Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Election season descends on Los Angeles


Frank Stoltze/KPCC

Campaigns mostly use cellular phones now, but people still need a place to call. This is one of the rooms at Jan Perry's mayoral campaign office, which opened on 31st Street near USC this weekend.

Los Angeles mayoral candidate Jan Perry mingled among supporters and danced to a live band’s version of Sly and the Family Stone songs in a parking lot outside her new campaign office near USC Saturday.

“We just had a grand opening and it was raucous,” Perry says.

Raucous may be a bit of an overstatement, given the festivities included the aging former City Councilman and State Senator Nate Holden. Congresswoman Maxine Waters attended too.

No less than five Los Angeles city candidates brought out the balloons and formally opened new campaign offices this weekend. Almost all are pretty plain offices, with maps of voting prescincts and databases of potential supporters. Bad coffee, soda, and nuts are usually available. Sometimes fruit.

“Are you ready?” political aide Arturo Vargas shouted to a crowd packed into a new MacArthur Park office for former State Senator Gil Cedillo. “We’re fired up!” booms Vargas. 


Newcomer opens his own checkbook in LA city attorney race; Trutanich lags

Greg Smith has contributed $620,000 of his own money to his campaign for Los Angeles city attorney.

The latest fundraising report shows that attorney Greg Smith has poured $620,000 of his own money into his bid to unseat Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich.

“I’m willing to do what it takes to get my message out,” Smith said. “I will match whatever Feuer does.”

Former state Assemblyman Mike Feuer has raised the most money in the race, $898,000.  The city is also giving him $300,000 in matching funds, based on a two-to-one match of contributions from individuals who live within the city.  Smith has rejected matching funds so he can spend his own money freely.

Trutanich places third in the money race. He’s raised $382,000, plus $158,000 in city matching funds. The city attorney said he started his re-election campaign late – in August, after he lost his bid for L.A. County district attorney. He also said he’s spending less time fundraising than Feuer.


Money pours in for Los Angeles City Council races

Exterior view of Los Angeles City Hall

California Historical Society/USC Digital Archives

Millions of dollars are being collected by candidates for the Los Angeles City Council. The primary is set for March 5.

Money is pouring in to Los Angeles City Council campaigns, including more than $1 million in the Thirteenth District race alone.

There are a dozen certified candidates running in CD13, which is being vacated by Eric Garcetti and includes Echo Park, Silver Lake and parts of Hollywood. In that race, former Public Works Commissioner John Choi has raised $189,268, while Alex De Ocampo, who works for the Saban Family Foundation, has raised $134,056. Emile Mack, an L.A. Fire Department commander, reported $102,143 to the Ethics Commission.

Also running for that seat are:

  • Matt Szabo, $83,253
  • Josh Post, $70,224

In South L.A.’s Ninth District, currently represented by Jan Perry, LAPD Deputy Chief Terry Hara reported $202,401, putting him far ahead of his opponents. They include:

  • Ana Cubas, $121,729
  • David Roberts, $112,199
  • Curren Price, $104,720
  • Mike Davis, $80,145 


Maven's Morning Coffee: donations to mayoral candidates, Gov. Brown releases his budget, Sheila Kuehl announces plans for office

Mayoral Candidates

Photos courtesy of candidates' campaigns

The latest fundraising figures are out and with matching funds, both Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel will cross the $4 million threshold. Garcetti is leading the money race, with $3.6 million.

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Today is Friday, Jan. 11, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


KPCC and NBC 4 track donations to mayoral candidates from sources within the entertainment industry. Of the $1 million that's been given, Eric Garcetti has received about half. "Entertainment companies have varied interests in Los Angeles. CBS, for example, owns a billboard company that has to abide by city regulations. NBC Universal has vast real estate holdings in Universal City. Disney owns El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, and parks its cruise ships at the Port of Los Angeles," according to the piece.


Los Angeles mayor’s race: James asks for inquiry into Greuel's use of city staff on her campaign

Mercer 11550

Adolfo Guzman-Lopez/KPCC

Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel, center, says allegations that she has used her office staff for political purposes are "silly."

Longshot Los Angeles mayoral candidate Kevin James has filed a complaint with the city attorney accusing City Controller Wendy Greuel of using her office staff in her campaign for mayor. James said he hasn't collected any evidence himself, but points to newspaper articles that raise questions about the issue.

“She appears to have assigned her taxpayer funded City Controller office staff and resources to mayoral campaign events, campaign briefings and fundraising meetings during city hours,” James said in a letter.

The Los Cerritos Community News obtained Greuel’s official calendars and found city staff assigned to campaign events.  The documents don’t say whether the staff members are volunteering.  It's common for people who work for elected officials to also donate time to their campaigns.  Some also take a leave of absence.