Politics, government and public life for Southern California

LA Area Chamber of Commerce backs sales tax increase

A measure that would increase the City of L.A. sales tax by a half percent was endorsed Thursday by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.

The tax increase, if approved, would generate enough money to close next year’s projected $216 million deficit. 

“Public safety will be threatened if Measure A fails. It was a tough decision, but to avoid layoffs of police officers and firemen it was necessary that we support Measure A,” said Gary Toebben, president and CEO of the Chamber.

Usually averse to tax hikes, chamber members supported the measure, in part, because the city has promised to create a Commission on Fiscal Sustainability, Toebben said. 

The Los Angeles City Council agreed to place the measure on the March 5 ballot over the objections of four of its members. Two dissenters will appear on that same ballot as mayoral candidates – Jan Perry and Eric Garcetti. Dennis Zine, who is running for city controller, also voted against the tax. (The fourth vote was Councilman Mitch Englander, who is not up for re-election.)


Democratic PAC to target San Bernardino Congressman Gary Miller in 2014

Rep. Gary Miller (R-San Bernardino)

Dennis Cook/AP

Longtime Republican Congressman Gary Miller (R-San Bernardino) is on a Democratic PAC list of vulnerable districts in the 2014 election.

Believe it or not, the 2014 election season is already heating up. A Democratic political action committee has picked its top ten Republican House targets for next year. One is a San Bernardino Congressman who's served on the Hill since 1999.

Gary Miller represented Diamond Bar for a dozen years. New Congressional boundaries put him in the same district as another GOP stalwart, Ed Royce. So, last year, Miller ran — and won — in the newly- drawn 31st district in San Bernardino.

Andy Stone with the Democratic House Majority PAC calls Miller "the most endangered Republican incumbent in the entire country." Stone says Miller's new district is "overwhelmingly Democratic," with a large Latino population. Voter registration in the district does favor Democrats, though there is a large contingent of people who claim a third party or none at all. 


Jackie Goldberg weighs in on her former council district

Matt Szabo

Marta Evry

Former CD13 Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg endorsed Matt Szabo Thursday for the Los Angeles City Council.

Former Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg on Thursday endorsed former deputy mayor Matt Szabo for her old district that includes Hollywood and several Eastside neighborhoods.

“Matt Szabo has faced and met some of the toughest challenges in our city and is not afraid to stand up to powerful interests to do what is right for the community,” Goldberg said.

CD13 stretches from Echo Park to Hollywood to Atwater Village. It is economically and racially diverse. More than half of the district’s residents are Latino, according to the 2010 Census, and almost 20 percent are Asian-American. In 1993, Goldberg became the first openly lesbian to join the council. 

“One man’s meat is another man’s poison," Goldberg told KPCC. "Sometimes when you help with one project is may make people in another part of the area not happy. So, it’s a juggling and a negotiation.” 


Let the 2014 House races begin: longtime CA Democrat lines up endorsements

Mercer 2031

Kitty Felde

Democratic Congressman Mike Honda of San Jose has already received prominent endorsements for the 2014 election.

Members of the 113th Congress were sworn in less than a month ago. But one California Democrat is already gearing up for the next election.

Six-term Congressman Mike Honda of San Jose announced this week that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has endorsed him...for the 2014 election.

Pelosi issued a statement Wednesday, saying: "Mike is a bold and effective leader who understands the needs of Silicon Valley and the 17th District, ensuring American competitiveness and fighting for American manufacturing, comprehensive immigration reform, STEM education, and technological innovation."

Pelosi isn't the only politico to throw early support behind Honda. President Obama also did so this week.

Honda has no official opposition — yet. But Ro Khanna, a handsome technology lawyer who is half Honda's age, appears to be positioning himself to do so. He's also Indian-American, which could help in this heavily Asian district, though Honda can call on his Japanese ancestry. 


VIDEO: Salma Hayek praises Eric Garcetti for...finding her wallet at the North Pole?!

Eric Garcetti

Eric Garcetti campaign

For the second time this week, actress Salma Hayek released a video in support of Councilman Eric Garcetti's mayoral campaign.

Earlier this week, actress Salma Hayek released a video singing the praises of mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti. On Thursday, the campaign released a second video in which the actress describes an encounter with Garcetti … at the North Pole.

About a decade ago, Garcetti and Hayek were part of a group that headed north to bring attention to global warming’s impact on the Inuits. What Hayek found most impressive about the councilman was his determination to find her lost wallet in the snow.

“He came back and he had found my small black dot wallet in the middle of the desert snow and the most impressive part is that all the money was in it,” Hayek says in the video.

So, how does that relate to Garcetti’s run for mayor of Los Angeles? Aside from the fact that he won’t steal your money if he finds your wallet?