Politics, government and public life for Southern California

San Fernando Valley Sen. Alex Padilla to run for Secretary of State

State Senator Alex Padilla at the Democratic National Convention last year in Charlotte, North Carolina. Padilla plans to run for California Secretary of State in 2014.

State Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) said Thursday he’ll run for California Secretary of State in 2014.

Padilla, 40, said he wants to use the role as the state's top elections official to modernize the voting process.

“We have a generation of young people who have their smart phones attached at the hip,” said Padilla. The MIT graduate says California should use that technology to engage them.

“To push information out about elections and candidates, to pre-register or register, to allow people to confirm that their ballot was counted—these are all things that are easily done with the technology that’s available today,” said Padilla.

Padilla's bid for Secretary of State is his first run at statewide office. He served on the Los Angeles City Council for 7 1/2 years before winning his State Senate seat in 2006. San Fernando Valley voters re-elected Padilla in 2010. 

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Maven's Morning Coffee: Wendy Greuel to release education plan, LA gets transit dollars, a deputy shooting in Lancaster

lausd school bus

Photo by superterrific/dana byerly via Flickr Creative Commons

Wendy Greuel will be at a Granada Hills charter school this morning to release her plan for education.

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, public meetings and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.

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Today is Thursday, April 11, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:

Headlines

Los Angeles Mayor race 2013

Education is an important issue in the mayor's race and both Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel agree that they should debate the issue. What the two can't agree on is when to debate. On Wednesday, Greuel gave Garcetti a two-hour notice to show up for a debate. Garcetti declined, saying they're already working to schedule an education debate in May. KPCC, Los Angeles Times, Daily News.

Meanwhile, the principal of Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, the site of Wendy Greuel's proposed debate, was not pleased to see the school used for negative campaigning, according to the Los Angeles Times. "In retrospect, Greuel might have wanted her staff to do a little better advance work, because Garcetti is well liked at the school — Camino Nuevo Charter Academy — which he helped get a $700,000 grant to help build a new soccer field," reports The Times.

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Pro-Garcetti PAC focuses on direct voter contact in LA mayoral election

Volunteers at pro-Garcetti PAC office

Sharon McNary/KPCC

Guadalupe Gonzalez, center, and Maria Gomez, right, are joined by another volunteer at the opening of the field office for the "Lots of People who Support Eric Garcetti for Mayor 2013" political action committee, April 8, 2013.

Mercer 6947

Hector Mata/AFP/Getty Images

Los Angeles City Councilman Eric Garcetti.


Los Angeles Mayor race 2013Mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel rebooted her campaign Tuesday with a speech that defended her support from City Hall unions and attacked her opponent, Eric Garcetti, as someone who “is good at handshakes, but who won’t stand by his work or his commitment.”

While the Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel campaigns have spent millions of dollars in the race for L.A. mayor, independent political action committees are spending millions more. The PAC supporting Eric Garcetti, “Lots of People Who Support Eric Garcetti for Mayor 2013,” is focusing its resources on making direct contact with pro-Garcetti voters, particularly Latinos. 

The staff of the “Lots of People” PAC includes a lot of veterans of President Obama’s re-election campaign. The PAC’s campaign director, Mary Jane Stevenson, ran the Obama campaign in California. The PAC is also borrowing a key Obama strategy: It plans to spend nearly $2 million  putting paid staffers and volunteers in direct contact with Latinos supportive of Garcetti.

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Jan Perry endorses Curren Price for South LA council seat

Jan Perry, Candidate for Mayor of Los Angeles

Jan Perry

L.A. City Councilwoman Jan Perry has endorsed state Sen. Curren Price, who is hoping to be elected to the seat Perry has represented for a dozen years.

State Sen. Curren Price's city council campaign was endorsed Wednesday by Councilwoman Jan Perry, who cited promises of economic development in South Los Angeles as the reason for her support. 

Perry is termed out of her Ninth District seat after 12 years in office. Price and Ana Cubas are running to replace her in the May 21st runoff. 

"Curren has pledged to right the disparity that has resulted from redistricting and will work to restore the revenue connection between the southern portion of the district and downtown," Perry said in a statement. "This connection will ensure the economic future of our neighborhoods and is an important promise that will help support the people of the Ninth District today and in the future."

During the most recent round of redistricting, the Ninth District was stripped of almost all of its downtown assets. The councilwoman has frequently said downtown developments were crucial to South L.A. because they generated jobs as well as dollars for public housing projects.

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CA's High-Speed Rail Authority needs loan to mitigate legal delays

A State Assembly budget committee voted Wednesday to approve a loan for the High-Speed Rail Authority. 

The $26.2 million would cover operating costs for the agency that's building California’s bullet train while it seeks to resolve legal challenges over its use of voter-approved bonds. 

In 2008, Californians approved Proposition 1A, authorizing the state to issue $9 billion in bonds to build a bullet train that speeds riders from Los Angeles to San Francisco in  less than three hours.

But critics say the High-Speed Rail Authority’s latest plan for the project won’t provide that fast of a ride.  

“They are claiming that they can still meet the two hours and forty minutes, but they don’t have any evidence to show that,” said attorney Stu Flashman, who’s suing the state on behalf of various cities and environmental groups to stop the project. 

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