Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Former LA Congresswoman Laura Richardson still owes ethics fine

Paul Morigi/Getty Images for It Girl Public

Former LA-area Democratic Congresswoman Laura Richardson was accused of forcing Congressional staff to work on her political campaign. She pleaded guilty to seven counts of ethics violations.

Laura Richardson left Capitol Hill at the end of last year, after losing her re-election bid to fellow Democrat Janice Hahn. But Richardson still has some unfinished business with the House Ethics Committee: according to the National Journal, she hasn’t paid off a $10,000 fine for breaking House rules.

Richardson was formally reprimanded by her House colleagues last summer for forcing Congressional staff to work on her political campaign – something not allowed under House rules. Richardson pleaded guilty to seven counts of ethics violations, including trying to obstruct the investigation and pressuring witnesses. She agreed to pay a $10,000 fine.

But now it appears she hasn’t met the December 1st deadline to pay.

Richardson’s attorney, Joe Sandler, says the former lawmaker has paid “part of it” and has agreed to pay off the full amount. He says he doesn't know how much of the debt remains.


At least two LA council races are headed for a runoff

Gil Cedillo with yard sign

Sharon McNary/KPCC

Former state Sen. Gil Cedillo may be in a runoff for L.A.'s First Council District.

Jose Gardea

Sharon McNary/KPCC

Jose Gardea is hoping the final ballot count will keep him in a runoff for L.A.'s First Council District.

Eighty-three votes.

That's how close veteran politician Gil Cedillo came to avoiding a runoff in his race Tuesday for L.A's First Council District.

There were almost 13,400 votes cast in the race, either in-person or by mail. Cedillo won 49.37% of the votes, his main opponent, José Gardea, garnered 43.28%. The third person on the ballot, perennial candidate Jesse Rosas, won 7.33% of the votes, enough to force a runoff on May 21.


Seems there are votes still to be counted — more than 90,000 citywide provisional or mail ballots that were received in the past few days.

It's unknown how many of those are from CD1, but Cedillo's camp is hoping he'll gain enough votes to get him across the 50% threshold and avoid a runoff. His campaign also has the option of requesting a recount after all the votes are counted. 


UPDATE: Los Angeles city voters reject Measure A sales tax hike

LA Police Shootings

Chris Carlson/AP

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, center, and Los Angeles Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, left, were staunch supporters of Measure A.

Measure A, the proposed half-cent increase to the city of Los Angeles sales tax, failed 55 percent to 45 percent.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck argued the tax hike was necessary to avoid serious budget cuts to the police and fire departments.

During the campaign, city officials said the tax hike would address persistent budget deficits. Los Angeles faces a $200 million shortfall for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The new tax would have raised about that amount annually.

Like many cities, Los Angeles is struggling to recover from a dramatic drop in revenue since the Great Recession while coping with rising pension and healthcare costs for its employees. Since 2009, L.A. has eliminated more than 5,000 jobs, City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana said.  


LA mayor's race: Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel set for runoff in May (update)

Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti

Wendy Greuel Campaign/Eric Garcetti campaign

As expected, Controller Wendy Greuel and Councilman Eric Garcetti were the top two finishers in Tuesday's primary. The two will be in the May 21 runoff.

Los Angeles Mayor race 2013 Two politicians who once served together as leaders on the Los Angeles City Council will face one another in the May 21 runoff for mayor.

Early Tuesday, with 100 percent of the votes counted , Eric Garcetti garnered the most votes among the field of eight candidates with 33 percent of the vote. City Controller Wendy Greuel followed close behind with 29 percent. The results mirrored what both poll and fundraising numbers showed for months – the councilman and controller remain neck-and-neck.

RELATED:  Eric Garcetti speaks on Take Two about campaigning, LA's biggest issues and his break dancing past

Wendy Greuel on Take Two talking about the mayor race, labor support and education policy

Addressing his supporters at the Avalon club in Hollywood, Garcetti took aim at the independent political action committees that have spent millions of dollars on behalf of Greuel's campaign.


Election day extends far and wide outside Los Angeles city limits

General Election - Grant

Grant Slater/KPCC

Voting Stickers

Voters in dozens of municipalities across the Los Angeles region went to the polls Tuesday to vote for mayors, council members and other city offices.

Outside the big contest in Los Angeles, four mayoral seats were up for election, but only one was competitive, in Redondo Beach where Steve Aspel won the office.

Pasadena voters cast ballots in three council districts, but only the Third District in the central part of the city had multiple candidates. In that race, businessman John J. Kennedy outpolled  activist Ishmael Trone by 55% to 38%. Kennedy will replace longtime councilman Chris Holden, who won an Assembly seat in November.  

West Hollywood voters chose two City Council members from a field of nine candidates, electing incumbents Mayor Jeffrey Prang and Councilman John Duran.