Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Southern California Assembly races — slam dunks to squeakers

All 80 of California's State Assembly seats were on Tuesday's ballot in contests that ranged from slam-dunks to squeakers.  Some of the races got pretty rancorous, too.

The citizen-led redistricting made many races more competitive than they had been in years. Changes in California law also led several districts to have general election runoffs featuring candidates from the same party.

Sacramento Bee reporter Torey Van Oot tweeted that Assembly Speaker John Perez told her he expected Democrats to secure a two-thirds majority in the lower house. Such a supermajority would remove the ability of Republicans to block Democratic budget votes.

Here's a rundown of some of the more competitive and noteworthy Southern California Assembly races. Complete results also on our results page.

--Assembly District 39: San Fernando Valley: Richard Alarcon (D) / Raul Bocanegra (D)
The voter fraud charges hanging over the head of Los Angeles City Councilman Alarcon seemed to take a toll. Bocanegra knows how Sacramento works — he's worked as legislative director for state senators.


[UPDATED] Assembly candidate's wife sues over opponent's ad showing confidential information

Tax liens naming Matthew Lin

Ed Chau for Assembly campaign ad on YouTube

Images of old tax liens against Assembly candidate Matthew LIn appear in this video ad, "Lifestyles of the Rich and Republican," posted by the campaign of his opponent, Ed Chau. Lin's wife sued, alleging that her identifying information appears in Chau's videos and mailers.

The wife of Republican Assembly candidate Matthew Lin has sued his opponent, alleging he invaded her privacy and put her at risk of identity theft by publishing her Social Security number in mailers and videos seen by thousands of San Gabriel Valley residents.

Joy Lin filed the lawsuit against Democratic candidate Ed Chau. (UPDATE: Superior Court Judge Edward Simpson on Wednesday issued an order temporarily barring the Chau campaign from further displaying Joy Lin's Social Security number and he set a Nov. 27 hearing in the case.)

The candidates are running in the 49th Assembly District — the first in the state with a majority Asian-American population. Though the district has more registered Democrats than Republicans, about 30 percent of its voters do not identify with a political party. Lin won the June primary by more than 15 points. 


INFOGRAPHIC: Many SoCal state legislators register their votes after the fact

Southern California Assembly membes add/change votes

Chart: Sharon McNary/KPCC Data: Associated Press

Here are the State Assembly members from Southern California who recorded the most and least add-in and changed votes in the past year, according to an Associated Press analysis. Asterisks denote members who are running for re-election.

State Assembly members altered their votes on legislation more than 5,000 times in the past year, according to a new analysis published Wednesday by The Associated Press.

Assembly rules let members add their vote to a bill if they were absent for the actual floor vote or chose to abstain. It also allows them to change a vote cast during the formal voting period. Members must make the change on the same day of the floor vote, and their after-the-fact vote cannot change the outcome of the original vote.

Critics say the practice allows lawmakers to mislead their constituents by changing the official record of how they acted on specific pieces of legislation.

Southern California members were among the most prolific vote-amenders, led by Assemblyman Tony Mendoza. The Norwalk Democrat said that adding a vote after initially abstaining — which he did more than 200 times in the past session — is quite different from changing a vote that has already been cast.