L.A. City Hall will be quiet this week with more than half the city council in Washington, D.C. for an annual conference.
The Los Angeles City Council is on recess this week so several members can travel to Washington D.C. for the annual National League of Cities' Congressional Conference.
The event is a chance for local leaders to meet with federal lawmakers and White House staff. Included on the list of attendees are councilmen Bob Blumenfield, Tom LaBonge, Felipe Fuentes, Curren Price, Mitch O'Farrell, Mitch Englander, Paul Krekorian and Joe Buscaino. Controller Ron Galperin will also attend.
Councilwoman Nury Martinez will be in Washington for the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce's Access D.C. trip; Krekorian will also attend the American Public Transportation Association conference.
The city pays registration fees for the council members, who typically pay for their travel with discretionary city funds or with money they've collected through fundraising,
Attending a Marianne Williamson for Congress town hall is a bit like going to a rambunctious church service, including familiar rituals such as greeting the strangers sitting around you and taking a moment for silent reflection.
At a February gathering at the Pacific Unitarian Church in Rancho Palos Verdes, Williamson tells the crowd of 200 why she — a bestselling author and lecturer on personal growth and spiritualism — is running or Congress.
"The behavior of the U.S. Government in too many cases and in too many ways does not reflect the better angels of our nature," she said, offering the first of the night's many statements about how her religious background informs her political positions.
Williamson entered the race in October, months before longtime Congressman Henry Waxman announced he would no seek re-election in the 33rd Congressional District, which stretches from Malibu through Santa Monica and down to the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
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The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation officials recently announced they will not be providing Central Valley farmers with any water from the federally run system of reservoirs and canals fed by mountain runoff.
More than a thousand California farmers sent a letter to the state's Congressional delegation this week, urging lawmakers from both parties to work together on drought legislation to “address the water supply crisis.”
But a veteran of California’s water wars says the letter is actually a not-so-veiled message from lobbyists for Central Valley agribusiness.
In the letter sent to California Senators and House members, members of the California Water Alliance say reservoirs are empty, groundwater is becoming depleted, and what happens this year will “fundamentally change the face of California’s agriculture forever.”
Last month, the House passed a water measure that rewrites California water agreements and preempts environmental restoration projects. California Democrat Dianne Feinstein introduced a Senate drought bill that makes it easier for federal agencies to move water around the state, but still adheres to environmental laws. No hearing or vote has been scheduled for the Senate bill.
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State Sen. Kevin De Leon says he's "livid" that a former Vernon official convicted of misappropriating public funds continues to draw more than $500,000 a year as a pension.
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Today is Friday, March 7, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:
KPCC profiles James Hellmold, a candidate for sheriff. "Hellmold once served as a personal assistant and driver for (former Sheriff Lee) Baca. He owes his rise in the department in part to the retired sheriff and to another candidate, former undersheriff Paul Tanaka," according to the station.
State Sen. Kevin De Leon says he's "livid" that the state's highest-paid pensioner in the state system continues to draw more than $500,000 annually, even though officials said two years ago they would cut his benefits, reports the Los Angeles Times. The state senator wants pension officials to dramatically cut payments to former Vernon administrator Bruce Malkenhorst. An attorney for Malkenhorst, who was convicted in 2011 of misappropriating public funds, declined to comment.
Amy Howorth campaign
Manhattan Beach Mayor Amy Howorth, left, has been endorsed by South Bay Congresswoman Janice Hahn in her campaign for a state senate seat.
Manhattan Beach Mayor Amy Howorth loaned her state senate campaign $100,000 this week, according to a campaign report filed with the Secretary of State.
The Democrat and onetime Manhattan Beach school board member is running in the 26th State Senate district to succeed Ted Lieu, who is pursuing a seat in Congress.
The money is an indication Howorth intends to be taken seriously in a race that opened up only weeks ago, said her campaign consultant, Dave Jacobson.
That hundred grand could turn out to be just a drop in the bucket in a competitive race. Former Assemblywoman Betsy Butler, who is also running to succeed Lieu, spent more than $2 million in her narrow 2012 loss to Richard Bloom in the 50th Assembly District. Butler has raised $255,000 so far for the senate race, said campaign manager Andrew DeBlock.