Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Feinstein backs Padilla in tight Secretary of State race

KPCC

L.A. Democratic State Senator Alex Padilla (seen in file photo), is the leading Democratic candidate for Secretary of State in this year's election.

State Senator Alex Padilla of the San Fernando Valley received some help Tuesday in his bid to break from the pack of candidates running for California Secretary of State when U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein endorsed him.

Second to Governor Jerry Brown, Feinstein is the best-known Democrat in the Golden State. The four-term senator also enjoys high approval ratings.

“I’ve known Alex since he served as one of my aides nearly 20 years ago,” Feinstein said in a statement.  She said he has “the energy, the smarts, and the work ethic to be a terrific Secretary of State.”

RELATED: More California voters decline to state party preference

This endorsement never would have happened without last month’s indictment of state Senator Leland Yee on corruption charges. Yee and Feinstein are both San Francisco Democrats and he was Padilla’s chief rival for party support.  At the state Democratic Convention in early March, neither Padilla nor Yee garnered enough support for an endorsement. But Yee dropped out of the race after his indictment.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: Rail to LAX, Q&A with secretary of state candidates, reforming the Central Basin water district

Orbitz Names LAX As Busiest Airport For 2011 Thanksgiving Travel

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The New York Times considers the ongoing to challenge of bringing a public transportation option to LAX.

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.

The Maven's Morning Coffee is also available as a daily email. Click here to subscribe.

Today is Tuesday, April 22, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

Mayor Eric Garcetti and the 2020 Commission get The Economist treatment. "In a city not known for restraint, Mr. Garcetti’s approach can be refreshing. But it is too soon to determine whether it is working. A sterner test than he has yet faced may lie before him, in the form of one of the disasters, natural or man-made, that befall the city from time to time, or a fiscal crunch that could force a hard decision on taxes," per the magazine.

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Californians can register to vote in 10 languages, but not the top 10 spoken in the state

Melik Ekizian

Sharon McNary/KPCC

Melik Ekizian says some of his elders in California's Armenian community would welcome being able to register to vote online in the Armenian language.

Beginning Monday, Californians may use any of 10 languages to register online to vote, but the languages Secretary of State Debra Bowen chose to add to the registration website are not California's top 10 most-used languages.

The newly added languages are Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Tagalog, Thai and Vietnamese. The website has offered online voter registration in English and Spanish since 2012.

Many more Californians speak Persian (180,269), Armenian (174,358)  Russian (142,278) and Arabic (129,813), than speak two of the state voter registration website's newly-added languages of Khmer (68,455) or Thai (41,448), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Monrovia trucking company owner Melik Ekizian speaks Armenian and Arabic, and has no difficulty voting in English, but he said his elders in the Armenian community encounter a language barrier.

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Fight over $40 million in DWP union money enters new phase

Ron Galperin

Alice Walton/KPCC

LA City Controller Ron Galperin, center, is joined by Mayor Eric Garcetti, left, and City Attorney Mike Feuer, right, to discuss a dispute over $40 million in DWP controlled money.

Superior Court Judge James Chalfant is expected Tuesday to issue an order that requires the Joint Training Institute and the Joint Safety Institute to submit to an audit by City Controller Ron Galperin. DWP management and the union that represents DWP workers – IBEW Local 18 – operate the institutes.

Chalfant already has rejected arguments by the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Election Workers) that the institutes are private, non-profits, and that there is no obligation to turn over financial records. “This is the city trying to manage its departments,” the judge said in a decision three weeks ago.

Notably, the judge also rejected IBEW’s request to place a hold on any order while the ruling is appealed.

The order is something of a formality. The judge must approve an agreement between the city and lawyers for the release of the institutes’ financial information.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: Sheriff candidates split on immigration, super PAC reserves TV time, aide to LA councilman arrested

Bob Olmsted James Hellmold

Stuart Palley/ KPCC

Assistant Sheriff James Hellmold is just one candidate who believes the Sheriff's Department should not enforce federal immigration laws.

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.

The Maven's Morning Coffee is also available as a daily email. Click here to subscribe.

Today is Monday, April 21, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

In Rick Orlov's Tipoff column, county supervisors get their pensions and a congressional race on the border of Ventura County heats up.

Candidates running for sheriff are split on whether deputies should enforce immigration laws, according to the Daily News. "What I will do is, serious felons who produce violence in our communities are arrested and prosecuted. What I will not do is break up families and overreach on inconsistent federal policies," said one candidate, Assistant Sheriff Jim Hellmold.

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