Politics, government and public life for Southern California

'Walking Dead' is a big hit with Republicans

Walking Dead


Is this an image from AMC's "Walking Dead" or a TV viewer who's been turned into a zombie by a torrent of political ads?

It’s media buying season for political candidates running in California’s June 3rd primary. But how do politicos get the biggest bang for their buck?

In Southern California, the second most expensive media market in the country, if you’re talking about television, you’re talking about cable. And that gives candidates and their media consultants a lot of options of where to place ads.

Some TV viewing choices are obvious: media strategists agree that Republicans watch more Fox News; Democrats watch more MSNBC. CNN, by the way, has a somewhat higher percentage of Democratic viewers.

Women watch more of Lifetime, HGTV (Home & Garden), the Food Network, OWN (Oprah’s channel) and the Travel Channel. Men watch more of the History Channel, ESPN and TNT.

Political strategists use data that also track the political leanings of the audiences of particular shows. For example, Republican media consultant John Thomas says last week’s season finale of AMC’s post-apocalyptic drama, “The Walking Dead,” had an unusually high number of viewers between the ages of 35-55 who “lean conservative.”


Maven's Morning Coffee: New head of FPPC, supervisor says NFL won't return to LA, Congress members urge Valley to get involved

Governor Brown Declares Statewide Drought Emergency

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Gov. Jerry Brown appointed a judge to be the new head of the Fair Political Practices Commission.

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, votes and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.

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Today is Thursday, April 24, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:


Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Jodi Remke, presiding judge of the State Bar Court of California, to lead the Fair Political Practices Commission, according to the Los Angeles Times. "She is going to bring to the job brains, brains, brains, and she is tougher than nails," said former state Senate President Pro Tem John Burton.

Reps. Janice Hahn and Brad Sherman spoke to the Valley Industry and Commerce Association and urged business leaders to be more vocal on issues like transportation and immigration, reports the Daily News. "We need to hear more from you on the programs you care about if we are going to get action," Hahn said.


DWP union vows appeal of judge's audit ruling

Karen Foshay/KPCC

The DWP Valley Steam Plant is home to two nonprofits jointly run by the Department of Water and Power and its powerful union. Together they've received more than $40 million since 2000.

The powerful union that represents Los Angeles Department of Water and Power employees is digging in its heels in a high profile battle with Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Controller Ron Galperin.

Lawyers representing union leader Brian D’Arcy Tuesday vowed to appeal a ruling that allows the controller to audit two non-profits operated by the union and DWP management. D’Arcy leads the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 18.

“We are confident the Court of Appeal will reverse the judgment,” said attorney D. William Heine, who represents D’Arcy. “The Controller does not have the authority to audit these joint labor-management trusts."

Heine argued an appeal would automatically place the judge’s order on hold. But in a statement, the city attorney said he would fight any effort to delay the release of the records. 


Former Huizar aide can expand sexual harassment lawsuit against City of LA

City Council Los Angeles

Mae Ryan/KPCC

A former aide to L.A. City Councilman Jose Huizar can expand her sexual harassment lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles.

A Los Angeles judge ruled Wednesday that a former aide to L.A. City Councilman Jose Huizar can sue the city beyond what was contained in her original sexual harassment lawsuit. 

Last fall, Francine Godoy sued the city and Huizar for sexual harassment and retaliation. Godoy's attorneys sought to expand the scope and sue the city for failing to prevent the alleged harassment. The court approved the request.

The lawsuit prompted City Council President Herb Wesson to call for a review of sexual harassment training for city employees. Wesson's proposal would require harassment training to be completed in person. The city's current policy allows employees to go through an online training course. 

The Los Angeles City Council voted this month to cover Huizar's legal fees up to $200,000. A trial date is set for the fall. 


LA Congressman Tony Cardenas survives 'Colbert Report'

screengrab from Comedy Central

Stephen Colbert interviews Congressman Tony Cardenas on "The Colbert Report."

Congressman Tony Cardenas (D-LA)

Kitty Felde/KPCC

L.A. Congressman Tony Cardenas (D-Pacoima) made a game appearance on "The Colbert Report."

It can be risky business for a politician, appearing on Stephen Colbert’s hot seat segment in which he interviews members of Congress about their district. But L.A. Democrat Tony Cardenas says his kids are big fans of the “wicked funny” comedian and he was willing to take his chances. The segment aired Tuesday night.

Colbert described the “Fighting" 29th — that's how he refers to every Congressional district —  as “nestled” in the San Fernando Valley, a place where the median age is 32.6, but tells casting directors it "just turned 26.3." It’s the place where Spanish explorers were drawn by the promise of sunshine, warm weather and "easy access to the 405 freeway." Colbert said some of the explorers "are still stuck in traffic to this day."

Colbert quizzed Cardenas about why people who crossed the border illegally shouldn’t be called illegal immigrants. Cardenas stuck to the “undocumented” label. He says he didn’t mind debating the topic with a man who had testified before Congress on behalf of immigrant laborers. “You could tell he cares,” says the freshman lawmaker.