Politics, government and public life for Southern California

8 reasons to care about the recount in the state controller's race

Election Pano

Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Voters cast their ballots at Canyon Springs School's library on Tuesday evening, June 3 in Santa Clarita during Los Angeles County's primary election.

The recount in the race for state controller is scheduled to begin Friday, July 11, but even if you have no idea who John Perez or Betty Yee are, and you don't give a fig about who becomes state controller, you're still about to see a fascinating drama unfold.

To recap: John Perez is trying to gain enough votes to overtake Betty Yee for the second spot on the November ballot. And here's why you should care about this recount:

1. It's an exceptionally close election

Former Assembly Speaker John Perez placed third. Only the top two candidates get to be on the November general election ballot. He missed that spot by just 481 votes out of more than 4 million cast. That's a difference of one hundredth of one percent.

Perez hopes to overtake fellow  Democrat Betty Yee, a member of the state Board of Equalization, who placed second. Whoever comes out ahead after the recount would face primary winner Ashley Swearengin, the republican Mayor of Fresno.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: Testimony in Richard Alarcon trial, possible closure of Santa Monica Airport, support for port truck drivers

Councilman Probe

Nick Ut/AP

Former Controller Wendy Greuel and Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra testified in the perjury and voter fraud trial of former L.A. City Councilman Richard Alarcon Tuesday.

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, July 9, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

Former Controller Wendy Greuel and Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra testified in the voter fraud and perjury trial of former L.A. City Councilman Richard Alarcon."Greuel testified that when she was on the City Council in 2007, Alarcon asked 'if I would consider moving the boundaries to include his fiance's house'," per the Los Angeles Times.

Supervisorial candidate Sheila Kuehl says former opponent John Duran's endorsement of opponent Bobby Shriver is "disloyal to the LGBT community," reports KPCC. Duran, a longtime gay rights activist, told the station, "I did not want to make my decision based on sexual orientation."

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Duran endorses Shriver in supes race; Kuehl calls that 'disloyal' to gays

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Michael Buckner

John Duran, pictured above, is expected to endorse Bobby Shriver in the closely watched race for LA County supervisor.

After finishing third in the primary election, West Hollywood City Councilman John Duran threw his support behind Bobby Shriver for a seat on the five-member Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

"I think I'm more closely aligned with Bobby philosophically," Duran said. As an example, he pointed to their shared desire to amend the California Environmental Quality Act to loosen regulations on developers.

"I am honored to have John’s support," Shriver said in a statement.  "We see county government the same way:  Sound fiscal management is key."

The endorsement is significant because Duran captured 16 percent of the vote.  Shriver, 60, the nephew of President John Kennedy and former mayor of Santa Monica, finished second in the primary to former State Senator Sheila Kuehl.

Kuehl beat Shriver 36-29 percent in the primary.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: Apps bring transparency to government, sentencing delayed for state senator, Mayor Garcetti reflects on first year

US Capitol

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

A 16-year-old created an app that literally highlights donations made to members of Congress.

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, July 8, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

Mayor Eric Garcetti talked to KPCC's AirTalk about his first year in office. "Back to basics is a larger approach, whether it's the wait time when you call 311, whether it's that we force you to take a day off of work to get a building inspector at your home," he said.

Mayor Eric Garcetti also penned a piece on open data and transparency for the White House blog. "Today’s apps and websites use open data to make cities easier to move around, more sustainable, and more business friendly," he wrote.

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Election 2014: Perez seeks recount in California controller's race to lift him out of 3rd place

Democratic National Convention

Kitty Felde/KPCC

Assembly Speaker John Perez poses for a picture at the 2012 Democratic National Convention on Sept. 4, 2012.

Former Assembly Speaker John Perez has asked for a recount of ballots cast in 15 California counties, hoping to move himself into second place in the exceptionally close California state controller's race and onto the November general election ballot.

With more than 4 million ballots cast in the primary, Perez landed in third place — 481 votes behind Board of Equalization member Betty Yee, a fellow Democrat. If the recount changes nothing, Yee would face primary the winner, Republican Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin, in the November general election.

"Never in California history has the vote difference between two candidates for statewide office been so narrow," Perez said in a statement issued by his campaign. "It is therefore of the utmost importance that an additional, carefully conducted review of the ballots be undertaken to ensure that every vote is counted, as intended."

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