Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Is Dianne Feinstein's decades-long battle over assault weapons over?

Democratic Lawmakers Introduce Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 Legislation

Alex Wong/Getty Images

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) speaks next to a display of assault weapons during a January news conference on Capitol Hill. Feinstein's proposal to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines will not be part of the Senate's gun control bill.

The Senate returns to work Tuesday and is expected to take up the most comprehensive gun legislation in two decades. Missing from the bill will be California Democrat Dianne Feinstein’s provision to ban assault weapons and large ammunition magazines. That measure will be offered as an amendment – and is expected to fall well short of passage.

Feinstein has battled for decades for an assault weapons ban – a fight that is personal for the nearly-80-year-old Senator.

Assassination at City Hall

It was November of 1978 when Dan White, a former San Francisco Supervisor, walked into City Hall with a gun and a grudge. As President of the Board of Supervisors, Feinstein announced to the media that both Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk had been shot and killed.

It wasn’t Feinstein’s first brush with violence. Last week at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club, Feinstein told the story of the unexploded bomb outside her home and the windows shot out at her beach house in 1976. That’s when she learned to shoot at the city’s police range and began carrying a revolver: "I decided if they were going to come after me, I was going to take a few with me."


Finalists for LA City Council's CD13 get backing from former opponents

Mitch O'Farrell

Mitch O'Farrell Campaign

Mitch O'Farrell, middle, was endorsed Monday by two former opponents — Sam Kbushyan, left, and Josh Post.

John Choi

John Choi Campaign

Assembly Speaker John Pérez endorsed former Public Works Commissioner John Choi for the Los Angeles City Council.

The two men hoping to succeed Councilman Eric Garcetti in the Thirteenth District are picking up support from their former opponents in the March 5 primary. 

Mitch O'Farrell, a former Garcetti aide, placed first in the primary with 18 percent of the vote. He was endorsed Monday by two former candidates — Sam Kbushyan and Josh Post. Kbushyan finished third in the race thanks to strong support from the district's Armenian community. 

"I firmly believe that  Mitch is a genuine leader," Kbushyan said. "Having worked in the district for over a decade, he is deeply rooted and understands everyone’s needs and concerns. The strong political force I was able to capture in the Armenian-American community will now stand firm behind the next Council member, Mitch O’Farrell.”

Post finished fifth in the primary. 


Maxine Waters gives boost to Wendy Greuel's mayoral campaign

Wendy Greuel Maxine Waters

Alice Walton/KPCC

Wendy Greuel accepted the endorsement of Rep. Maxine Waters (behind Greuel in red jacket) outside of City Hall on Monday.

Los Angeles Mayor race 2013

Congresswoman Maxine Waters joined the Wendy Greuel mayoral campaign Monday as a co-chair, telling supporters she will help strategize, walk precincts and fundraise.

The endorsement came as mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti picked up support from several high-profile African-American politicians: Congresswoman Karen Bass, L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson and former council members Nate Holden and Rita Walters.

Waters told reporters the dueling endorsements should be seen as activism, not division, within the black community.

RELATED: Key endorsements in the run for L.A. mayor

“We don’t like low voter turnouts," Waters said. "We don’t like people not being involved, and so when people can get excited about a race, that’s good for all of us.” 

In the March 5 primary, just 20 percent of L.A.'s registered voters participated. Of those voters, according to an exit poll from Loyola Marymount University's Center for the Study of Los Angeles, 12 percent were African-American. 


Maven's Morning Coffee: the endorsement game, voter turnout in South Los Angeles, Republicans come to town

Los Angeles Mayor


Endorsements continue to roll in for the two mayoral candidates. Over the weekend, Eric Garcetti was backed by council President Herb Wesson. Later this morning, Rep. Maxine Waters will endorse Greuel.

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 Monday, April 8, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


In Rick Orlov's Tipoff column, a field aide to Councilman Paul Krekorian runs for Assembly, Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti disagree over poll numbers, and Burbank takes an emotional hit as the "Tonight Show" leaves.

Endorsements: Council President Herb Wesson and former Council members Nate Holden and Rita Walters backed Eric Garcetti over the weekend. Rep. Maxine Waters will endorse Wendy Greuel later this morning. Over at the Los Angeles Times, writer Jim Newton questions the importance of endorsements.


South Los Angeles city council candidates work to mobilize voters for May runoff election

Curren Price Ana Cubas

Price campaign; Cubas campaign

State Sen. Curren Price and former City Hall staffer Ana Cubas will face one another in the May 21 runoff.

Ana Cubas

Alice Walton/KPCC

The campaign of Ana Cubas, center, is organizing loyal supporters in the hopes they'll sway neighbors to vote in the election.

Curren Price

Curren Price campaign website

State Sen. Curren Price is tapping into the network of South LA's churches to mobilize voters.

There’s been considerable civic angst about the low voter turnout in L.A.’s March 5 primary, which was just 20 percent. In some parts of the city, such as Council District 9 in South L.A., it was even lower. 

Only 15 percent of the district’s registered voters came out for the primary, so both campaigns are mobilizing to get a bigger turnout for the May 21 runoff. Each is taking a different approach. In the case of Ana Cubas, campaign volunteer Evelia Palmero says going door-to-door is an important strategy.

“When you call on the phone sometimes they just hang up on you," Palmero said. "But face to face, you are able to dialogue with the people, exchange ideas and when they have a question, you can always clarify the point.” 

Curren Price’s campaign has a different strategy. The state senator appears before neighborhood groups, but – as is tradition for black candidates throughout the nation – he’s tapping into the network of churches. Every Monday morning at Mount Mariah Church in South LA, there’s a meeting of the local Baptist Ministers Conference, which is led by Pastor Xavier Thompson.