Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Poll finds Garcetti, Greuel frontrunners in 2013 mayor's race; 2/3 undecided (updated)

Eric Garcetti

Eric Garcetti campaign

A poll by the Center for the Study of Los Angeles finds Councilman Eric Garcetti leads the 2013 mayoral primary amongst voters who have already decided who to vote for. Two-thirds of voters remain undecided.

For Angelenos who have already made up their minds about the 2013 mayoral primary, their top pick is Los Angeles City Councilman Eric Garcetti, a new poll released Monday concludes.

The Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University surveyed 3,749 voters as they left the polls Nov. 6. The poll indicated that two-thirds of those voters have not yet decided whom to vote for in the March 5, 2013 primary. For the 1,152 voters who had made up their minds, Garcetti led with 36 percent. Controller Wendy Greuel polled at 32 percent, while Councilwoman Jan Perry trailed with 15 percent followed by attorney Kevin James at 8.7 percent.

“We’re very encouraged by that because we think it shows the broad outlines of the Garcetti coalition,” the campaign’s Bill Carrick told KPCC. “Is it the end all and be all of all polling? No, but it’s very interesting.”

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LA's mayoral candidates propose alternatives to sales tax increase

Mayoral Candidates

Photos courtesy of candidates' campaigns

The top mayoral candidates, Wendy Greuel, Kevin James, Jan Perry and Eric Garcetti, all oppose the proposed sales tax increase.

A final vote to place a half-cent sales tax on the City of Los Angeles’ spring ballot is scheduled for Tuesday, but the top mayoral candidates have already come out in opposition to the proposal.

The tax increase, backed by council President Herb Wesson, could bring in as much as $215 million a year. Mayoral candidates and current council members Eric Garcetti and Jan Perry voted no in last week's initial vote.

Fellow candidate Wendy Greuel, L.A.'s City Controller, is also opposed. So is attorney Kevin James, who calls the proposed tax shortsighted — with some pointed words about Wesson's argument that the tax would give officials "breathing room" to come up with long-term solutions.

“I can translate it for you in just a few words – kicking the can farther down the road. That’s what breathing room means,” James said of the proposal. 

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Sales tax increase could appear on Los Angeles' March 2013 ballot

General Election - Grant

Grant Slater/KPCC

A proposal to increase the city of Los Angeles' sales tax could appear on the March 2013 ballot. The Los Angeles City Council gave preliminary approval Tuesday, and a second vote is expected next week.

A proposal to increase the City of Los Angeles’ sales tax by a half-cent was preliminarily approved for the March 2013 ballot Tuesday in a 10-4 vote of the Los Angeles City Council.

The sales tax proposal will need a second approval next week – with at least 10 votes – to appear on the March 5th ballot. Because voters approved Proposition 30, the sales tax is already increasing to 9 percent on Jan. 1. If the city's measure gets on the ballot and passes, the sales tax would increase to 9.5 percent. 

Two of the dissenting council members — Jan Perry and Eric Garcetti — are also mayoral hopefuls whose names could appear alongside the proposed tax in March.  Also voting against the tax were councilmen Dennis Zine and Mitch Englander.

“We’ve got to be able to demonstrate that we’ve exhausted all of our resources,  that we’ve turned over every stone," Englander said. "That we’ve gone down and cut not only the fat and the bone and muscle as some people are suggesting but we’ve actually gotten rid of all of the other additional things we shouldn’t be doing — all of the other additional layers." 

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Crowded field lines up for Los Angeles' 2013 municipal election

Wall Street Protest Spreads To Other Cities

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Ninety-two candidates filed papers, declaring their intentions to run for a Los Angeles City Council or citywide seat in the March 2013 primary.

Serving the city of Los Angeles is apparently good work if you can get it. Ninety-two people signed up to run for a L.A. City Council or citywide seats in the March 2013 primary. 

Saturday was the deadline for candidates to file their declarations of intention. Candidates have about a month to collect signatures and pay a fee for their nominating petitions. The primary is set for March 5, with a runoff between the top two candidates in each race scheduled for May 21, 2013.

Fourteen people filed to run for mayor, including Council members Jan Perry and Eric Garcetti, Controller Wendy Greuel and attorney Kevin James. There are three candidates running against incumbent City Attorney Carmen Trutanich and six candidates for the open seat of controller. 

In Districts 5 and 15, Councilmen Paul Koretz and Joe Buscaino will run for reelection; each faces a handful of opponents. Council seats in Districts 1, 3, 7, 9, 11 and 13 will all be open. In the 13th District, 20 candidates hope to replace Garcetti, who will be termed out of office. 

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LA City Council on Tuesday considers putting sales tax increase on March 2013 ballot

City Councilman Herb J. Wesson Jr.

Andres Aguila/KPCC

A sales tax increase backed by Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson was approved Friday by a committee. It could appear on the city's March 2013 ballot.

A proposal to increase the city of Los Angeles’ sales tax in an effort to close a fiscal deficit was one step closer Friday to making it onto the March 2013 ballot.

Members of the Rules, Elections and Intergovernmental Relations Committee unanimously agreed to ask Los Angeles voters to increase the city’s sales tax from 8.75 percent to 9.25 percent. If the rate is increased, city officials say it would generate between $208 million and $215 million a year for the city’s General Fund, and it would put Los Angeles on par with Santa Monica. The city's deficit for the next fiscal year is expected to be $216 million. 

“It nets us the most amount of money," said L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson. "If you look at what happened Tuesday night, out of 36 elections statewide, 29 of them were successful where it related to an increase in the sales tax." 

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