Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Whittier Latino Coalition puts Voting Rights Act lawsuit on hold

Whittier Daily News

The Whittier City Council includes, from left: Joe Vinatieri, Owen Newcomer, Cathy Warner and Mayor Bob Henderson.

The Whittier Latino Coalition is delaying its threatened lawsuit against the city over alleged violation of the California Voting Rights Act lawsuit, a spokesman said Tuesday.

The group had originally set July 17 as its deadline for the city to commit to district elections or face legal action.

Members of the coalition allege that the voting power of Whittier's Latino majority population is diluted, and that the Latino community has been unable to elect a candidate of its choice because elections are held at-large. They prefer to elect council members from districts in the belief that Latino candidates would have a better chance to win. They also want city elections consolidated with Whittier's school district and other elections in November.

Mayor Bob Henderson, in a previous interview, said residents of the city are fairly represented by an at-large city council and that there is no barrier to all eligible voters casting ballots on the city's traditional election dates in April.


Money race on in San Bernardino 2014 Congressional district race

GOP Rep. Gary Miller is being targeted in 2014 by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

It's still eleven months until the primary, but the cash is adding up for candidates in the 31st Congressional district in the Inland Empire.

Republican Gary Miller won the newly redrawn district last year. He's had a target on his back ever since. The Democratic political action committee House Majority PAC labeled Miller "the most endangered Republican incumbent" in the country.

Miller raised more than $150,000 in the past few months, increasing his campaign war chest to more than half-a-million dollars. 

But Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, a Democrat backed by the national party's fundraising arm, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, raised twice that amount that same quarter, more than $300,000. Most of that comes from individuals. Only about one dollar in five comes from political action committees.


Maven's Morning Coffee: arrests following protests, Gavin Newsom as the state's #2, candidates for Homeland Security Secretary

Trayvon Martin Rally Leimert Park

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Police officers line up on Vernon St. in Leimert Park to take 13 arrested protestors to jail.

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.

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Today is Tuesday, July 16, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:


Fourteen people were arrested last night following a peaceful protest in Leimert Park, reports the Los Angeles Times. "The trial that we saw in Florida has ignited passions but we have to make sure it will not ignite the city," said Mayor Eric Garcetti, per KPCC.

Even Gavin Newsom thinks being lieutenant governor is kinda lame, according to this Los Angeles Times article. "It was difficult to realize, 'I'm lieutenant governor.' And (Gov. Jerry) Brown appropriately reminded me of that," Newsom says.


Lots of Californians mentioned as candidates for Homeland Security post

Alejandro Mayorkas

Kitty Felde/KPCC

Former U.S. Attorney for Southern California Alejandro Mayorkas is one of the names being talked about as a candidate to replace Janet Napolitano.

Janet Napolitano’s announcement that she’s leaving her cabinet position to head the UC System has fueled lots of speculation inside the Beltway about who will  be her replacement. Several candidates for Homeland Security Secretary have strong ties to Southern California.

President Obama could pick the man he’s already nominated for the number two job at Homeland Security: Alejandro Mayorkas, who is currently head of citizenship and immigration services at DHS, is awaiting Senate confirmation nomination of his nomination for Deputy Director.

Mayorkas spent a dozen years in Los Angeles with the U.S. Attorney’s office, eventually becoming the youngest person to become the boss. Mayorkas, who was born in Cuba, attended college in California — UC Berkeley for undergrad, Loyola Law School for his JD. There has been pressure on the Obama administration to have at least one Latino in the cabinet, which could boost Mayorkas' chances. 


CA Chamber of Commerce pressures Congressional delegation over immigration reform

Mercer 13536

Kitty Felde/KPCC

GOP Congressman Darrell Issa (center) publicly supports citizenship for some undocumented immigrants.

The House of Representatives returns to Washington late Tuesday following the July 4th recess. But the immigration debate followed members back to their home districts in California. The state Chamber of Commerce weighed in with a message to lawmakers from the Golden State: don't let others drive the immigration debate.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been an active participant in the immigration debate, forging a compromise with unions that set the table for the comprehensive immigration bill passed by the Senate. Now, California Chamber president Allan Zaremberg has a personal message for House members, delivered in a short video (see below).

Zaremberg says California’s representatives need to dominate the immigration debate in Washington. "They can’t let somebody else, who doesn’t have a stake in this, determine the outcome,” he says. Zaremberg makes his case in dollars and cents, saying, "What happens in California affects the rest of the country. Our economy is going to help drive the economic recovery in the rest of the United States.”