Politics, government and public life for Southern California

LA mayoral race 2013: New TV ads for frontrunners in mayor's race

Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti

Wendy Greuel Campaign/Eric Garcetti campaign

Leading LA mayoral candidates Controller Wendy Greuel and City Councilman Eric Garcetti have taken their campaigns to TV airwaves.

If Eric Garcetti had to use three words to describe himself for a job interview, they would be: "practical" and "problem solver." Also, he has proven results.

That’s according to the first television ad released by Garcetti’s mayoral campaign. The video shows Garcetti in Griffith Park, explaining his track record as councilman of the Thirteenth District.

“Identifying problems is easy," Garcetti says. "Solving them is hard.”

He then tells voters that his council district, which stretches from Echo Park to Hollywood, is number one in job growth, and that he’s led the way on pension reform and cutting taxes. 

Shortly after Garcetti's ad was released, a political action committee supporting Wendy Greuel released its own ad. The union that represents Department of Water and Power employees is partnering with entertainment executives to back Greuel.


LA Mayoral Race 2013: With 4 weeks 'til election, mayoral candidates debate, attack and raise money

Forum Mayor Debate

Grant Slater/KPCC

The five leading candidates for mayor debated every day this week. In the coming weeks? More debates.

Mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti rocked out with Moby Thursday night at the Fonda Theatre – all in the name of fundraising.

In addition to Moby, late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel was the emcee and comedic actor Will Ferrell made an appearance via video. And if pictures on Facebook are to be believed, Garcetti — a pianist and composer — showed off his skills on the keyboard and congas. The event took in $250,000, according to the campaign. The Garcetti campaign has raised $3.6 million through Jan. 19, according to finance reports posted to the Ethics Commission.

Meanwhile, on the campaign trail this week, Jan Perry made the move to go negative in the form of a mailer that knocks Controller Wendy Greuel for feigning surprise at the city’s Gold Card Desk, which helped Angelenos get out of parking tickets. The Gold Card Desk was also the subject of an attack ad from Kevin James.


Maven's Morning Coffee: LA's financial problems, LA Times endorses Mike Feuer, reforms in the Sheriff's Department

Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

If Measure A fails at the ballot box, Los Angeles may be forced to make drastic cuts, including layoffs in LAPD, according to a new budget report.

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 Friday, Feb. 8 and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


Failure to pass a half-cent sales tax increase could lead to layoffs in the LAPD, according to a budget report released Thursday. "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," CAO Miguel Santana wrote in his report. KPCC, Daily News

The Los Angeles Times endorsed Mike Feuer for city attorney. "Some races pit candidates of comparable merits in competition and force voters to make tough choices. This is not one of them. Feuer is by far the strongest and most worthy candidate for city attorney," according to The Times.


Gun violence policy principles from Congressional Democrats

U.S. Rep. Grace Napolitano of El Monte is co-chair of the House Democratic Gun Violence Task Force.

House Democrats on a gun violence task force outlined their "policy principles" Thursday at their annual policy retreat in Leesburg, Virginia.

Congressman Mike Thompson of St. Helena, himself a hunter and gun owner, heads the task force. He says the recommendations both protect the right of "law-abiding individuals" to own firearms and make "schools, neighborhoods and communities safe."

The policy brief supports the 2nd Amendment right to own firearms for hunting, shooting sports, defense, and other "legitimate purposes," but also the federal government's right to take appropriate steps to protect our citizens from gun violence. Those include:

- Reinstating the federal ban on assault weapons and magazines holding more than ten rounds of ammunition.

- Background checks for every gun sale, including private sales, purchases at gun shows, and over the internet. ("Reasonable" exceptions would be made  for gifts between family members and temporary loans for sporting purposes.)


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.”