Politics, government and public life for Southern California

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.

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.

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

Headlines

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.

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

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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.

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Eric Garcetti pulls ahead in money race for Los Angeles' mayor (updated)

Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti

Wendy Greuel Campaign/Eric Garcetti campaign

LA Mayoral candidates Controller Wendy Greuel and City Councilman Eric Garcetti each expect to clear the $4 million mark in campaign fundraising, based on their most recent financial reports.

Los Angeles City Councilman Eric Garcetti pulled ahead in the money race for mayor Thursday, raising more than $727,000 over a three-month period. 

This latest haul brings Garcetti’s total campaign war chest to $3.6 million. With the matching funds he is entitled to receive, he has amassed $4.2 million for the contest.

“Eric has built a strong campaign with an agenda to solve problems for L.A. residents," said Bill Carrick, a Garcetti campaign consultant. "This will be one of the most expensive races in L.A. history, so we must keep raising money and getting out the vote every day until Election Day – and we will”

Controller Wendy Greuel raised close to that amount, with a total of $3.4 million. With matching funds, Greuel has also crossed the $4 million threshold. During the previous reporting period that ended Sept. 31, Garcetti and Greuel each had $2.8 million.

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Garcetti, Greuel get most show biz donations in mayor's race

Mayor Celebrities

Getty Images

Steven Spielberg is supporting the mayoral campaign of City Controller and former Dreamworks employee Wendy Greuel.

Mayor Celebrities

Getty Images

LA Mayoral candidate Jan Perry has the support of actor George Takei.

Mayor Celebrities

Getty Images

LA mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti's long list of supporters includes actress Salma Hayek.


Show business companies and workers have given nearly a million dollars to candidates running in the Los Angeles mayoral race, with Councilman Eric Garcetti getting about half the money.

An analysis by the reporting partnership of 89.3 KPCC and NBC4 found that entertainment companies and their employees, along with actors, donated at least $960,000 in the mayor's race through the third quarter of 2012. Entertainment-related donations will certainly top the million-dollar mark before the March 5 primary election.

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. 

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Villaraigosa endorses Feuer in LA city attorney race

CIty Attorney candidate Mike Feuer (right) accepted the endorsement of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraisosa re-ignited a City Hall feud Thursday when he endorsed Mike Feuer for City Attorney over the incumbent, Carmen Trutanich.

Feuer is a former L.A. City Councilman and State Assemblyman who Villaraigosa said he's know for 20 years.

In 2009, Villaraigosa backed Jack Weiss for city attorney, but he lost to Trutanich.  Villaraigosa, citing the city's budget crisis, cut Trutanich's budget by more than $40 million in the current fiscal year.

But at a press conference in Boyle Heights, the mayor said his endorsement had less to do with Trutanich's performance and more with Feuer's qualitites.

“When he gets on an issue, he is tenacious, he is indefatigable, he is creative,” Villaraigosa said of Feuer.  The mayor cited Feuer’s work on gun control and Measure R, the countywide transportation tax that fell short of approval in November.

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