopes his next triathlon will be in California, where the swim will be in the Pacific Ocean rather than the Potomac River.

"It was murky," Schiff said. "You can't see much in that river."

Back on Capitol Hill, Schiff said he was generally pleased with the financial reform bill approved by a congressional conference committee Friday. It is expected to reach President Obama's desk by the Fourth of July.

Schiff characterized the bill as "must-pass legislation" to bring more transparency to Wall Street. The measure is designed to limit risks from the complex derivatives transactions that brought on the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 and set high standards for any future taxpayer bailouts of financial firms.

While aspects of the bill are still being negotiated, the stock market initially rose when it saw the product of the joint Senate-House conference committee. That caused some to remark that if traders were happy, the bill was not tough enough.

"I think as the legislation progressed, in some ways it got tougher, and in some ways less so," Schiff said. "On balance a pretty responsible approach to the problem."

Separately, Schiff backed a controversial bill designed to reinstitute some campaign finance controls in the wake of a January U.S. Supreme Court decision that eliminated limits on what corporations, unions and others can spend on political races.

The measure would require more transparency as to who funds independent ads that attack or support a candidate. It also would bar foreign corporations and firms that have substantial contracts with the federal government from funding candidates' campaigns for federal office.

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