Politics, government and public life for Southern California

New Wendy Greuel ad features high-profile supporters

Five weeks out from the election, mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel released her second television ad Wednesday, this time touting her accomplishments in various government posts. 

The commercial is narrated by three famous voices (and faces): Sen. Barbara Boxer, former Mayor Richard Riordan and former NBA superstar Magic Johnson. 

“We’ve seen Wendy Greuel lead in a crisis ... We urge you to vote Wendy Greuel for Mayor ... We need Wendy Greuel," the three supporters say in the 30-second spot. 

They also reference her work to establish the LA's BEST after-school program while serving under Mayor Tom Bradley, bringing federal dollars to L.A. after the 1994 Northridge earthquake when she was with the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, and her audits of city departments as the controller. 

Read More...

Bill to boost state funds for UC Riverside Medical School heads for critical vote

 UC Riverside

z-Steve/Flickr

The medical school at UC Riverside is seeking additional state funds to help its transition to a four-year program.

California’s Senate Education Committee unanimously approved a bill Wednesday that would allocate an extra $15 million annually to the UC Riverside Medical School for the next decade.

The additional state funds in Senate Bill 21, along with local government funds and donations, would make it possible for UCR to expand its two-year medical program to a full four years.

The bill’s author, Senator Richard Roth (D-Riverside), said that's critical. 

“In 10 years, with the fast growth of our region’s population and with the current decline in the number of doctors, we’ll be down to less than a third of the providers our residents need,” Roth said.

Roth got the votes for SB21 this round, but he’ll have to clear a higher bar when the bill goes before the state’s purse holders — the  Senate Appropriations Committee.

Read More...

Former mayoral candidate Kevin James endorses Carmen Trutanich

Carmen Trutanich Stock

Damian Dovarganes/AP

Former mayoral candidate Kevin James endorsed City Attorney Carmen Trutanich for reelection Wednesday.

Former mayoral candidate Kevin James backed City Attorney Carmen Trutanich for re-election Wednesday.

Trutanich is facing former Assemblyman Mike Feuer in the May 21 race. He finished second in the primary, trailing Feuer by 14 percent. Since then it’s been an ugly campaign. The city attorney filed an ethics complaint against Feuer, accusing him of receiving an illegal gift by withholding payment to his political consultant. The Feuer campaign filed its own complaint, accusing Trutanich of illegally coordinating with an independent political action committee.

The city attorney has also been locked in a legal battle with his former political consultant – who is now running the Feuer campaign. The LA Weekly reported Wednesday that Trutanich and John Shallman reached a confidential settlement after the city attorney sued for mismanagement of funds from Trutanich's 2012 campaign for District Attorney. Shallman countersued, saying Trutanich owed him $166,000 in unpaid bills.

Read More...

Dianne Feinstein's amendment to reinstate assault weapons ban fails

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) takes to Senate floor

Alex Wong/Getty Images

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), see her in a file photo, saw her assault weapons ban go down in a 60-40 vote Wednesday.

Just after the U.S. Senate voted down a measure Wednesday afternoon to expand background checks for gun buyers, it also voted against California Senator Dianne Feinstein's amendment to reinstate an assault weapons ban.

Feinstein's amendment had not been expected to pass. In fact, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) knew weeks ago there weren't enough votes for the assault weapons ban, so he removed it from the main gun control bill.

The final vote on Feinstein's amendment was 60-40 against passage.

Feinstein issued this statement after Tuesday's vote:

            “I’m disappointed by today’s vote, but I always knew this was an uphill battle. I believe the American people are far ahead of their elected officials on this issue, and I will continue to fight for a renewed ban on assault weapons.

           “The very fact that we’re debating gun violence on the Senate floor is a step in the right direction, and I hope my colleagues vote their conscience and approve the underlying bill. But I’m certain that in the coming months and years, we will be forced to confront by other incidents like Newtown, where innocents are murdered with one of these weapons of war. 

          “I will carry on this fight against military-style assault weapons, and I ask of the American people that they continue to pressure their elected officials to take action. It’s long overdue that we take serious steps to remove these dangerous firearms and high-capacity ammunition magazines from society.” 

Read More...

Compton mayor's race: Aja Brown to face Omar Bradley in June runoff

Aja Brown

Aja Brown/Vison for Compton

Aja Brown was the top finisher in the Compton mayoral primary race. She advances to the June 4 runoff election against former mayor Omar Bradley.

Omar Bradley

David McNew/Getty Images

Former Compton Mayor Omar Bradley, who was voted out of office in 2001, is attempting a political comeback. His 2004 conviction on charges of misusing city funds was overturned by an appeals court last year.


After Tuesday's primary election in Compton, preliminary results indicate voters will face a choice  between a newcomer and an old, familiar name in the June mayoral runoff election for mayor.

Three-time incumbent Mayor Eric Perrodin placed third Tuesday among 12 mayoral candidates, so he will be out of office in July, leaving his successor to deal with a $45 million deficit.

The newcomer advancing to the June runoff is Aja Brown, 31, an activist and urban planner. She won the top spot with endorsements from Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the County Federation of Labor and the California Democratic Party.

She will run against former Mayor Omar Bradley, whose 2004 conviction on charges of misusing city funds was overturned by an appeals court last year. Bradley held office from 1993-2001, when he was defeated by Perrodin.

Read More...