Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Is there money trouble in Wendy Greuel's campaign? (updated)

Grant Slater/KPCC

There are signs that the Wendy Greuel campaign is short on cash. The campaign canceled its TV ad buys just two weeks out from the election.

Los Angeles Mayor race 2013With less than two weeks until the election, there are signs that the Wendy Greuel campaign may be having financial woes. 

The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday the campaign canceled its television ad buys for two days — an unusual step for a mayoral campaign so close to the runoff. Over the weekend, Greuel personally gave her campaign $100,000. 

The latest campaign finance reports will be filed with the Ethics Commission Thursday. Up until the last report, Greuel and Eric Garcetti have remained neck-and-neck in the race to raise money. As of April 6, Greuel had raised $4.5 million in the general election. The Garcetti campaign raised $4.4 million during the same time. However, the Greuel campaign has spent money faster than her opponent, at one point releasing three television commercials in one week. 

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Maven's Morning Coffee: Wendy Greuel suspends TV ads, San Bernardino County joins onto LAX lawsuit, Villaraigosa heads to China

Wendy Greuel

Wendy Greuel Campaign

Wendy Greuel's campaign has suspended its television advertisements two weeks out from the election. The Los Angeles Times says it's a sign of her fundraising difficulties.

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Today is Wednesday, May 8, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:

Headlines

The Wendy Greuel campaign has suspended its television advertisements, reports the Los Angeles Times. The paper says it's "a move that reflects her continuing struggle to raise enough money to compete head-to-head on the airwaves with her rival, Eric Garcetti."

Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti debated about education on Which Way, LA?

Los Angeles Times writer Steve Lopez went with Wendy Greuel to Tolliver's barbershop to watch her talk politics. "Not since Mayor Jim Hahn did the Slauson Shuffle at Tolliver's in 2005 have I seen a politician as comfortable there as Greuel," Lopez writes.

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CA lawmaker pushes services for mentally ill to reduce prison and jail crowding

Mercer 556

Max Whittaker/Getty Images

File photo: California State Senate President Pro Tem Sen. Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) wants to expand mental care in prisons. An estimated 20 percent of active parolees — roughly 10,000 people — were diagnosed with mental illness while in prison.

People with mental illness who end up in jail for minor crimes often stay longer because there’s no place for a judge to send them for treatment.

“Many of these individuals are arrested for low-level offenses,” says Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal, who heads the California State Sheriffs Association. ”We have now become the new mental health asylums because of the closing of the state hospitals.”

Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) wants to solve that problem by expanding treatment for the mentally ill. He proposes building or contracting 2,000 residential crisis beds that offer short-term treatment, and adding 200 mental health triage counselors at community clinics and homeless shelters to help people with mental disorders get medical care, alcohol-and-drug treatment, and housing.

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CA lawmaker fires back on plastic pistols; calls for ban on 3-D printers for guns

The "Liberator" is a plastic pistol fashioned by a 3-D printer by a company in Texas.

Just two days after a Texas group posted a video purporting to be the first firing of a gun printed on a 3-D printer, State Senator Leland Yee (D-SF) said he’ll seek to ban that use of the technology.

In a press release rushed out Tuesday, Yee said as amazing as 3-D technology is, “We must ensure that it is not used for the wrong purpose with potentially deadly consequences.”

Defense Distributed, the group that posted the video, offers a free download of the gun's blueprint on its Wiki Weapons website. The 3-D gun is made of plastic parts, except for the nail used as the firing pin.

The single-shot weapon is being hailed by some visitors on the company's website as a way to avoid gun registration laws.

Yee said California should be “proactive” about stopping the potential proliferation of guns that “are invisible to metal detectors and that can be easily made without a background check.”

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LA City Council votes to restore LAFD to full staffing

Los Angeles Fire Department Engine

Courtesy Los Angeles Fire Department

The Los Angeles City Council voted 12-0 to give the LAFD the funding it needs to staff 11 ambulances without removing personnel from fire engines. The $1.56 million will keep the plan afloat through June 30.

Following concerns that a newly-implemented plan that moved 22 firefighters to ambulance duty would jeopardize public safety, the L.A. City Council voted Tuesday to give the Los Angeles Fire Department an additional $1.56 million for the next two months. 

Fire Chief Brian Cummings launched a plan Sunday that deployed 11 additional ambulances in the city. But, council members and the firefighters' union expressed concern that removing 22 firefighters from engines to staff those ambulances could hinder LAFD when it comes to putting out fires.

The money will keep the ambulances in service and the engines fully staffed through June 30, which is the end of the fiscal year. 

Council President Herb Wesson backed the supplemental funding, even though it will cost $13 million to maintain the proposal in 2013-14. The council president said he wants the next mayor to have the flexibility to work with the fire chief on the plan. 

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