Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, November 24, 2004


Page 3


U. S. Senate Confirms Attorney, Valley Secession Leader  David Fleming to Seat on Madison Foundation Board


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The U.S. Senate has confirmed President Bushís nomination of local attorney and civic leader David W. Fleming  to the Board of Trustees of the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation.

Fleming was one of about 150 Bush appointees confirmed by voice vote Saturday before Congress took its Thanksgiving recess. His nomination was sent to the Senate last year, and confirmation allows him to complete an unexpired term ending in May 2007.

Fleming, who knows the president’s family, is a major contributor to the presidential library of former President George Bush.

The foundation was established by Congress in 1986 for the purpose of improving teaching about the United States Constitution in secondary schools. Its 13-member member board is chaired by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., with Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, as treasurer, and meets once a year.

The foundation, which is funded in part by the government and in part by donations, provides up to $24,000 to each fellow for graduate study. Fellows must teach American history or government in grades 7 through 12 after completing their studies.

“I think it’s a wonderful thing,” Fleming said of the program in a MetNews interview shortly after he was nominated. “It’s really seed corn for future generations.”

Fellows receive four weeks of intense training in the history and origins of the Constitution, with some of the classes taught by Supreme Court justices.

Fleming, a lawyer for 44 years, has been of counsel to Latham & Watkins since 1992. From 1963 to 1992, he was a senior partner at the San Fernando Valley firm of Fleming & Ingalls, focusing on banking and savings and loan law.

He has served on a number of governmental commissions, including the California Transportation Commission from 1996 to 2000.

He was a member of the City of Los Angeles Fire Commission from 1993 to 2001, the last five years as president. He became one of the key financial backers of Valley VOTE’s petition for a study of secession in 1998.

After Mayor James K. Hahn declined to reappoint him to the Fire Commission, he was appointed to the Ethics Commission by City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo. He resigned 10 months later to become of the leaders of the unsuccessful campaign to take the San Fernando Valley out of the city.

In the private sector, he was chairman of Valley Presbyterian Hospital and president of the Economic Alliance of the Valley. He and then-Mayor Richard Riordan joined forces in the late summer of 1996 to launch the petition drive that led to the election of a charter commission for the city, and Fleming was one of the signers of the ballot argument in favor of the charter that the commission eventually adopted.


Copyright 2004, Metropolitan News Company