Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Still waiting for House immigration bill: health care still stumbling block

Retiring House Democrat Henry Waxman

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L.A. Democrat Henry Waxman advising Democrats in "Gang of Eight" on healthcare for undocumented immigrants.

House Speaker John Boehner put pressure on the "Gang of Eight" to come up with an agreement on immigration reform Thursday, saying the House will not simply take up the bill emerging from the Senate. Health care appears to be the stumbling block.

The Affordable Care Act provides federal subsidies to lower-income Americans to help them buy insurance in health insurance exchanges.

Los Angeles democrat Henry Waxman, one of the architects of the Affordable Care Act,  said House Republicans want to require undocumented immigrants on the path to citizenship to be insured, just like everyone else. But they also want to forbid spending federal dollars to help them pay for it.

"You can't require somebody to buy something they can't afford and then deny them the ability to get any help," said Waxman.

There is also the issue of emergency room care.


LA mayor's race: Why did so few voters show up? Blame economics

Voting booth

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Typical voting booth and the Ink-a-Vote ballot marking machine used throughout Los Angeles County.

?Los Angeles Mayor race 2013Tuesday's Los Angeles city election drew 19.2 percent of the city's voters to the polls, according to unofficial results from the L.A. City Clerk's office.

But in some areas, voter turnout was much lower (you can see just how low on our interactive map). And while some blame voter apathy on candidates who were too similar in positions to spark much drama, others see it as a symptom of economic dysfunction.

More than 1,100 people are registered to vote at the True Ever-Faithful Baptist Church on 111th and Main Street in South Los Angeles. But on Election Day, only 117 cast ballots. That's a  10 percent turnout, one of the lowest rates in the city.
Oscar Barrett, 47, has lived here most of his life and says he's registered to vote. But he doesn't see the point of voting, even though he's standing right across the street from his polling place.


Mayor Villaraigosa welcomes Mayor-elect Garcetti to Getty House

Antonio Villaraigosa Eric Garcetti

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Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti had breakfast at Getty House to discuss the challenges of leading Los Angeles.

Mayor-elect Garcetti

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Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti stands with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa outside the mayor's official residence, Getty House.

Los Angeles Mayor race 2013Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the man who will succeed him met at Getty House Thursday for breakfast and a talk on leading the country's second-largest city. 

The mayor and Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti had breakfast, strolled the gardens, then addressed reporters in front of the official mayoral manse. Villaraigosa congratulated Garcetti on a well-run campaign. 

"I couldn't be more excited and prouder to welcome my friend of 12 years. ... We've had a long friendship. A friendship with his father before that, and we couldn't be more excited to welcome him to Getty House and share a few words about transition," Villaraigosa said. 

During their private discussion, the two men talked about the importance of staying grounded, Garcetti said. 

"Mayor Villaraigosa gave me great practical advice about just the life, about making sure you stay in touch with this city and the ways to connect always to its people. To never let the bubble take over your life and to always be close to the street," Garcetti said. 


Telling details from LMU's election exit poll

Eric Garcetti Los Angeles Mayor Election

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Eric Garcetti thanks supporters at The Palladium in Hollywood, Calif. on May 21st, 2013.

Tuesday night, just after the polls closed, Fernando Guerra disclosed the initial results of an Election Day exit poll, which predicted a victory by Eric Garcetti over Wendy Greuel by 54 percent to 46 percent.

Guerra, who directs Loyola Marymount University's Center for the Study of Los Angeles, was spot on. His numbers exactly matched the final count delivered by the L.A. City Clerk's office at 3:15 Wednesday morning.

On Wednesday afternoon, the LMU center issued the details of the exit poll, and the results display just how much Garcetti dominated the race.

RELATEDFull details of LMU's exit poll 

The best illustration might be to examine the few categories that Greuel won:

  • She won the African-American vote by a whopping 69-31 percent, likely due to her connection to revered former Mayor Tom Bradley and endorsements from Magic Johnson and Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
  • Greuel won the San Fernando Valley vote, but only by a narrow 51-49 percent. Greuel grew up in the Valley and represented that area when she served on the City Council. But Garcetti has roots there too.
  • And Greuel won among households with a resident who belongs to a public union. But her margin was .8 percent — actually a statistical tie with Garcetti. This was a surprise given the millions of dollars that public employee unions spent on Greuel's behalf.


LA vote count not slow, elections chief says, discounting complaints

City Clerk elections counting room

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Los Angeles City Clerk employees ready computers and counting machines for a final tally following the March 5 primary.

It took until 3 a.m. Wednesday morning for the L.A. City Clerk to report the results of Tuesday's vote.

Some election watchers complained that vote counting in the city was just too slow, while the City Clerk's office says the count was normal, with no unusual delays.

Election night Twitter posts mocked the glacial pace of ballot counting. Attendees at campaign parties around town waited — and waited — for a definitive result.

Rick Jacobs, who raised money to help elect Eric Garcetti, was among the impatient masses milling about at the candidate's party at the Hollywood Palladium: "It was slow! I mean, it was really slow, and that has to be fixed."

The City Clerk counted 380,000 votes by 3 a.m. Wednesday morning. Los Angeles County managed to count more than 3 million ballots in about the same amount of time in last fall's presidential election.
There were a few minor glitches in getting ballots transported from 1,600 polling places to downtown Tuesday night. A helicopter pad on the city's Westside was fogged in, so ballot cards that might have been flown downtown were instead taken by car.