Breaux, Tauzin in the mix; Valenti wants unanimous vote

WASHINGTON — All the bicoastal chatter that the studios are on the brink of choosing a new leading man in Washington is more than a little premature, insiders say.

Motion Picture Assn. of America prexy Jack Valenti wants a unanimous decision, and reaching one will likely move the process well beyond the next meeting of execs planned after Labor Day in early September.

At this point, no one’s counting out Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.) despite multiple assertions that he’s not interested in the job and plans to stick around in Congress. Fellow Bayou stater Sen. John Breaux (D) also remains on a short list and recently talked to motion picture reps about the post.

Breaux, 59, in his third Senate term, has said if he wants a second career, now’s the time. Nabbing him, though, would take a little patience. With such a closely divided Senate, Breaux is reluctant to leave unless he can guarantee his seat to another Democrat. He is waiting till November to consider any alternative career options — to see if a Dem wins the Louisiana governor’s race. If that happens, the governor would likely appoint Rep. Chris John (D-La.), and Breaux would be free to pursue his Hollywood closeup.

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