Politics, government and public life for Southern California

What House lawmakers can do — and what they can't — on a sequestered Capitol Hill


SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

The US Capitol in Washington, DC, is seen February 28, 2013.

Congress is learning how sequestration cuts come home to roost.

First, it was a list of entrances to House office buildings that will be closed due to sequestration cuts affecting the Capitol Police. That means longer lines getting through the security line at the remaining entrances.

Now, the House Ethics Committee is laying down the law about what members and their staffs can and cannot do to get by with fewer resources.

In a memo sent by the Ethics Committee and ranking member Linda Sanchez (D-Cerritos), House lawmakers are reminded that “ethics rules, laws, and standards of conduct remain in effect and may be relevant as you consider various methods of savings.”

For instance, you can’t use campaign funds to pay for office furniture or computer equipment or even to hire someone to open constituent mail. And there are “significant limitations” on the use of volunteer services in place of paid staff.


Will Jan Perry, Kevin James back former rivals in mayor's race?

Forum Mayor Debate

Grant Slater/KPCC

Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel aren't saying yet whether they're seeking the support of their former opponents in the mayor's race.

Los Angeles Mayor race 2013 Jan Perry and Kevin James were eliminated in Tuesday’s primary but together, they captured more than 30 percent of the vote, which leads to the question: where will those votes go in May?

Both Perry and James tell KPCC they have not decided whether to endorse Wendy Greuel or Eric Garcetti in the runoff. A spokesman for the Greuel campaign said she was reaching out to all the losing candidates to ask for their support.

That could be an awkward conversation with Perry. In the days leading up to the primary, the Greuel camp sent out mailers alerting voters to Perry's financial problems back in the 1990s.

As for the Garcetti campaign, a spokesman said that camp is also seeking James and Perry's endorsement.

"He's seeking support from many people and organizations," said spokesman Jeff Millman, "and after finishing on top in Tuesday's primary, he has received phone calls non-stop from people who want to get involved."


Maven's Morning Coffee: Villaraigosa considers a mayoral endorsement, Harbor Commission improves rail project, claim filed in Christopher Dorner case

LA Mayor Villraigosa Discusses Immigration Reform In Washington

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says he's thinking about whether to endorse in the May runoff. He notes, though, that he will support whoever wins.

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 Friday, March 8, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is considering whether to endorse in the mayoral runoff, reports the Daily News. "I think it's important that whatever happens, I have a good relationship with the next mayor. I am going to support whoever wins," he says.

Speaking of the runoff, Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel now start from zero in terms of fundraising, according to the Los Angeles Times.

A Daily News editorial looks at the lessons learned from Tuesday's primary: "the public says career politicians are bums but doesn't throw them out."


Expect to hear more immigration homilies as US bishops ramp up advocacy

Archbishop Jose H. Gomez

Courtesy Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez chairs the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Migration.

It's been pretty quiet the past few years in Catholic churches on the immigration front. Sermons have tackled a long list of other Catholic social justice issues. But it's likely you'll be hearing about immigration from the pulpit sometime soon.

As Congress debates immigration reform, bishops want lawmakers to hear from their Catholic constituents on the topic.

To help local parishes organize, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development announced this week it is kicking in $800,000 in grants — bringing a total of more than $3.5 million just in the past year — to support grassroots organizations working locally on immigration reform.

Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, who chairs the CCHD subcommittee, says the push for immigration reform is "rooted in Catholic social teaching about the dignity of the human person and reflects the Church's deep historic ties to generations of immigrants who have come to America."


LA election: Exit poll details mayoral candidates' strengths, weaknesses at ballot box

Los Angeles Election Day 2013

Mary Plummer/KPCC

An exit poll from Loyola Marymount University looks at how the mayoral candidates did in Tuesday's primary.

Los Angeles Mayor race 2013 An exit poll from the Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University confirms what many observers expected in Tuesday’s mayoral primary.

The center surveyed both vote-by-mail and in-person voters. Eric Garcetti won the primary with 33 percent of the vote. Wendy Greuel came in second with 29 percent followed by Kevin James with 16 percent; Jan Perry with 16 percent; and Emanuel Pleitez with 4 percent.

The exit poll’s highlights include:

  • Garcetti received 48 percent of the Latino vote and 43 percent of the Asian-American vote
  • Garcetti won every age group, doing particularly well among the 18-29 set
  • 40 percent of Jewish voters went for Garcetti
  • Perry was supported by 55 percent of African-American voters
  • Half of all Republicans who voted went for James, as did 30 percent of decline to state voters