Represent!

Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Maven's Morning Coffee: DWP lobbying contracts, matching funds in mayor's race, medical marijuana makes way onto May ballot

A report from the controller found the Department of Water and Power awarded four contracts that bypassed the utility's competitive bidding process.
A report from the controller found the Department of Water and Power awarded four contracts that bypassed the utility's competitive bidding process. Getty Images

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

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Today is Thursday, Jan. 3, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:

Headlines

The Department of Water and Power bypassed competitive bidding processes when it awarded four lobbying contracts, according to the Los Angeles Times. Controller Wendy Greuel determined the contracts with Mercury Public Affairs should have been terminated.

A fifth mayoral candidate, Emanuel Pleitez, has qualified for matching funds, reports KPCC. The 30-year-old candidate will also participate in his first mayoral debate this evening.

The Los Angeles Times looks at mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti's Latino and Jewish ancestry. "I think if you're Latino, you're very comfortable with the idea of mestizo, being mixed. So I kind of joke that I'm mestizo doble, double mixed," he tells The Times.

The LA Weekly says Kevin James' chances of becoming Los Angeles' next mayor have gone from zero to dark horse status. "He is the only one who is willing to look the facts in the eye and not worry about the unions and special interest groups," says former Mayor Richard Riordan.

Speaking of Riordan, the LA Weekly breaks down why his $800,000 pension proposal failed to gain traction. "I was really naive to think we could get it done within the time. It was really impossible," he tells the paper.

A Daily News editorial questions whether Southern California's new Congressional members will make any difference in Washington, D.C. "As the fiscal-cliff mess reminds us, a lot needs to change in Washington. Could it possibly come from veterans of the often-dysfunctional government in California?," according to the piece.

About 100 medical marijuana clinics could remain open under a ballot initiative that has qualified for the May ballot, according to KPCC. The proposal is backed by Greater Los Angeles Collective Alliance and Americans for Safe Access.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom's show is ending its run on Current TV, according to Capitol Alert. The program premiered in May. 

Where to Find the Politicians

Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian will open the Fulton Avenue Park at 10 a.m.

Meetings

None

Announcements

To have an event or announcement listed, please email the Maven here.

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