Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Maven's Morning Coffee: Brown, Kashkari debate, free Made in America tickets, City Hall East named for former Mayor Hahn

Governor Brown Declares Statewide Drought Emergency

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Gov. Jerry Brown will debate Republican Neel Kashkari tonight in the only gubernatorial debate this election season.

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, votes 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, Sept. 4, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

The Sacramento Bee previews tonight's debate between Gov. Jerry Brown and Republican challenger Neel Kashkari. A new Field Poll finds about 60 percent of likely voters do not have an opinion of Kashkari, who is running behind Brown by 16 points. "Without enough money for a heavy run of TV ads, (Kashkari) has scrounged for free publicity in unusual ways, including filming himself posing as a homeless man in Fresno, hosting talk radio shows and creating a scholarship competition for college students who make ads for his campaign," according to the newspaper.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: Cost of the downtown streetcar, a Q&A with LAPD Chief Beck, sentencing day for Rod Wright

LA Streetcar

goLAstreetca

Image depicting a proposed streetcar to run in downtown L.A.

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, votes 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 Wednesday, Sept. 3, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

Developer Rick Caruso supports Mayor Eric Garcetti's minimum wage proposal via Twitter. The Daily News reports apparel manufacturers are threatening to leave the city if the wage increase takes effect. "Unlike restaurants, which can charge more for meals to offset the higher wages, manufacturers will have a harder time asking department stores such as Nordstroms to pay more for their clothing lines," according to the piece.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: Mayor Garcetti's wage proposal, LA's $8 billion infrastructure problem, an endorsement for Elan Carr

Vice President Biden Addresses U.S. Conference Of Mayors In Las Vegas

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a proposal Monday to increase the city's minimum wage to $13.25/hour by 2017.

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, votes 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 Tuesday, Sept. 2, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

In Rick Orlov's Tipoff column, Mayor Eric Garcetti takes on the minimum wage and school board member George McKenna's swearing in brings out the political heavyweights.

Mayor Eric Garcetti used the Labor Day holiday to announce his proposal for increasing the city's minimum wage to $13.25/hour by 2017. "This is fair, this is common sense. This is good for business, this is good for the community," Garcetti said at a rally in South L.A. Los Angeles Times, Daily News, KPCC

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Money flows into legal defense funds for suspended California senators

The State Capitol in Sacramento

Craig Miller/KQED

The State Capitol in Sacramento

Sen. Leland Yee Appears In Court On Corruption Charges

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 31: California State senator Leland Yee leaves the Phillip Burton Federal Building after a court appearance on March 31, 2014 in San Francisco, California. State Senator Leland Yee appeared in federal court today for a second time after being arrested along with 25 others by F.B.I. agents last week on political corruption and firearms trafficking charges. Yee is free on a $500,000 unsecured bond. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

California Legislature

Rich Pedroncelli/AP

State Sen. Rod Wright, D-Inglewood, speaks to the Senate Monday, Sept. 9, 2013.

Ron Calderon

Rich Pedroncelli/AP

FILE - In this Monday June 10, 2013, file photo State Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, left, holds a brief news conference during first appearance at the Capitol since the FBI investigators raided his offices in Sacramento, Calif. Sen. Calderon was a no-show with an unexcused absence after at least a half-dozen FBI agents carted boxes from his Sacramento offices following a more than six-hour search in June 2013. Sen. Calderon did not answer any questions and no details have been given for the search and no charges have been filed. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)


California has tight restrictions on the amount political candidates can collect for campaigns; but when it comes to legal defense funds, donors can be far more generous. 

The state senate voted last March to suspend three members who had been charged or convicted of felonies.  Now several corporations, political action committees and even a few politicians have stepped up to help pay the legal bills for senators Ron Calderon and Rod Wright. Senator Leland Yee also has a committee to collect legal defense donations. 

Under state law, none of these legal defense funds will be subject to limits, as long as the amounts are not unreasonably higher than the expected defense costs.

Wright is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday on charges of perjury and voting fraud charges stemming from living outside his district. His fund collected more than $150,000.  Most came from state-regulated industries -- energy, metals, telecommunications,  insurance, casinos and teachers.

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10 little-known facts about American labor and Labor Day

Ohio Labor Day

Jason Perlman/Flickr

Labor Day parade in Marietta, Ohio.

Labor Day used to signify the last day of summer vacation, the turning point when voters started paying attention to the November election, the date when the Dodgers or Angels being in first place actually meant something.

But what do you really know about "labor" part of Labor Day? Here are ten facts to share over the weekend holiday.

  1. California has a greater number of union members than any other state  - 2.4 million.
  2. California lags behind New York in the percentage of its population that belongs to a union - nearly one in four, or 24 percent of New Yorkers are union members. About one in six, or 16 percent of Californians are union members
  3. Teachers are the largest group of union workers nationwide
  4. More than a third of all public sector workers are union members
  5. Just one in 15 workers in the private sector are union members
  6. The lowest number of union members can be found in agriculture, finance, and restaurants and bars - just about one percent of that population.
  7. The first Labor Day holiday wasn't on a Monday. The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City.
  8. The Jewelers Union of Newark marched in that first Manhattan parade, bringing a band that played a lesser known hit "When I Put This Uniform On" from Patience, the Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera.
  9. A dozen years later, in 1894, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday.
  10. There's a dispute about who invented Labor Day; but whoever it was, his name was McGuire - or is it Maguire? Some say Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, first suggested a day to honor those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold." But there's also a machinist named Matthew Maguire of the International Association of Machinists who is said to have proposed the holiday in 1882.

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