Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Can Fred Davis win the Los Angeles mayor’s race for Kevin James?

Republican Strategist Fred Davis

Grant Slater/KPCC

Republican strategist Fred Davis in his Hollywood Hills office.

Fred Davis has created ad campaigns for some of the biggest names in politics, including John McCain and Arnold Schwarzenegger. But like a lot of Angelenos, he doesn’t pay much attention to local elections.

"I’ve lived here since 1985, and I don’t remember voting in a mayor’s race,” Davis says.

He wasn’t interested in potholes and pensions until he ran into a persistent questioner when he spoke at a C-SPAN event in Culver City earlier this year. It was Kevin James, who approached Davis after the event.
“We sat down for two hours,” Davis says. “I was impressed.”

He says he was impressed by James’ intelligence and understanding of city issues. Davis has attended three debates and says James “blows the other candidates away.”  

He has another motive. Davis sees in James a fresh a look.
“Here’s a guy that’s openly gay, who’s as smart as they come, who’s an avowed conservative Republican,” Davis says.  “That’s an interesting face on a Republican to me and something the party needs to get to.”


Tony Cardenas bids adieu to Los Angeles, heads to Congress

Mercer 14447

via cd6.lacity.org

L.A. City Councilman Tony Cardenas will represent a newly created Congressional district in the eastern part of the San Fernando Valley. He will be sworn into office on Jan. 3.

The Los Angeles City Council on Friday said goodbye to Tony Cardenas, who is leaving the council after nine years to serve in Washington, D.C. 

The councilman will resign his seat on Jan. 2. The next day he will be sworn into Congress as a representative from the eastern part of the San Fernando Valley. Cardenas was joined by his wife Norma as state and city leaders spoke on his behalf in the council chamber.

“Some of us get so consumed in public life, so consumed and driven by this responsibility, that we forget the other side of our life — the family life," said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "Tony’s never forgotten that, and that’s important because that’s what drives him."

Cardenas was elected to represent the San Fernando Valley’s Sixth District in 2003. That was after his unsuccessful run for the council’s Second District in 2002. He lost that race to Wendy Greuel. Today, the City Controller and mayoral candidate — whom Cardenas has endorsed — was among the speakers praising the congressman-elect.


Want a seat at the inauguration? Make a video.

Office of Rep. Karen Bass

Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) is giving her constituents a chance to attend President Obama's inauguration.

Getting an actual seat at the Presidential inauguration is tough. Even though members of Congress get more than 170 tickets to distribute to the January 21st event, they get fewer than two dozen actual seats. Everyone else gets to stand around in the cold.

Democratic Congresswoman Karen Bass of Los Angeles, like most members, is holding a lottery for the standing room tickets. But she's also offering two actual seats to each of two lucky constituents.

But there are two catches: you have to make a video essay, and you have to live in her district.

You can be as artsy as your inner filmmaker wants to be, but you also have to adhere to the theme: explaining how your life or community has been impacted by President Obama and how you'd like to see his administration move our country forward over the next four years.


Maven's Morning Coffee: Jailer arrested, funding for Children's Museum, charges dropped against former San Fernando councilwoman

Erika Aguilar/KpCC

A Los Angeles County jailer was arrested for assaulting two inmates and falsifying police reports, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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.

The Maven's Morning Coffee is also available as a daily email. Click here to subscribe.

Today is Friday, Dec. 14, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


A Los Angeles County jailer is facing allegations that he assaulted two inmates and falsified police reports, according to the Los Angeles Times. At least one of the attacks was caught on tape.

The Los Angeles City Council will consider moving $8 million in public money over to the long-delayed Children's Museum, reports the Daily News. About $3.9 million of that would come from the Department of Water and Power, which in exchange would get its own exhibit at the museum.


Quieter TV commercials law goes into effect

Former FCC Chair Michael Powell, left, congratulates Rep. Anna Eshoo and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse on their bill, which regulates the volume of TV commercials.

Perhaps it’s appropriate in this season of silent nights that a new law has kicked in ensuring that overly-loud commercials won’t blast TV watchers away. Appropriately, the genesis of the law came on a not-so-silent night.

Democratic Congresswoman Anna Eshoo of Palo Alto had her family over for dinner one evening.  The TV was on in the next room. Eshoo says they were watching a sports event, "and then the blast of the commercial came on."

Eshoo says she shouted out to her brother-in-law: “Do something about that!” She says he shouted back: “You’re the Congresswoman, you do something about it!”

So she did.

Eshoo wasn’t the only who’s complained about screaming ads. A Harris Poll three years ago indicated that high commercial volume bothers nearly 9 of 10 TV viewers. Several members of Congress say that at town halls, complaints about blaring TV ads were as common as concerns about Social Security.