Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Mayor Villaraigosa backs Richard Alarcon for state Assembly

Democratic National Convention: Day 1

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Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa endorsed Councilman Richard Alarcon for state Assembly. Alarcon is due back in court next week as he faces 17 felonies for allegedly living outside his city council district.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has come to the aid of Councilman Richard Alarcon, endorsing him in his race to return to the state Assembly. The Democrat from the 7th Council District in Los Angeles served as the assemblyman in the the San Fernando Valley's 39th Assembly District six years ago.

Alarcon faces another Democrat, Raul Bocanegra, in the 39th District race. Bocanegra is the chief of staff to incumbent Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes, who is running for Alarcon’s City Council seat in the 2013 primary.

In the June primary, Bocanegra topped all candidates with 36.2 percent of the vote. Alarcon was second with 26.9 percent. California's "top two" primary system sends the primary's two leading votegetters regardless of party to a November runoff.

“Richard is not afraid to take on powerful, big-money interests, which is why virtually every special interest is doing everything in their power to stop him from going to Sacramento,” Villaraigosa said in a statement announcing his endorsement.


Wendy Greuel backs Richard Alarcon's opponent in Assembly race

City Councilman Richard Alarcon

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L.A. City Councilman Richard Alarcon has had a rough week: first he was ordered to stand trial on voter fraud charges, and now a former council colleague has endorsed his opponent in a state Assembly race.

It hasn’t been a great week for Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon. First, a judge ordered him to stand trial on charges of perjury and voter fraud, and now comes word that his former council colleague, City Controller Wendy Greuel, is endorsing his opponent in the 39th Assembly District race.

Greuel announced Friday her endorsement of Raul Bocanegra. He's the chief of staff to Felipe Fuentes, who is leaving the 39th District to run for Alarcon’s seat on the L.A. City Council.

“Raul Bocanegra is a trusted Valley leader and a proven problem-solver,” Greuel said.  “We can count on Raul to work to protect our schools from budget cuts, secure tax incentives to help create jobs, and bring new economic development to the Valley." 

Alarcon and Greuel served together on the City Council when Greuel represented the Second District. According to a 2010 Los Angeles Times article, Alarcon at one time asked Greuel to move the boundary of her district so that his wife’s Sun Valley home could move into his Seventh District. Greuel declined.


Richard Alarcon's preliminary hearing wrapping up with testimony on rotten eggs, soiled furniture

City Councilman Richard Alarcon

Andres Aguila/KPCC

The preliminary hearing for Richard Alarcon is expected to wrap up Tuesday. Prosecutors have said that spoiled food in the refrigerator was one sign the LA city councilman did not live at his legal residence.

As the preliminary hearing for Richard Alarcon finally winds down, attorneys for the L.A. City Councilman and his wife are focused on a peculiar question: how can you tell the expiration date of eggs?

The hearing for Richard and Flora Alarcon is expected to end Tuesday morning. Lawyers have been in and out of court since the middle of August. Richard Alarcon was first charged with 18 felonies, including voter fraud and perjury, back in August of 2010 when prosecutors announced that he had lived outside of his city council district. Flora Alarcon was charged with six similar felonies. 

Earlier this year, the charges were dismissed by a judge, then immediately refiled by the District Attorney’s Office. Both Alarcons have pleaded not guilty. Judge  M. L. Villar de Longoria is expected to rule, perhaps immediately, whether the Alarcons should stand trial.