Capitol Hill veteran John Campbell reflects on Congressional gridlock.
Irvine Republican John Campbell surprised Capitol Hill last week, announcing he'll step down next year after nearly a decade in Congress. He has a few thoughts about the Washington institution.
Campbell says he's finally "hit the wall." He says in his marriage of 34 years, "We've never liked being apart — and we've been apart most of last 14 years." That includes half a dozen years in Sacramento, serving in the state legislature.
Campbell says this will be his third career change — from accountant to car dealership owner to politics. He's not quite sure what's next, but definitely not a K Street lobbying firm: "You will not find me doing that."
Campbell says it's frustrating being a Republican from a blue state and predicts nothing but gridlock ahead in Washington, "because there is no overlap between Barack Obama's agenda and any reasonable Republican agenda." But he doesn't blame Congress for the stark divide between liberals and conservatives. He suspects the division is "more a function of the House reflecting the country than the other way around."
Eric Garcetti delivers his speech at his mayoral inauguration ceremony on June 30th, 2013. He is the 42nd mayor of Los Angeles.
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Today is Monday, July 1, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:
Mayor Eric Garcetti was sworn in Sunday in an inaugural ceremony held on the Spring Street Steps of City Hall. He pledged to be a "back to basics" mayor who would also bring back the local economy. KPCC, Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Daily News
Former Councilwoman (and mayoral candidate) Jan Perry is expected to have a job in the Garcetti Administration, according to the Los Angeles Times. "Twelve years of elected service does not mean the end of her service, mark my words. I’ve got plans for her," the mayor told the crowd at First African Methodist Episcopal Church.
L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson is expected to be reelected by his colleagues Tuesday.
Eric Garcetti is in his first day as L.A.'s mayor, but at City Hall, there's another man whose power rivals that of the mayor — and on Tuesday Herb Wesson hopes to extend his sway when the City Council votes on whether to give him a second term as council president.
There's no question that when it comes to the council chamber at City Hall, Wesson is in charge. As council president, he is responsible for presiding over meetings, maintaining a quorum and listening to public comments. But, his power goes far beyond parliamentary rules. This is how Wesson addressed Richard Riordan last fall when the former mayor pushed the council about pension reform: "You know what Mr. Mayor — why didn't you fix it when you were mayor?"
And when Riordan tried to respond, Wesson shot back: "No, there's no back and forth. I get the last word. This is our house."
Outgoing Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa makes a stop on his 24-hour "thank you" tour of L.A. at Sepulveda Recreation Center during a Summer Night Lights festival. The event, filled with music, food, and family-friendly activities, is the product of one of the mayor's Gang Reduction Youth Development programs.
By 8:30 p.m. Friday when outgoing Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's bus pulled up to the Hollywood and Vine Metro station, he had already visited longshoremen at the Port of Los Angeles; attended a police press conference; visited students on a field trip to Olvera Street; made sandwiches for customers at Philippe the Original downtown; ate a hot dog at Pink’s; stopped in Boyle Heights, where he grew up; and officiated the wedding of two of the lead plaintiffs in the Supreme Court case involving California’s ban on gay marriage.
And that is an abbreviated list.
“You know, I’m not even close to being tired, by the way,” said Villaraigosa, who is 60. "No, my kiddies will get tired before me."
It was his last weekday as mayor. On Sunday night, Eric Garcetti officially took office as the new mayor after a ceremonial swearing-in party.
Update 8:32 p.m.: Standing on the steps of City Hall Sunday, Eric Garcetti pledged to be a back to basics mayor who would revitalize the local economy while remaining a man of the people.
Though he was legally sworn in as mayor Friday in a private ceremony, Garcetti took the oath of office from Kenia Castillo, an eighth grader who met the new mayor a decade ago when he attended an event in support of janitors.
“My great-grandparents never would have dreamed that I’d be standing here today – soon to be the 42nd mayor of the great city of Los Angeles. What’s remarkable about my family’s story is that it’s yours, too,” Garcetti said.
During his inaugural address, some of the loudest cheers came when Garcetti said he would make every general manager reapply for their jobs – something he frequently said during the campaign. The new mayor pledged to make public goals for all of the general managers in an effort to be more transparent.