Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Maven's Morning Coffee: DWP spending, state lawmakers at City Hall, harassment inquiry at LAUSD

Mercer 10895

Brian Watt/KPCC

Controller Ron Galperin is among the City Hall officials questioning the missions and spending habits of two nonprofits funded by the Department of Water and Power.

kGood 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.

The Maven's Morning Coffee is also available as a daily email. Click here to subscribe.

Today is Wednesday, Sept. 25, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

L.A. City Councilmen Felipe Fuentes and Mitch O'Farrell and Controller Ron Galperin are all asking what two nonprofit entities funded by the Department of Water and Power actually do, reports the Los Angeles Times. The groups' mission statements are "really vague," according to Galperin. Mayor Eric Garcetti met with DWP brass yesterday.

KPCC looks at whether the influx of Sacramento lawmakers to the Los Angeles City Council will make the panel overly political or more disciplined. "Some of them will do well and some will do poorly, but that’s not going to happen simply because they came from Sacramento. It’s because they’re either smart people willing to adapt – or because they’re not," said Dan Schnur with the Unruh Institute of Politics at USC.

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State lawmakers take over Los Angeles City Council

Los Angeles City Councilman Gil Cedillo

Grant Slater/KPCC

L.A. City Councilman Gil Cedillo says his Sacramento experience will bring a more focused, disciplined approach to City Hall. However, a former councilwoman says the state experience could lead to a more politically-minded city council.

Before he was elected to the L.A. City Council in the mid-1960s, and went on to become the city's longest serving councilman, John Ferraro was an insurance salesman. He joined a council that included Gilbert Lindsay, who had worked his way up from being a City Hall janitor. And Jackie Goldberg was a teacher before she was elected in the ‘90s. But things are different these days. 

Because of term limits, Sacramento veterans are increasingly seeking local office. Seven of the L.A. council’s current 15 members formerly served in the state Assembly or Senate. (There's also a considerable salary difference: California legislators are paid slightly more than $95,000 annually; L.A. City Council members receive just under $179,000.) 

According to former Councilwoman Ruth Galanter,  such experience could lead to the sort of back room dealing that's common at the State Capitol.

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Brookfield’s $2.1B LA deal raises ire of Prop 13 activists

Downtown Los Angeles Skyline (skyscrapers, crane, construction, LA)

Christopher Okula/KPCC

Brookfield Office Properties plans to purchase four downtown LA skyscrapers in a deal Proposition 13 activists say would free the company from millions of dollars in taxes.

Brookfield Office Properties, which is in the midst of a major deal to purchase four downtown L.A. skyscrapers for $2.1 billion, is drawing fire from activists seeking to amend Proposition 13. They accuse the company of using a loophole in the law to escape paying tens of millions of dollars in property taxes on the Wells Fargo Tower, KPMG Tower, Gas Co. Tower and 777 Tower.

"The word of the day is greed, and that’s what we’re dealing with here," said Peggy Mears of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment.

Under a deal to purchase the towers from MPG, formerly Maguire Properties, Brookfield "will own approximately 47% of the fund and include institutional partners who will hold the remaining approximately 53% interest," according to a news release from the company. A new fund, DTLA, will own the properties.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: the independence of city commissions, special election in Inland Empire, public hearing at LAX

Matt Schilder/Flickr

A Los Angeles Times editorial questions the independence of city commissions. It also suggests Mayor Eric Garcetti is collecting undated, unsigned resignation letters that can be pulled at any time.

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.

The Maven's Morning Coffee is also available as a daily email. Click here to subscribe.

Today is Tuesday, Sept. 24, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

A Los Angeles Times editorial complains that city commissions are no longer independent and are often little more than a shield for the mayor. The piece also suggests Mayor Eric Garcetti is collecting undated, signed resignation letters from his commissioners so they can be terminated at any time.

There's a special election today in the Inland Empire to fill the Assembly seat previously held by Norma Torres, reports Capitol Alert.  Democrat Freddie Rodriguez will face Ontario Mayor Paul Leon, who used to be a Republican but has since dropped his party affiliation.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: Federal investigation into LA jails, household income in downtown, a look at Mayor Garcetti's appointments

LA Jails

Reed Saxon/AP

KPCC looks at whether the Los Angeles County jail system needs federal oversight.

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.

The Maven's Morning Coffee is also available as a daily email. Click here to subscribe.

Today is Monday, Sept. 23, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

In Rick Orlov's Tipoff column, LAUSD board members go to Washington, D.C., Councilman Paul Krekorian visits Armenia and Councilman Jose Huizar's office has a ghost.

KPCC looks at whether the Los Angeles County jail system needs a federal intervention. "When you realize the feds are looking over your shoulder, it causes you to take a look in your own house," says Rev. Leonard B. Jackson.

A survey from the Downtown Center Business Improvement District found the median household income in downtown increased 10 percent over the last two years, according to the Los Angeles Times. "People who live, work or visit downtown said they were especially interested in a Trader Joe's or new department stores such as Nordstrom in the area," according to The Times.

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