Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Wendy Greuel, Eric Garcetti launch runoff with new endorsements

Los Angeles Mayor

AP

Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel aren't wasting any time -- each campaign announced new endorsements Thursday as they look ahead to the May runoff.

Los Angeles Mayor race 2013 With the primary in the rearview mirror, Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel are moving ahead into the general election with new endorsements. He added the backing of a trio of Latino political players, while she got a boost from an iconic African-American religious figure.

The former longtime pastor of the First African Methodist Episcopal Church endorsed Greuel’s mayoral campaign Thursday.

Rev. Cecil “Chip” Murray worked with Greuel when she was with DreamWorks Studios. Together they created a job training program for low-income Angelenos.

“Wendy Greuel understands the importance of building coalitions across our city," Murray said in a statement. "And she knows how to partner with the faith community to confront the challenges facing Los Angeles.” 

“When Wendy was working at DreamWorks, she joined with our church and others to create a program that trained workers for jobs in the entertainment industry, and that’s the kind of mayor Wendy will be – a mayor for all of L.A. I’m proud to support her campaign.”

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Maven's Morning Coffee: voter apathy, failure of Measure A, new gates at LAX

Mayoral Election Held In Los Angeles

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Tuesday's turnout showed what would happen if Los Angeles had an election and no one showed up.

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, public meetings and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.

The Maven's Morning Coffee is also available as a daily email. Click here to subscribe.

Today is Thursday, March 7, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:

Headlines

Los Angeles Times writer Steve Lopez looks at voter apathy . "Blowing off an election is just plain lazy. Mail-in ballots are available to one and all. You can vote without ever getting off the couch," he writes.

Mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti has turned over his interest in a Beverly Hills oil lease , reports the Los Angeles Times. A campaign spokesman told The Times the lease "was never a serious issue, but it was reported in the newspaper and it became a distraction from the real issues."

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Mayoral candidates left to fix city budget in wake of Measure A's failure

Los Angeles City Hall

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Now that the city of Los Angeles' proposed sales tax increase has failed, the mayoral candidates will be forced to put forward more specific budget plans to address a growing deficit.

Los Angeles Mayor race 2013 The failure of the Measure A tax hike in Tuesday’s election means the City of Los Angeles will not have an additional $200 million to solve next year’s expected budget deficit.

The man behind the proposal, Council President Herb Wesson, acknowledged the failure will make things difficult.

“It makes our job that much more challenging,” Wesson said. “I have no doubt, no question that we will do whatever is necessary to put the city’s fiscal house in order. It’s a serious problem and we will address it that way.”

The challenge will fall on the shoulders of the city’s next mayor – either Eric Garcetti or Wendy Greuel. Each campaign has been vague on what the candidate would do to close the projected deficit that next year exceeds $100 million.

“We can’t continue just to cut and to tax our way forward,” Garcetti told KPCC’s Take Two on Wednesday.

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LA mayor's race: could Greuel’s union support backfire in contest with Garcetti?

Mayor Race - Eric Garcetti

Grant Slater/KPCC

The two finalists for the LA mayor's race, City Controller Wendy Greuel and Councilman Eric Garcetti, both have support from labor unions, but her campaign has the financial advantage.

Los Angeles Mayor race 2013 Mayoral hopeful Wendy Greuel won the support of yet another labor union Wednesday – just a day after securing a spot in the runoff against Los Angeles City Councilman Eric Garcetti.

“Wendy is the right candidate for the job in these challenging times,” said Bob Schoonover, president of Service Employees International Union, Local 721. The union represents more than 10,000 trash truck drivers, tree trimmers, sewer workers and other city employees. The union also represents 85,000 other government workers in Southern California.

Schoonover cited Greuel’s “institutional knowledge” and called her a “good problem solver.” Greuel currently serves as L.A. City Controller.

The timing of the endorsement a day after the primary is unusual. Over the past few months, an assembly of union activists failed to agree on a mayoral candidate. Schoonover, a Greuel ally, said union leaders met “by phone” on election night and decided to back her.  He offered no further details.

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Former LA Congresswoman Laura Richardson still owes ethics fine

Paul Morigi/Getty Images for It Girl Public

Former LA-area Democratic Congresswoman Laura Richardson was accused of forcing Congressional staff to work on her political campaign. She pleaded guilty to seven counts of ethics violations.

Laura Richardson left Capitol Hill at the end of last year, after losing her re-election bid to fellow Democrat Janice Hahn. But Richardson still has some unfinished business with the House Ethics Committee: according to the National Journal, she hasn’t paid off a $10,000 fine for breaking House rules.

Richardson was formally reprimanded by her House colleagues last summer for forcing Congressional staff to work on her political campaign – something not allowed under House rules. Richardson pleaded guilty to seven counts of ethics violations, including trying to obstruct the investigation and pressuring witnesses. She agreed to pay a $10,000 fine.

But now it appears she hasn’t met the December 1st deadline to pay.

Richardson’s attorney, Joe Sandler, says the former lawmaker has paid “part of it” and has agreed to pay off the full amount. He says he doesn't know how much of the debt remains.

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