Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Democratic Party does not endorse a candidate in Los Angeles mayor’s race

Los Angeles Mayor


This combo shows a Feb. 20, 2013 file photo of Los Angeles mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti speaking to media in Los Angeles, left, and undated image provided by the Wendy Greuel Campaign of mayoral candidate Greuel meeting with voters.

Los Angeles Mayor race 2013

A deeply divided Los Angeles County Democratic Party Tuesday night declined to endorse a candidate in the L.A. mayor’s race. Neither City Councilman Eric Garcetti nor City Controller Wendy Greuel garnered the necessary 60 percent of delegates – or 117 votes – to win the party’s backing.

Garcetti won 105 votes. Greuel grabbed 81.

“Our members were genuinely split between the two candidates,” County Chairman Eric Bauman said. “It’s a race where you have two very strong Democrats running against each other.”

Both Garcetti and Greuel are longtime Democrats (though Greuel was a registered Republican in her younger years). Each has deep roots among the party activists that comprise the voting membership, and each had personally wooed delegates.

The mayor’s race is officially non-partisan, but the party traditionally endorses a candidate. It backed Antonio Villaraigosa in the last three elections (He lost his 2001 bid to Jim Hahn).

In the Hollywood-based District 13 city council race, county Democrats voted to back labor activist John Choi over Mitch O’Farrell, a former aide to Garcetti.

In the South LA-based District 9 city council race, county Democrats voted to endorse State Senator Curren Price over Ana Cubas, former chief of staff to Councilman Jose Huizar.

And in the 1st city council district, which stretches from MacArthur Park to Highland Park, county Democrats endorsed former State Assemblyman Gil Cedillo over Jose Gardea. The latter is the chief of staff to the current 1st district councilman, Ed Reyes.

In the special election for the 6th council district in the San Fernando Valley, county Democrats voted to endorse former Assemblywoman and LA Department of Water and Power official Cindy Montanez over current LA Unified School Board Member Nury Martinez.

Earlier Tuesday, the LA County Federation of Labor endorsed Greuel. More than two-thirds of the Committee on Political Education voted to support her. The federation’s executive committee must still ratify the vote, a near certainty.

Some organized labor leaders have been unhappy with Garcetti’s votes to impose layoffs, unpaid furloughs and pension reform during the city budget crisis. Garcetti issued a statement saying he still has the backing of a number of unions, including the Teamsters and Longshore workers.


Wendy Greuel gets preliminary endorsement from LA County Federation of Labor

Mayoral Election Held In Los Angeles

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The political committee of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor voted Tuesday to endorse Wendy Greuel for mayor. The endorsement must be ratified by delegates.

Another major labor endorsement could be headed Wendy Greuel’s way.

The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor’s political committee met Tuesday morning and voted to endorse Greuel over Eric Garcetti in the mayor’s race. The backing still needs approval from the Fed’s executive board and delegates.

“Wendy was pleased to participate in today’s first step of the L.A. County Federation of Labor endorsement process,” said Dave Jacobson, a spokesman for the Greuel campaign.

“It is truly unprecedented for a candidate to have such broad and far-reaching support from groups that represent working people as well as business groups like the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce, VICA, among others.”

Just one day after the March 5 primary, SEIU Local 721 endorsed Greuel’s campaign. The unions representing police officers, firefighters, and Department of Water and Power utility workers also back her. Labor spent $2.1 million to support Greuel in the primary.


Villaraigosa, LA city councilmen in Washington for conferences

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was in Washington, DC Tuesday to meet with lawmakers about sequestration and transportation issues.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is a man on the move, spending Tuesday in Washington, D.C. and Wednesday in New York.

The mayor is in Washington for the Access DC trip hosted by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. More than 250 local business leaders are on their annual lobbying trip, telling Congress how sequestration will affect L.A.

The Access LA group told Congress that sequestration means fewer low income housing vouchers and delays getting through customs at LAX.

But the Mayor has also been meeting with Congressional leaders to talk about the federal loan program he promoted called "America Fast Forward." Congress put a billion dollars a year in loans in the two-year transporation bill.

The mayor says there's likely to be more demand than money. Now, he’s lobbying for the other half of the program: federal bonds. He says members "aren't dismissing out of hand" the proposal for bonds the way they did three years ago when he first proposed the loans. "That’s a good thing," the mayor said. He hasn’t gotten any yesses, yet. But he describes Congressional leaders as “open.”


Democrats reject proposal to address a realignment issue

San Francisco Mayor Unveils Universal Healthcare Plan

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CA Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-SF), chair of the Assembly Public Safety Committee, says he is reluctant to make any major changes to realignment while California is under a court order to reduce the prison population.

Democrats on the Assembly Public Safety Committee blocked a bill Tuesday that would have punished paroled sex offenders who fail to register with law enforcement by sending them back to state prison.

Assemblyman Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga) said Assembly Bill 2 was necessary to fix a problem created when lawmakers passed realignment. The 2011 overhaul of California's criminal justice system diverts parole violators, who were formerly sent to state prison for up to a year, to the counties.

“Current law puts those who do not register as a sex offenders in city or county jails,” Morrell told the committee. “Overcrowding due to our Governor’s realignment bill often puts these offenders back on the streets within days.”

Morrell said a recent Stockton case demonstrates the need for a legislative fix to realignment. In February, sheriffs there released a parolee one day after he pled guilty to failing to register as a sex offender.  Within days the man was arrested on charges of robbery, rape and the murder of his grandmother.


Maven's Morning Coffee: storm water fee gets a hearing, neighborhood councils asked to pay for elections, appointment to Board of Public Works

LA -Area Beach Rated Worst In The Nation For Water Quality

David McNew/Getty Images

A fee to pay for storm water clean-up may be permanently sidelined, according to the Daily News.

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, March 12, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


A storm water clean-up fee may be permanently sidelined by Los Angeles County supervisors today, reports the Daily News. "The supervisors' nuanced motion is indicative of the rocky seven-year history of the proposal, which aims to tackle one of the most entrenched pollution problems by creating a new revenue stream," according to the newspaper.

The city of Los Angeles wants neighborhood councils to help pay for their 2014 elections, according to the Daily News. CAO Miguel Santana says the financial help is needed due to the failure of Measure A. But, the chairman of the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates called that a form of punishment.