Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Final count for recent Los Angeles elections is complete

City Clerk elections counting room

Sharon McNary/KPCC

Los Angeles City Clerk employees ready computers and counting machines for a final tally March 26, 2013 in the municipal election held March 5.

Election workers tasked with prepping some 90,000 uncounted mail-in and provisional ballots cast in the March 5 Los Angeles City election posted final results shortly before midnight Tuesday.

In the First District, former state legislator Gil Cedillo fell short of a majority and is forced into a runoff against Jose Gardea, who got 43 percent. Gardea is chief of staff to outgoing Councilman Ed Reyes, who represents the northeastern part of Los Angeles.

Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield avoids a runoff with his 52 percent of the vote to represent the Third District in the San Fernando Valley. Businesswoman Joyce Pearson got nearly 20 percent election night, and said she wouldn't concede to Blumenfield until all  ballots were counted.

In the northeast San Fernando Valley's Seventh District race Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes also held on to his 51 percent of the vote to win the seat without a runoff. Nicole Chase, development and marketing director at the Boys & Girls Club of the San Fernando Valley, was the runner-up in the  final results.


Eric Garcetti backed by African-American women's political group

Eric Garcetti Election Campaign

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Eric Garcetti was endorsed Tuesday by the Los Angeles African American Women Political Action Committee.

Los Angeles Mayor race 2013

Mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti was endorsed by the L.A. African-American Women Political Action Committee Tuesday, just a week after he picked up support from another African-American political group.

The Thirteenth District councilman is facing L.A. City Controller Wendy Greuel in the May 21 runoff. Last week he was endorsed by the New Frontier Democratic Club, which is predominantly made up of African-American women.

“Eric is a leader who will create jobs and solve problems in every L.A. community,” said Jacquelynn Hawthorne, chair of the African-American Women PAC. “We’ve seen what he’s done to revitalize neighborhoods like Hollywood and Echo Park, and we want to see that back to basics approach taken citywide when he is mayor.”

The March 5 primary saw 56 percent of African-American voters support Councilwoman Jan Perry, according to an exit poll from the Center for the Study of Los Angeles. The councilwoman has not yet decided whether to endorse in the runoff. Greuel received 24 percent of the African-American vote, while Garcetti got 14.5 percent in the primary. 


Maven's Morning Coffee: Congress disagrees over LAX runway, Villaraigosa makes final push for privatization plans, what happened to sale of AEG?

03 -LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Reps. Maxine Waters and Henry Waxman disagree over whether to move LAX's northern runway.

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 Tuesday, March 26, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


Reps. Maxine Waters and Henry Waxman are at odds over a proposal to move LAX's northern runway, reports the Los Angeles Times. "Waters depicted Waxman as someone who had joined 'an unholy alliance' composed of organized labor and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, which view the runway plan as critical to job creation and keeping the airport competitive," according to the newspaper.

Forbes looks at why Philip Anschutz pulled the plug on the sale of AEG. "Anschutz got wind that (Tim) Leiweke was trying to influence the choice of a buyer for AEG. Anschutz became infuriated and fired him and ended the sale," according to the piece.


Will a million online signatures push Congress to take up student loan debt relief?

Mercer 7821

LA Public Library/Hollywood Citizen News/Valley Times Collection

Fifty years ago, if you had an issue you wanted to fight for, you set up a card table and asked people for signatures on a petition, like the Chatsworth Junior Women's Club did to save oak trees in 1964. Today, the petitions are online - but are they more convincing?


It showed up in my Facebook account this morning: a link from a playwright friend that reads "Win This Campaign, Support the Student Loan Fairness Act (H.R. 1330).

That's the bill introduced late last week by Democratic Congresswoman Karen Bass from Los Angeles. It's the first House measure this session to address the trillion dollar debt carried by students around the country.

The bill promises to "increase purchasing power, strengthen economic recovery, and restore fairness" in financing higher education in the United States. It does that through student loan forgiveness and caps on interest rates on federal student loans, among other methods.

Signon.org signs on to the campaign

The Bass bill has support from the progressive website Signon.org. It's funded by by Moveon.org, and it features citizen petitions on everything—from "Tell Harry Reid Put the Assault Weapons Ban in Gun-Control Bill" (only 634 signatures) to "President Obama: Don't Appoint Villaraigosa" to a cabinet position because of his "disappointing" record (2,589 signatures).


President Clinton endorses Greuel for LA mayor

Former President Bill Clinton Gives Closing Remarks At The Int'l AIDS Conference

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Clinton endorsed Wendy Greuel for Los Angeles mayor Monday.

Former President Bill Clinton endorsed Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel for mayor Monday. The backing comes at a crucial time for Greuel, who shook up her campaign team over the weekend amid concerns over messaging.

"Wendy is a smart, dedicated, and creative problem-solver.  She knows how to make government work for ordinary people,” President Clinton said in a statement.  Greuel worked for Clinton’s Department of Housing and Urban Development in the 1990’s, and was an early backer of Hillary Clinton in her 2008 bid for president. The Clintons place a high value on loyalty.

"President Clinton has been a role model for me of what strong leadership can mean in terms of creating jobs and building coalitions,” Greuel said. “This endorsement demonstrates the momentum we are determined to build through May 21."