Courtesy Chin Ho Liao campaign
Chin Ho Liao won a city council seat in San Gabriel's March 5 election, but his residency is being challenged by current council members..
Four members of the San Gabriel City Council have given themselves authority to decide whether a fifth councilman-elect is eligible to take office.
Chin-Ho Liao won a seat in the March 5th election. But the question of whether he really lives in San Gabriel and can be sworn into office has been the subject of testimony before the city council from neighbors, his wife and a former friend who filed the complaint.
Loyola Law School professor Jessica Levinson said it is unusual for a city council to handle this type of decision itself, especially when some of those making the decision campaigned together for defeated incumbents — including Liao's opponent.
"Now their backers are the ones making this decision," she said. "This does not look like a neutral body."
With the wins by Liao and another Asian-American candidate in the election, San Gabriel would have two Asian-American voices on the council for the first time in several years. Only two other Asian-Americans have won elective office in the city's 100-year existence.
Lawyers from the Asian Pacific American Legal Center helped represent Liao at the hearing. Eugene Lee, director of the center's Voting Rights Project, said Asian-American voters' confidence in the fairness of municipal elections is at stake.
"If the City Council succeeds in basically, not seating Mr. Liao, then we believe that would essentially nullify the votes of voters in the city of San Gabriel," Lee said.
Asian-Americans make up a majority of residents in the city, but they are under-represented in the voting population. Lee said barring Liao from taking office could make voters of color less likely to participate in elections.
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Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's weekend in Washington renewed speculation that he was looking for a job in the Obama Administration.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has been in Washington for the past few days for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner and the Milken Institute's Global Conference, but was he also in town for a job interview?
Villaraigosa will be out of office in just two months and it's still unclear what he will do next. Though many had speculated the mayor would seek a job with the Obama Administration, Villaraigosa sought to quiet that speculation with a statement released back in February. At the time, the mayor said: "I am flattered and humbled by the speculation that has included my name for a possible Cabinet secretary position, but I am firmly committed to remaining in L.A. and finishing my term."
Earlier speculation had Villaraigosa as a possible candidate to succeed Ray LaHood as Transportation Secretary. But over the weekend, the White House confirmed the president's nominee for that post would be Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx. And Chicago businesswoman Penny Pritzker now seems destined for the Commerce appointment.
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Once the House introduces its immigration reform bill, conservative Republican lawmakers such as Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of Huntington Beach are expected to be a tough sell.
There's been little news about the immigration bill being crafted by a bipartisan group of House members. But it's likely to be tougher than the 844-page bill crafted by the Senate's "Gang of Eight."
How tough? According to "Roll Call," immigrants would have to go to court, plead guilty to breaking the law — entering this country illegally — and accept probation as the first step to citizenship.
The House of Representatives is not only majority-Republican, but many of those GOP members are considerably to the right of much of the rest of the party, labeling any immigration reform as "amnesty." They say law breakers shouldn't be rewarded.
Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of Huntington Beach says legalizing the status of people who are here illegally would do nothing but "bring more millions of people here to the United States in order to have their status normalized and put their families into a position to get benefits and take jobs."
Is the cost of keeping 10,000 cops on LAPD's payroll taking money away from other city services? The Los Angeles Times takes a look.
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Today is Monday, April 29, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:
In Rick Orlov's Tipoff column, the mayoral candidates get some advice and campaigns for medical marijuana ballot measures kick into high gear.
Now that the Los Angeles Police Department has reached the 10,000-officer benchmark, some in City Hall are questioning whether the cost of public safety outweighs the benefits of other city services, reports the Los Angeles Times. "I don't think it's sensible to say that we cannot cut the Police Department by even one position," said county Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who first proposed the 10,000 number in 1989 when he was a city councilman.
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California must submit, and begin implementing, a plan to reduce the state's prison population by 9,000 inmates this week.
This is not a drill. That's the message a high-ranking corrections official delivered to state lawmakers ahead of this Thursday's deadline to comply with a court order to shed 9,000 inmates from California prisons.
Martin Hoshino, the Acting Undersecretary of Corrections, said the Brown Administration must make the cuts by the end of the year. And, he said, “The state is to begin implementing the plan as soon as it is submitted.”
The state might shorten sentences by increasing good time credits for inmates. Or put prisoners with less than two years left to serve under house arrest, with GPS monitoring devices. Other options include sending prisoners out of state, or releasing inmates early.
Hoshino told members of the Senate Public Safety Committee that the court order also requires state officials to report their progress every month — and report anyone who slows it down.