Represent!

Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Maven's Morning Coffee: Negative campaigning for LAUSD, civilian oversight for Sheriff's Department, the "Rizzo Tax" in Bell

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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 Monday, Aug. 4, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

In Rick Orlov's Tipoff column, Mayor Eric Garcetti learns the troubles of travel, Angelenos fight for parking ticket reform, and residents find what its costs to fight City Hall.

The campaign between George McKenna and Alex Johnson for the LAUSD Board of Education has turned negative as the younger candidate, Johnson, attacks the other's 40 years of experience, reports the Los Angeles Times. "Attacking McKenna's reputation has been part of a strategy to overcome a distant second-place finish for Johnson in the June primary," per the Times.

The mistaken killing of a Pico Rivera man has renewed calls for civilian oversight of the Sheriff's Department, reports the Los Angeles Times. "The supervisors on Tuesday are expected to consider establishing a long-debated civilian oversight commission to serve as the public's eyes and ears on departmental matters," according to the newspaper.

KPCC looks at the "Rizzo Tax" in the city of Bell -- the $137 million of debt its previous city manager left on the city's books. "So many businesses left town that the city's sales tax revenue these days is half what it was a decade ago. Sparse retail activity means low sales tax revenue - and that's money that cities rely on to pay police and firefighters and to provide parks and maintain roads," according to the station.

A Daily News editorial says an informed electorate can help California overcome the polarization of its state Legislature. "Only an informed public, committed to selecting its own leaders, can loosen the control that the parties’ extreme wings seek to exert over elections. That’s a message worth repeating now that the Nov. 4 election is less than 100 days away," per the piece.

Sunset Boulevard near UCLA has reopened, per the Department of Water and Power, nearly one week after a water main burst and sent 20 million gallons of water into the nearby roads and campus. Twitter

Press Conferences

Mayor Eric Garcetti will briefly discuss negotiations with city unions at 11 a.m. at City Hall.

Upcoming Votes

Tuesday

Wednesday

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