Politics, government and public life for Southern California

LA mayor’s race: Greuel wants $15 'living wage' for hotel workers; Garcetti won't commit on amount

Eric Garcetti Campaigning

Frank Stoltze

Eric Garcetti speaks with voters after a forum sponsored by the South LA Alliance of Neighborhood Councils.

Wendy Greuel Campaigns

Frank Stoltze

Wendy Greuel talks with a voter outside Grant A.M.E. Church in Watts Sunday (05-13-12)

Los Angeles Mayor race 2013As Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel crisscrossed Los Angeles in search of support, many voters wrestled to decide between the two Democrats in this non-partisan race for mayor.

Los Angeles mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel said over the weekend that she wants the city to impose a $15-an-hour minimum wage for all hotel workers in L.A.

“We want to make sure that all boats rise in the city, that people have the opportunity to afford housing and to be able to afford amenities,” Greuel said at a campaign stop in South L.A.

The city already requires hotels along Century Boulevard near LAX to pay workers a “living wage” of nearly $12 an hour. Greuel wants to expand that.

The public commitment appeared to be a new one, and came 10 days before Election Day in a tight race where labor union activists could play a deciding role. In fact, those activists over the weekend handed out a Greuel flyer saying she would increase the minimum wage for those workers.


Will immigration reform mean drones over Southern California?



The Senate's immigration bill includes a proposal to allow drones to patrol the US-Mexico border

One of the unintended consequences of the immigration reform bill now under scrutiny in the U.S. Senate could be drones in the skies over Southern California. But California's senior Senator says, "Not so fast…" 

Tucked away in the nearly 900-page immigration bill is the "Comprehensive Southern Border Security Strategy." It would allow "unarmed, unmanned aerial systems" — in other words, drones —  to patrol the border. The bill defines that region as stretching 100 miles north from the border.


Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, head of the Intelligence Committee, says she's very familiar with a drone's ability to see from great distances with great accuracy. "You don't want them looking in windows of people's homes or in back yards of people's homes," she says. Feinstein says that kind of surveillance could affect "millions of people living within that hundred miles" in Southern California.


KPCC's voter guide: Enter your address, see your ballot, take your choices to the polls

KPCC Voter Guide snapshot


Choose your candidates, print, email or text yourself your ballot. Take the anxiety out of Election Day.


Rebecca Hill/KPCC

Voters cast their ballots at the Los Angeles Fire Department, Fire Station #43 in Culver City on March 5th, 2013.

Last week we launched our voter guide for the May 21st municipal election. We've got candidate statements, must-read coverage on each race, and your candidates' answers to the questions that define their race.

It's pretty simple. Enter your address, the app will deliver a rundown of each race proposition and measure applicable to you.

(Rest assured, no information you enter will be collected or disseminated by KPCC or any third-party organization.)

You can save your choices on your mobile device or print them out so you can bring them to the polls. 

We'll have this up at the top of the homepage until Election Day, and we'll continue to add more coverage as it develops. Have a look, thumb through it to learn about the candidates who will appear on your ballot, and let us know your thoughts.


LA mayor’s race: Voters struggle to decide between similar Garcetti and Greuel

Los Angeles Mayor


Many voters are having a hard time making up their mind between Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel in the race for Los Angeles mayor.

Los Angeles Mayor race 2013As Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel crisscrossed Los Angeles in search of support Saturday, many voters wrestled to decide between the two Democrats in this non-partisan race for mayor.

“That’s why I’m out here today,” said Mary Lee after a candidate’s forum in South Los Angeles. “I’m trying to make that final decision.”

A poll by the Pat Brown Institute of Public Affairs at Cal State LA found 9 percent of likely voters undecided on the mayor’s race. Greuel captured 46 percent support and Garcetti garnered 45 percent – a virtual tie.

“I know Garcetti’s record in Hollywood and many of his economic accomplishments there,” Lee said of the city councilman who represents that area. But she’s also impressed by Greuel’s fiscal record as city controller. Then there’s the gender question.


Judge rejects restraining order on Feuer's campaign funds

A judge Friday denied an activist's request for a temporary restraining order that would have prevented Mike Feuer, right, from using his campaign funds.

A Los Angeles judge denied a request Friday for a temporary restraining order that would have prevented city attorney candidate Mike Feuer from spending his campaign funds. 

The request came from community activist Laura Lake, who claimed Feuer obtained matching funds from the City of Los Angeles even though he surpassed the spending cap. Candidates who receive matching funds cannot spend more than $1.25 million in the first round.

Documents filed with the Ethics Commission first listed Feuer's expenses as $1.26 million but, the campaign got some money back and that brought expenses to $1.24 million. The Feuer campaign received $650,000 in matching funds for the primary and general elections.

A spokesman for Feuer referred to the case as "frivolous."

"This is a bogus, politically motivated lawsuit, and this has been made clear to the court," said Dave Jacobson.