Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Budget report: LAPD layoffs possible without tax increase

Los Angeles City Hall

Alice Walton/KPCC

The city's top budget official released a report Thursday making the case for a proposed half-cent sales tax increase on the March 5 ballot.

The Los Angeles Police Department could see its ranks reduced by as many as 500 police officers if a proposed sales tax increase fails, according to a report released Thursday by the city’s top budget official.

Measure A on the March 5 ballot asks voters to increase the city of Los Angeles’ sales tax by a half-cent. That would bring the city’s sales tax to 9.5 percent.

City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana is scheduled to discuss his findings later this afternoon. 

The city's 2013-14 fiscal year is expected to begin on July 1 with a $216 million deficit. That shortfall could be closed with the funds from the proposed tax increase.

Santana wrote in his report: “While we are starting to see the 'light of the end of the tunnel,' the security provided by this optimistic picture is still very fragile and not an accurate reflection of the structural problems that the city is facing.” 


Maven's Morning Coffee: manhunt underway for former LAPD cop, Herb Wesson says mayoral candidates support tax increase, former DA candidate leaves for private practice

LAPD Takes Over Security At Dodgers Games After Attack On Giants Fan

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck will host a 10 am news conference to update the public on the search for a former officer accused of murder.

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 Thursday, Feb. 7 and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


A massive manhunt is underway this morning for former LAPD Officer Christopher Jordan Dorner. He allegedly killed an Irvine couple as part of a vendetta against the police department. Early this morning, he is believed to have shot at two LAPD officers on security detail in Corona and then shot and killed an officer in Riverside. A second officer was injured in the Riverside shooting. Police Chief Charlie Beck will provide an update on the situation at a 10 a.m. news conference. Los Angeles Times, KPCC, Daily News, CNN, KNX 1070


LA Mayoral Race 2013: Mayoral candidates face questions on city employees' benefits at KPCC debate

Forum Mayor Debate

Grant Slater/KPCC

Larry Mantle (far left) moderates a debate between mayoral canidates (from right) Emanuel Pleitez, Jan Perry, Kevin James, Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti at KPCC's Crawford Family Forum on February 5, 2013.

Forum Mayor Debate

Grant Slater/KPCC

Councilman Eric Garcetti speaks with debate moderator AirTalk's Larry Mantle in a forum at KPCC's Pasadena headquarters.

Forum Mayor Debate

Grant Slater/KPCC

Emanuel Pleitez and Jan Perry participate in a debate at KPCC's Crawford Family Forum.

Forum Mayor Debate

Grant Slater/KPCC

Mayoral candidate and LA City Controller Wendy Greuel and attorney Kevin James participate in the KPCC-sponsored debate.

In their third meeting this week, the five leading candidates for mayor of Los Angeles faced tough questions Wednesday night on how much public employees should pay toward their health care and retirement costs.

AirTalk’s Larry Mantle hosted the debate in the Crawford Family Forum at KPCC. During the live broadcast, he pressed candidates Eric Garcetti, Wendy Greuel, Kevin James, Jan Perry and Emanuel Pleitez on how they might restructure benefits for city workers.

Pleitez, who had a stint at Goldman Sachs, pushed for a plan that would allow workers to cash out their pension benefits now, thus relieving the city of future obligations. He also pushed for a one-to-one match on pension benefits and health care.

Mantle noted a recent Kaiser Family Foundation report that says private sector employees pay, on average, one-fourth of their healthcare costs.     


LA mayor debate 2013: KPCC reporters' archived Twitter stream from the Crawford Family Forum

LA Mayors Debate


The top five candidates for Los Angeles mayor participate in their first televised debate, aired on NBC LA, on January 28, 2013 at UCLA.

Wednesday night's debate among the five front-running candidates for Los Angeles mayor will take place starting at 7 p.m. Wednesday in KPCC's Crawford Family Forum. It'll stream via live video here on KPCC.org, but you can also follow along with KPCC reporters Frank Stoltze and Alice Walton, who will tweet the event live below.

Hosted by AirTalk's Larry Mantle, the debate will take place among City Council members Eric Garcetti and Jan Perry, City Controller Wendy Greuel, former Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin James and former technology executive Emanuel Pleitez.


CA engineering trade group one source of late donation to proposition campaigns

Gov. Jerry Brown

Sharon McNary/KPCC

California Gov. Jerry Brown's Proposition 30 was one target of an $11 million donation that the Fair Political Practices Commission is investigating.

Remember the $11 million mystery donation that ignited a legal skirmish in California just days before the November election?  

An Arizona group called Americans For Responsible Leadership (ARL) donated the money to the Small Business Action Committee’s campaign to defeat Prop 30 — Governor Brown’s tax hike — and pass Prop 32 — a measure that would have undermined the political influence of  unions in California.

The states' campaign finance watchdog, the Fair Political Practices Commission, asked for more information about the donors. ARL refused.

Just one day before the election, under orders from California’s Supreme Court, the Small Business Action Committee revealed the money orginated with a group in Virginia called Americans for Job Security,  which sent it to the Center to Protect Patients' Rights in Arizona, which transferred it to ARL.