Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Money in Elections: New top-10 lists call out some of California's biggest political donors

Prop 30 and 38

David McNew/Getty Images

A voter walks from the polling place inside Fire Station 38 in Pasadena, California.

Who's making the big money donations to support or oppose California ballot initiatives? KPCC political reporter, Sharon McNary decided to test drive the new lists published online by California's Secretary of State and Fair Political Practices Commission.

A step-by-step journey along the campaign donation trail:


 

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Maven's Morning Coffee: Increasing wages in West Hollywood and Santa Monica, an endorsement for state superintendent, a look inside the Hall of Justice

tip jar minimum wage employment

Photo by Brian Glanz via Flickr Creative Commons

Cities like West Hollywood and Santa Monica are considering proposals to increase the minimum wage.

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 Thursday, Sept. 11, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

The cities of West Hollywood and Santa Monica are considering whether to increase their minimum wages in the wake of Los Angeles' proposal to increase wages to $13.25 by 2017, reports the Los Angeles Times. "The timing couldn't be better because it's clear that there will be some action, at some point, in Los Angeles.... The more the region works together to improve wages for people, the better," said West Hollywood Councilwoman Abbe Land.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: LAPD backlog of fingerprints, possible jail time for Richard Alarcon, downtown's housing stock

US-CRIME-POLICE-INCIDENT lapd station

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

LAPD has an extensive backlog of unanalyzed fingerprints.

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 Wednesday, Sept. 10, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

The Los Angeles Police Department's backlog of unanalyzed fingerprints is so bad that some prints can no longer be used because a three-year deadline for prosecuting offenders has passed, reports the Los Angeles Times. "The reality is, at the current staffing, there are going to be cases … we are going to be unable to get to," said Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese.

Prosecutors want former L.A. City Councilman Richard Alarcon to spend 180 days in county jails in his perjury and voter fraud case, reports the Los Angeles Times. "Richard Alarcon is not remorseful. He remains utterly unrepentant," a deputy district attorney wrote in his sentencing memo. Sentencing is scheduled for today but the hearing is expected to be continued.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: Renewed focus on homelessness, lessons from the LAPD, LA's mural ordinance

SKID ROW 008

Benjamin Brayfield/KPCC

Social services workers try to convince a homeless man to get off Skid Row and seek help around the corner at the Volunteers of America building. But it often takes many attempts to finally get someone to accept the services they need, Los Angeles Homeless Service's Authority employee Gabriel Jimenez said.

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. 9, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

Former Mayor Richard Riordan wrote an article for Vice on what police in Ferguson, Missouri can learn from the LAPD. "While Ferguson may not have the resources of LA, change can and will happen if bold leaders approach these challenges with pragmatic, proven strategies that address injustice, empower both elected officials and citizens to act, and harness the economic might of the private sector," according to the piece.

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Vote for one candidate - several times: It could become legal in Santa Clarita elections

Voting booth

Sharon McNary/KPCC

A judge has cleared the way for Santa Clarita to adopt a new election system called 'cumulative voting' which allows voters to cast multiple votes for a single candidate.

Santa Clarita voters may become the first in California to elect city and community college officials by cumulative voting. The little-used system would allow voters to cast multiple votes for the same candidate. For example, in a City Council election to fill three seats, a Santa Clarita voter could cast three votes for just one candidate, or distribute votes to two or three candidates.

After hearing arguments on Monday, Superior Court Judge Terry Green approved cumulative voting in Santa Clarita city and the Santa Clarita Community College District. The ruling could help resolve lawsuits claiming violations of the California Voting Rights Act, according to attorney Kevin Shenkman. 

With cumulative voting, individuals who are part of a minority bloc of the population could amass their votes behind a single candidate and win a seat, Shenkman said. He represents two plaintiffs who had sued to eliminate the traditional at-large voting system used in Santa Clarita elections.  

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