Politics, government and public life for Southern California

DWP union, entertainment industry join forces to back Wendy Greuel

Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti

Wendy Greuel Campaign/Eric Garcetti campaign

An independent political action committee is raising funds on behalf of LA mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel. No such group has surfaced in support of her main rival, City Councilman Eric Garcetti.

The union that represents employees with the Department of Water and Power is partnering with the entertainment industry to spend big money in support of mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel.

Working Californians, which is backed in part by IBEW Local 18, hired campaign veterans Ace Smith and Sean Clegg to run the PAC.

The campaign of Greuel's main rival, City Councilman Eric Garcetti, used the news to make a fundraising pitch to supporters Tuesday: 

"A few people with a vested interest in the election, spending unlimited amounts of money to keep change from coming to City Hall is not what we need in Los Angeles. Eric is the progressive candidate that wants to move Los Angeles forward but he can only do that with your help. "

No such independent campaign has filed paperwork in support of Garcetti, according to the Ethics Commission. Through Dec. 31, Garcetti has raised $3.6 million, about $127,000 more than Greuel has garnered. 

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LA's proposed $3 billion-dollar street bond hits the skids

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Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Members of the Los Angeles City Council say more public input is needed before a $3 billion bond proposal is sent to voters. A bond backed by Councilmen Mitch Englander and Joe Buscaino would have been dedicated to road repairs.

A proposed $3 billion bond to repair Los Angeles streets failed to win enough support from the City Council Tuesday and will not appear on the May ballot.

The proposal from councilmen Mitch Englander and Joe Buscaino was referred back to the Public Works Committee. The two men expect it to appear on a ballot in a year or two.

“If we want to remain a world class city and attract new businesses and jobs," said Buscaino, "it is vital that we demonstrate Los Angeles is a city of the future and not a crumbling relic of the past. Our streets are one of the most visible and important components of our infrastructure, and there is no question that they are in poor condition and must be repaired.”

There may not be a question about road conditions in L.A., but several city council members expressed concern that the bond was being rushed to the May 21 ballot. The bond proposal would have provided enough money to fix thousands of miles of failing streets over a 10-year period, but it would have taken property owners almost 30 years to pay off the bond. The annual cost of the proposal would have varied, but property owners would have paid, on average, an extra $100 a year.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: Independent expenditures for Wendy Greuel, Villaraigosa in DC, water tax at the county

Wendy Greuel

Wendy Greuel Campaign

The union that represents DWP workers is partnering with the entertainment industry to support Wendy Greuel in the mayor's race. Two former consultants for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will run the independent expenditure.

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.

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Today is Tuesday, Jan. 15, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:

Headlines

Entertainment executives are partnering with IBEW Local 18, the union that represents workers with the Department of Water and Power, to support Wendy Greuel for mayor, according to the Los Angeles Times. Working Californians hired Ace Smith and Sean Clegg to run the independent expenditure campaign.

Is Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in Washington, DC to interview for a cabinet position? KPCC looks at the possible roles for the outgoing mayor.

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Is a Cabinet post in the offing for Villaraigosa?

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Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

President Barack Obama is looking to fill out his Cabinet, but is Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on the short list?

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa addressed the National Press Club Monday, ostensibly to talk about immigration reform. But the Mayor sounded more like he was auditioning for a job.

The rumors have been floating around for months: will Villaraigosa be invited to join the cabinet of the second Obama Administration?

Villaraigosa steps down this summer after two terms as mayor. At a luncheon for media and Latino leaders at the National Press Club, Villaraigosa said he’s aware of the abyss: "With each passing week I take another step toward what one wit would call the transition from Who’s Who to who’s he?"

Villaraigosa’s has already served as Speaker in the state Assembly. And he doesn’t seem much interested in running for Governor. When asked whether he’s been asked by the White House to take a Cabinet position, Villaraigosa gave his stock answer: "I don’t care to comment on any future job. I’m focused on the job I’ve got."

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Villaraigosa talks immigration reform in Washington DC

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa spoke about immigration reform Monday at the National Press Club in Washington.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is in Washington this week for the U.S. Conference of Mayors' winter meeting. But he’s been talking immigration reform all over town.

Villaraigosa was a guest on “Face the Nation” Sunday. On Monday, he addressed the National Press Club, outlining the steps he and fellow Democrats believe Congress must take to fix the nation’s immigration system. 

Villaraigosa said a "pathway to legal, permanent residency and citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants must be at the core of reform."

Responding to critics who want to clamp down on the undocumented in the workplace and cause them to self-deport, the mayor said there’s never been a case in history where 11 million people have self-deported.

Like other Democrats, Villaraigosa wants to replace the current E-Verify system, which checks citizenship status in a federal database. The mayor instead endorsed what he called an “effective and efficient” employment verification program.

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