Office of Rep. Karen Bass
Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) has landed a seat on the House Judiciary Committee.
Santa came early for several members of Congress: House leaders on Thursday announced committee assignments for both veterans and newcomers.
Republican Congressman Gary Miller will now be the number two Republican on the House Financial Services Committee. Miller, who just won reelection in a new district in San Bernadino, has served on that committee for more than a decade and has been active on housing and mortgage issues.
Irvine Congressman John Campbell also serves on Financial Services and has landed the top spot on the Domestic and International Monetary Policy Subcommittee.
On the Democratic side, a trio of California Congresswomen are taking on new committees. L.A.'s Karen Bass adds the Judiciary Committee to her "things to do" list. Oakland Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who's served for a decade and a half in Washington, will now serve on the House Budget Committee.
Northern California Democratic Congressman Mike Thompson has been asked by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to coordinate the party's gun control legislation.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has asked California Congressman and longtime gun advocate Mike Thompson to head a Democratic task force to coordinate House legislative efforts in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy.
Thompson, who represents the Northern California wine country, is working the halls of Congress — on both sides of the aisle.
Thompson says he’s been meeting with colleagues, trying to find consensus on what Congress should do to respond to the elementary school shooting. He hints that some of those conversations have been with Republican members, but declined to name any GOP Congressmen he's met with.
"I don’t think we need to do that right now," Thompson said Thursday. "We’re working on this thing and I don’t want to jeopardize it. If I find allies, I want to keep working with them."
House Republicans have been mum on any of the gun control proposals suggested by Democrats — at least so far. That could change after the National Rifle Association holds a very public press conference Friday.
This year, Thompson was named one of eight "surprisingly pro-gun Democrats” by Guns and Ammo magazine.
The movie "Zero Dark Thirty" has been getting rave reviews and has been named movie of the year by the New York Film Critics Circle. But a trio of U.S. senators, including California Democrat Dianne Feinstein, calls it a "dangerous combination" of fact and fiction.
Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, joined Republican colleague John McCain of Arizona and fellow Democrat Carl Levin of Michigan in putting their complaints in a letter to Sony Pictures, which released the movie. ("Zero Dark Thirty" is now playing in Los Angeles area theaters.)
The three call the film "grossly inaccurate and misleading in its suggestion that torture resulted in information" that led to finding Osama bin Laden. They acknowledge the film is fiction, but note that it opens with the words "based on first-hand accounts of actual events."
L.A. City Councilman Herb Wesson's selection for the Ethics Commission is the wife of a City Hall fundraiser.
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Today is Thursday, Dec. 20, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:
L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson is getting criticism for appointing the wife of a campaign fundraiser to the Ethics Commission, reports the Los Angeles Times. Erin Pak's husband has raised money for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, District Attorney Jackie Lacey and Councilman Eric Garcetti.
The Los Angeles Times looks at how mayoral candidates are building coalitions to make it to the May runoff. "In a sense, political observers say, it's the up-for-grabs election," according to the newspaper.
Assault weapons like these that were seized in a Moreno Valley raid are illegal in California.
President Obama on Wednesday called on Congress to re-enact an assault weapons ban and prohibit high capacity ammunition magazines. California already has those laws, and more.
The state broadly defines assault weapons — and bans them. It prohibits the sale of ammunition magazines that carry more than ten bullets. And it’s closed what’s often been called the gun show loophole that allowed people to avoid background checks if they bought a gun from a private owner.
“Whenever you transfer a firearm from one person to another, you have to go through a firearms dealer and a background (check) is done,” said Steve Lindley, chief of the Bureau of Firearms for the California Department of Justice. “A lot of other states do not have that.”
Most states also don’t have California’s 10-day waiting period to buy a gun. Nor do they limit you to one new gun purchase a month. And starting in 2014, California law will require gun owners to register not just their handguns, but their rifles and other “long” guns.