Politics, government and public life for Southern California

LA Mayoral Race 2013: Firefighters' union endorses Wendy Greuel for mayor (updated)

Auto Shop Fire

Dan Steinberg/AP

The union that represents Los Angeles city firefighters is backing Wendy Greuel for mayor. In 2009, UFLAC spent almost $25,000 to support her race for city controller.

The union that represents Los Angeles’ firefighters endorsed Wendy Greuel for mayor Wednesday, saying she will make government more “accountable.” Unted Firefighters of Los Angeles City represents 3,600 firefighters and paramedics.

This is the second public safety union to back the Greuel campaign. Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Police Protective League endorsed her for mayor. 

“Wendy will work to create jobs and expand our middle class so families across the city can prosper," said UFLAC Local 112 President Frank Lima in a statement. "She’ll prioritize public safety so we can put an end to the dysfunctional Fire Department deployment plan that increases LAFD response times.” 

The endorsement could mean more money — and therefore more exposure — for Greuel. In Greuel’s 2009 race for city controller, UFLAC spent $24,982 on an independent expenditure in her favor. When Mayor Jim Hahn ran for reelection in 2005, the union spent more than $394,000 to support his candidacy, according to the Ethics Commission.

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Law regulating LA's group homes sent back to working group

Mitch Englander

via cd12.lacity.org

L.A. City Councilman Mitch Englander is pushing an ordinance to regulate group homes. After a lengthy city council meeting, the proposal was sent to a working group for further review.

The L.A. City Council sent a proposal to regulate group homes in the city of Los Angeles back to a working group Wednesday after neighborhood groups and some city council members voiced concerns that the ordinance might harm veterans and domestic violence. 

A working group that includes representatives from the city's Housing, Planning, and Building and Safety Departments will review the Community Care Facilities Ordinance. Councilmen Mitch Englander, Ed Reyes and Richard Alarcon, who chair the Public Safety, Planning and Housing committees respectively, will also join the working group.

Englander told a packed council chamber that he is going after housing situations with “horrible, deplorable, unsafe and unsanitary conditions.”

“When you shove 30 people into a garage with no running water and no bathroom facilities, that’s not solving a problem. They’re all over the city, in every community,” Englander said.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: a city council race in the Valley, no endorsement from SEIU, a look at the city attorney's duties (updated)

Bob Blumenfield

Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield's website

The Los Angeles Times looks at the candidates running for the L.A. City Council's Third District. Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield is the frontrunner.

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 Wednesday, Jan. 30, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:

Headlines

Los Angeles Times editorial writer Robert Greene does a deep dive on the candidates running for the Los Angeles City Council's Seventh Third District. The frontrunner? Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield. "He knows who to call. He knows how to get make stuff happen. Is it necessarily the stuff voters want to happen? Well, that's a different question," he writes.

Controller Wendy Greuel released her first TV ad in the mayor's race. In the 30-second spot, the controller says she's identified $160 million in waste, but that's an inflated figure from the $96 million identified by the controller's office, reports KPCC.

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Los Angeles mayor candidates Garcetti, Greuel battle for key SEIU union endorsement

Mercer 1335

Brian Watt/KPCC

Members of SEIU Local 721 gather in front of Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration.

The two leading candidates for Los Angeles mayor appeared before a high stakes meeting of labor activists Tuesday night, hoping to win the endorsement of a city workers union.

It was the second time in as many months Service Employee International Union workers peppered L.A. City Controller Wendy Greuel and Councilman Eric Garcetti with questions. The union has ruled out backing any other candidates.

Garcetti, who was president of the City Council when it voted to shrink government and lay off workers to address the deficit, sounded relieved in a statement issued after the meeting.

“Tonight rank and file workers made it clear with their votes that SEIU is not ready to endorse,” Garcetti said.  “I am grateful for the votes of so many Los Angeles workers tonight.”

SEIU officials did not release the vote totals. A Garcetti spokesman emailed a photo showing Greuel won the backing of two SEIU locals, but four others abstained or voted to make no endorsement in the March 5 primary election.

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VIDEO: LA mayoral candidate Kevin James and his billionaire benefactor

BetterWayLA/YouTube

A screenshot from the "Hen House" political video from Better Way L.A.

Los Angeles mayoral candidate Kevin James likes to point out that one of the donors to the “superPAC” supporting him is Chicago-based Henry Crown & Co., which in the past has supported President Barack Obama.

“So this ‘superPAC’ is truly bipartisan,” James said Monday of Better Way LA.

But the $100,000 donation by the private equity firm pales when compared to the $600,000 from the only other donor, Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons.

This is the Simmons who doled out more than $25 million to Republican groups trying to defeat President Obama, whom Simmons labels “a socialist” and “the most dangerous man in America.” 

That kind of help could hurt a mayoral candidate in overwhelmingly Democratic LA.

James said he doesn’t agree with Simmons’ characterization of Obama, but nonetheless appreciates his support.  James desperately needs it. He’s raised a fraction of the campaign cash of his opponents, all Democrats.

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