Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa under fire for "Fix the Debt" association

Angela Garcia Combs says she gathered more than 20,000 signatures urging Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to withdraw from "The Coalition to Fix the Debt," which she argues is dominated by Republicans trying to slash social programs. (12/11/12)

Angela Garcia Combs stood outside Los Angeles City Hall with a box of petitions

“I’m not an activist,” she said. “With the exception of the fifth grade, I’ve never initiated a petition before.”

At Bushard Elementary School, Combs gathered signatures demanding that the principal allow girls to wear open-toe sandals, like the boys.

Four decades later, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s decision to join “The Campaign to Fix the Debt” prompted her to circulate a petition again.

“I cannot accept him lending his name and our good city’s name to ‘Fix the Debt,’” said Combs, who writes theater criticism, essays and screenplays.

Combs, 50, said she collected more than 20,000 signatures through MoveOn.org on a petition urging Villaraigosa to withdraw from the group. She heard about his move only two weeks ago.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: digital billboards come down, former commissioner goes to prison, county Fed declines to endorse

Mercer 19487

Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images

A court has ordered Los Angeles' digital billboards to go dark. A three-judge panel determined existing law prohibited traditional billboards from being converted to the digital variety.

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, Dec. 11, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:

Headlines

A three-judge panel has ordered 100 digital billboards to be taken down in the city of Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles Times. "The panel instructed a lower court to order the revocation of permits for electronic signs already permitted under the agreement, many of which were on the Westside," reports the newspaper.

The former president of the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners was sentenced to seven years in federal prison for distributing child pornography, reports City News Service. Al Abrams was immediately taken into custody.

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Councilman Jose Huizar faces $10K fine for 2011 campaign

Jose Huizar

Jose Huizar

L.A. City Councilman Jose Huizar has agreed to pay a $10,500 fine for violations related to his 2011 reelection campaign.

Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar faces a $10,500 fine from the city Ethics Commission for violations related to his 2011 reelection campaign.

Commissioners will vote on the recommended fine on Thursday. They accuse the councilman’s campaign of accepting four $500 contributions in excess of the $500-per-donor cap that was in place in 2011. In two instances, the contributions came from companies that shared ownership. In the other two cases, donations came from an individual and his business. 

The Huizar campaign is also accused of failing to send the Ethics Commission copies of three emails it sent to thousands of supporters. In a statement, the councilman said he would pay the $10,500 fine. 

"I take full responsibility for these infractions committed by my 2011 campaign," Huizar said in a statement. "The excess contributions represent less than .05 percent of the total amount raised by my 2011 campaign, and my campaign mistakenly failed to file three out of 39 campaign communications with the commission.  While these errors were completely unintentional, they are nonetheless unacceptable."

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Greuel beating Garcetti in race for prominent elected Latino endorsements [UPDATED]

Garden Party In Honor Of LA Pride

David Livingston/Getty Images

California Assembly Speaker John Perez has endorsed Wendy Greuel over Eric Garcetti for Los Angeles mayor

Most elected Latino leaders who have announced a preference in the Los Angeles mayor’s race are lining up behind Wendy Greuel.

The latest endorsement came Monday from State Assembly Speaker John Perez, one of California’s most powerful Democrats.

“Wendy understands the needs of working people and of business owners alike, and can bring them together to rebuild our economy,” said Perez, who represents downtown L.A. in the Assembly.  “Wendy will be a fighter for Angelenos across the city and she has my enthusiastic support.”

Perez brings a lot to Greuel’s campaign.  He is a former union organizer closely tied to the powerful L.A. County Federation of Labor.  He is one of the country’s most prominent openly gay elected officials.  And he is the cousin of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

He joins L.A. County Supervisor Gloria Molina, Congressman-elect Tony Cardenas, State Senator Alex Padilla, United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta and a number of other Latino elected leaders in backing Greuel, the L.A. City Controller, over her chief rival Councilman Eric Garcetti.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: Latinas run for LA City Council, public transit ridership goes up, lawsuit filed after Huizar crash

Ana Cubas

Ana Cubas Campaign

The Daily News looks at Latinas running for the Los Angeles City Council in 2013. Above, Ana Cubas, a candidate for the Ninth District.

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 Monday, Dec. 10, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:

Headlines

Latinas are running for the Los Angeles City Council, reports the Daily News. Gloria Molina was sworn into council 25 years ago -- and she's the last Latina to serve. "It just makes L.A. look bad," said Ana Cubas, who is running for the Ninth District.

In Rick Orlov's Tipoff column, Wendy Greuel gets a new hairstyle, UFLAC gets new leadership, and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa gets back to work after two weeks in South America.

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