Represent! | Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Local officials defend enterprise zones targeted for ax by Governor

California Governor Jerry Brown wants to "reshape" the state's enterprise zone program. Critics say he would dismantle it.
Max Whittaker/Getty Images

In his revised budget plan released this week, Governor Jerry Brown calls for the state’s enterprise zone program to be completely “reshaped.”

California has 40 of these “distressed” neighborhoods where the state offers tax credits in order to encourage investment and hiring.  

A promotional video on the website for Riverside’s Coachella Valley Enterprise Zone describes it as a place where the sun shines 350 days a year and businesses bask in tax breaks that have them end up paying “little or no state income tax.”

Businesses in an enterprise zone can get tax credits for up to five years. They can also write off part of their equipment purchases and other operating costs. 

Los Angeles City has three of these tax havens. The City of Long Beach has one that includes most of downtown and some of the port. Craig Johnson,  who manages that project, also heads the California Association of Enterprise Zones.  He says the zones help create and — more importantly— sustain jobs.


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Can Trutanich survive Feuer in LA city attorney’s race?

L.A. City Attorney candidate Mike Feuer.
Rebecca Hill/KPCC

Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich is fighting for his political life. The latest poll, by the Pat Brown Institute at Cal State Los Angeles, showed him down 11 points to his challenger, former State Assemblyman Mike Feuer.

His one ray of hope: The poll found 41 percent of likely voters remain undecided.

Trutanich is nothing if not a fighter. If Los Angeles were the O.K. Corral, he would call himself top gun. As proof of his toughness, the city attorney points to his fight with the powerful operator of Staples Center for the costs of the Michael Jackson memorial.

“I wasn’t afraid to stand up to AEG,” Trutanich said. “When everybody else was going to let that walk, I got $1.3 million from AEG and we reimbursed our general fund.”

Lately, the city attorney is focused on his challenger, former state Assemblyman Mike Feuer.


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Mayoral wrapup: Greuel talks business, Garcetti gets boost from former Obama advisor

Former Obama Administration advisor David Axelrod on Thursday touted the President's admiration for Eric Garcetti, though no official endorsement will come from the White House.

Los Angeles Mayor race 2013With the mayoral campaign in the homestretch, Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti are criss-crossing the city to energize their bases. 

Greuel spoke to the Sherman Oaks Chamber of Commerce Thursday about her plans to create new jobs and streamline City Hall. As for public education, Greuel told the audience she supports local control and she believes principals need to be responsible for what happens in their schools. 

After the lunch, reporters asked Greuel about a series of negative ads that are out this week, specifically targeting the Latino community. The controller said she wants to see an end to all negative ads -- that are not truthful. 

"I asked my opponent on Monday to stop the negative campaigning, the mudslinging, the negative campaigns, the lies that are on the TV commercials and the radio commercials, and he said no," Gruel said. 


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House GOP 'Gang of Eight' members threaten to quit immigration talks (UPDATED)

UFW President Arturo Rodgriguez listens to Rep. Zoe Lofgren at House immigration hearing
Kitty Felde

The Senate Judiciary Committee gets back to work today on amendments to an 844-page immigration bill.The measure was crafted by a so-called “Gang of Eight” senators who pounded out a bi-partisan compromise. But over on the House side, a similar group appears to be falling apart.

Both House Democrats and Republicans say their working group is 95% of the way to an agreement on a comprehensive immigration bill.

But there’s deep disagreement over health care costs and a Senate compromise between unions and the Chamber of Commerce to include both high tech and low-skilled worker visas. GOP Congressman Raul Labrador of Idaho says he’s willing to walk away from the table: "You just need to ask the Democrats if they are willing to — actually for the first time — put Hispanic groups ahead of the unions and ahead of Obamacare."


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Maven's Morning Coffee: mayoral candidates target Latino voters, city budget gets preliminary approval, spending hits new record in city election

A new commercial from an outside group accuses Wendy Greuel of supporting Proposition 187 back in the 1990s -- something the candidate denies. Another group released an ad Thursday that says Eric Garcetti ran Latinos out of Hollywood with gentrification.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

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, May 16, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


New ads in the mayor's race have gone negative -- and they're targeting the Latino community, reports the Los Angeles Times. One ad from a political action committee supporting Eric Garcetti, which can be seen at KPCC, accuses Wendy Greuel of supporting Proposition 187 back in the 1990s. "In a separate Spanish-language TV ad scheduled to air Thursday, candidate Eric Garcetti is accused of wearing a 'Latino mask' and forcing working-class Latinos out of Hollywood during his revitalization efforts there," per The Times.


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