Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Magic Johnson hits the radio airwaves for Mike Feuer

NBA Hall of Fame point guard Magic Johnson is delivering one more assist — an endorsement of Mike Feuer in his campaign for city attorney.

The basketball great recorded a radio ad for Feuer, who is running against incumbent City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, attorney Greg Smith and attorney Noel Weiss. The spot will air on KHLH 102.3 FM and KHHT 92.3 FM. 

“Mike Feuer will crack down on crime with neighborhood prosecutors, who’ll work with police and local leaders to get gangs and guns off our streets and away from our schools.  And he’ll help prevent crime with after-school programs, and gang and drug prevention,” Johnson says in the ad.


Senate committee approves another federal judge for Los Angeles

The nomination of L.A. Superior Court Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell (right) to the federal bench has been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

California is one step closer to getting a new federal judge. The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved the nomination of L.A. County Superior Court Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell to the federal bench. But there could still be a wait before her nomination is brought up for a full vote.

O’Connell was nominated last November by President Obama to serve as a U.S. District Court Judge. She sailed through her confirmation hearing and now has been approved by the Judiciary Committee. But it could be a while before O’Connell takes her seat on the bench.

University of Richmond Law Professor Carl Tobias says, in the past, consensus nominees were bundled together for a floor vote. That's no linger the case.

"What’s different is — in the Obama administration — Republicans are saying, ‘No, you have to take them one at a time,’" Tobias says. "And so that has really led to this backlog"

There are currently 90 federal judicial vacancies around the country. Since Congress returned to work in January, only one nominee has come up for a vote before the full Senate.



Senator Barbara Boxer introduces carbon tax bill with little hope of GOP support

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Jason DeFillippo via Flickr

US Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has introduced a climate change bill that echoes some of President Obama's policy prescriptions from his State of the Union address.

In his State of the Union address, President Obama urged Congress to take action on climate change.  Today, California’s junior U.S. Senator outlined her bill to tax carbon emissions and invest in saving energy.  It won't be easy to rally GOP support for the measure.

The legislation would create a $20-per-ton fee on the carbon top polluters discharge. The federal government would spend part of the estimated $1.2 trillion it generates over a decade to weatherize homes and to triple the budget for energy research. Republican support is unlikely - but the climate change bill’s co-sponsor, Democrat Barbara Boxer, says it took more than 10 years to pass the federal Clean Air Act. "We don’t give up," she says, "and we won’t give up because you could pull the covers over your head and say this isn’t happening, but Mother Nature is proving to us constantly that it is happening."


Did OC Rep. Dana Rohrabacher make an immigrant student cry?

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Kitty Felde/KPCC

Orange County Congressman Dana Rohrabacher - an outspoken opponent of illegal immigration - is the subject of reports that he traded harsh words with constituents who visited his office to discuss the issue.

Republican SoCal Congressman Dana Rohrabacher got into some kind of contretemps with an immigrant student from Huntington Beach's Golden West College last week, but the nature of that set-to is unclear, according to a story in The Hill.

Did Rohrabacher make the student cry? Did he threaten to have her deported?

Jessica Bravo, a freshman at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, completed an online  form requesting a meeting with her member of Congress to talk about the issue of immigration. Bravo is an undocumented immigrant.

Last week, she sat down with Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) to tell her story. Accompanying her was Minerva Gomez, an activist with the Orange County Congregation Community Organization, who had been an undocumented student a few years ago.

There's some dispute about what happened next.


Maven's Morning Coffee: a debate over LA's finances, child abuse in LA County, an end to a sister city relationship?

Wall Street Protest Spreads To Other Cities

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Incumbents and candidates continue to bicker over the city of Los Angeles' finances. Meanwhile, one councilman wants to end a sister city relationship with St. Petersburg.

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 Thursday, Feb. 14 and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


L.A. City Councilman Paul Krekorian objects to the mayoral candidates' stances that they can fix the city budget without increasing taxes, reports the Daily News. "Those who say we can solve our problems by waste, fraud and abuse ... is clearly nonsense. There are some who say if we merely attract more business ... clearly is not enough in itself," he says.

A confidential report from Los Angeles County found children have remained in unsafe homes and died at the hands of caretakers, reports the Los Angeles Times. The report found often the most inexperienced social workers were put in charge of assessing dangers to children. "Supervisors are poorly qualified and often disregard policy, creating a situation akin to 'the blind leading the blind'," according to the newspaper.