Politics, government and public life for Southern California

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

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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.


Villaraigosa taps former Assemblyman for Board of Public Works

California Budget

Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Former Assemblyman Warren Furutani was appointed to the Board of Public Works Monday. If approved, he would fill a vacancy left by Andrea Alarcon.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Monday named former Assemblyman Warren Furutani to a coveted position on the Board of Public Works.

The position is subject to approval by the Los Angeles City Council. Furutani would fill a vacancy left by Andrea Alarcon, who left the board in January after she was charged with drunk driving and investigated for child endangerment.

"Warren has been dedicated to public service for over 40 years," Villaraigosa said in a statement. "His skills as a problem solver and consensus builder will be great assets to the Board of Public Works and the city of Los Angeles."

Furutani left the state Assembly in 2012. He previously served as member of the L.A. Unified Board of Education and Los Angeles Community College District. He ran for the Los Angeles City Council in 2012, but lost to Joe Buscaino.


Carmen Trutanich amends ethics complaint against political rival over consultant's fees


Maya Sugarman/KPCC

City Attorney Carmen Trutanich believes his political rival is financially benefitting from a no-win, no-pay contract a consultant. He's filed a complaint with the Ethics Commission.

The Los Angeles city attorney is continuing to complain that his political rival accepted an illegal gift -- filing new paperwork Monday containing what he claims is proof of improprieties.

Carmen Trutanich first filed a complaint with the Ethics Commission March 1, just days before he appeared on the primary ballot for reelection.

In last week's election, Trutanich finished second place behind Assemblyman Mike Feuer, forcing a runoff in May.

According to reports filed with the city Ethics Commission, Feuer paid his political consultant John Shallman $7,871 for work done during the primary. Trutanich complains the fee should have been in the $150,000 to $250,000 range. The complaint was amended Monday to note that three politicians who hired the same consultant – Wendy Greuel, Mike Bonin and Gil Cedillo – paid more than half a million dollars in fees for the primary election, according to expense reports with the Ethics Commission.