Politics, government and public life for Southern California

LA mayor's race: As Perry-Greuel rift continues, a wag asks, 'Who's that white lady?'

LA Mayoral Candidates

Frank Stotlze/KPCC

A campaign mailer sent during the mayoral primary by the campaign of Wendy Gruel (second from left) that mentioned a personal matter relating to Jan Perry (far right) is having reverberations in the runoff.

Los Angeles Mayor race 2013Race has become an undercurrent in the mayoral campaign between Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel. This week, the candidates unveiled endorsements from prominent African-Americans who they hope will help sway black voters in the May 21 runoff.

Wendy Greuel on Thursday touted the support of Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson. That same day, Garcetti received the backing of City Council colleague and former mayoral rival Jan Perry, who had the strongest showing among African-American voters in the primary. 

And now Garcetti's added the support of another council colleague, Bernard Parks, the former LAPD chief who is widely respected in the black community.

RELATED: Full coverage of the 2013 L.A. mayor's race

But it's an incident between Greuel and Perry during the primary that continues to reverberate.

Read More...

Councilman Bernard Parks backs Eric Garcetti for LA mayor

Bernard Parks Endorses Garcetti

Eric Garcetti Campaign

The Eric Garcetti mayoral campaign picked up support from Councilman Bernard Parks Friday.

Los Angeles Mayor race 2013

The former chair of the L.A. City Council's Budget and Finance Committee endorsed Eric Garcetti's mayoral campaign Friday, saying his colleague has what it takes to make tough decisions on the budget. 

Councilman Bernard Parks, who also served with Wendy Greuel, made the announcement outside of Garcetti's South L.A. headquarters. 

"I’ve worked with both candidates up close and know first-hand that Eric Garcetti is the best choice for mayor. Eric has a demonstrated record creating jobs and solving problems for his constituents and has the independence necessary to balance our budget," Parks said.

RELATED: Full list of endorsements in the 2013 Los Angeles mayoral race

The two men were joined by another council colleague, Jan Perry, who endorsed Garcetti yesterday. 

As past chair of the budget committee, Parks frequently clashed with many of the city unions that are now supporting Greuel. In Parks' 2008 race for the Board of Supervisors, the county Federation of Labor supported his opponent, Mark Ridley-Thomas, to the tune of $8.5 million. Both the County Fed and Ridley-Thomas are supporting Greuel in the mayor's race. 

Read More...

LA mayor's race: Former candidate Kevin James says he's close to making an endorsement

KEVINJAMES - 6

Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Kevin James placed third in the March 5 primary and did well with Republicans and decline-to-state voters. He says he's getting closer to making an endorsement in the runoff.

Los Angeles Mayor race 2013Kevin James spent months criticizing the politicians working inside City Hall, but now that he’s not in the mayoral runoff, is he ready to endorse Wendy Greuel or Eric Garcetti for the job?

Almost.

In an interview with KPCC, James said he is getting close to making a decision. He sent an e-mail to supporters Thursday evening asking for their input on the endorsement.

“I recognize that some of my supporters would prefer that I not endorse either candidate, while other supporters would like to know my position on which of these two remaining candidates would be best to lead the city for the next four years,” James wrote.

“I encourage, and would appreciate, your input and your concerns.”

RELATED: KPCC's LA mayoral race endorsement tracker

James finished third in the March 5 primary, with 16 percent of the vote. Thought the race is non-partisan, James is a Republican who regularly touted the city's need to exercise fiscal conservatism.

Read More...

Maven's Morning Coffee: LA gets fiscal commission, Hollywood development approved, bike lanes on the Eastside

US Trade representative Mickey Kantor (C

ABDELHAK SENNA/AFP/Getty Images

Former U.S. Commerce Secretary Mickey Kantor has appointed the Los Angeles 2020 Commission to look at the city's finances.

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 Friday, March 29, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:

Headlines

A new poll from ABC 7 finds Eric Garcetti leading Wendy Greuel 47 percent to 40 percent in the mayor's race.

Former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Mickey Kantor announced the members of the Los Angeles 2020 Commission Thursday. The panel will be responsible for examining the city's finances, reports KPCC. Commissioners include former Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner, former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, and IBEW Local 18's Brian D’Arcy.

Read More...

Audit: Caltrans workers falsified safety data on Southern California road projects (PDF)

A state audit released Thursday says lax management at Caltrans allowed technicians to collect pay for work they never did and to falsify data on the safety of 11 construction projects. Read the complete report below.

California’s Bureau of State Audits also found that the transportation agency took years to ensure the suspect projects were sound.
 
The four-year probe found that a Caltrans supervisor paid a couple of technicians $13,700 for work they did not do.

One of the workers falsified data on the safety of three construction projects, including the La Sierra Avenue bridge in Riverside, and a retaining wall at Braddock Avenue on the I-5 Freeway in Los Angeles.
 
A whistle blower told the state auditor about the abuses  in 2009. That same year Caltrans identified the affected projects – but didn’t test their soundness until October 2011.

Read More...