Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Mayor Villaraigosa heads to Iowa for Democratic dinner

Larry Mantle interviews Antonio Villaraigosa at RNC

Gina Delvac/KPCC

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, seen here with KPCC's Larry Mantle, is off to Iowa as the keynote speaker at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is headed to Iowa Friday to serve as the keynote speaker at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, an event Democratic politicians typically use as a launching pad for national ambitions.

The mayor is expected to use the opportunity to criticize Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. According to his prepared remarks, Villaraigosa will tell the audience:  

“Gov. Romney would treat our ambitious and talented immigrants very differently. Instead of supporting their energy and enthusiasm, instead of benefitting from their contributions to our county, he would make circumstances for them so miserable, so oppressive, so intolerable that they would leave behind the lives they have built, their children born here and go back to their countries of origin. They would quote-unquote self-deport. Gov. Romney, that is not who we are.”


The sharp knives come out in Bono Mack/Ruiz Congressional race

Raul Ruiz and Mary Bono-Mack

KPCC and Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images

Emergency room physician Dr. Raul Ruiz is running against Republican incumbent Mary Bono-Mack in a Coachella Valley district.

The accusations are flying in the Coachella Valley race between Republican incumbent Mary Bono Mack and Democratic challenger Raul Ruiz.

Friends of Democracy, a Democratic political action committee, has filed a formal complaint with the Federal Elections Commission, accusing Mack's campaign of illegally steering a donor to a PAC that has raised money on her behalf.

Meanwhile, the Bono Mack side is painting her rival as a leftist revolutionary. The campaign has released a recording from 1999, where at a Plymouth Rock protest, Ruiz reads a letter from Mexico's Zapatista Army for National Liberation in support of Leonard Peltier. 

Peltier is a Native American activist who went to prison more than three decades ago for the murder of FBI agents.

Ruiz — who was a student at Harvard Medical School at the time — objected to the tactic, saying there’s a “difference between disagreeing and character assassination.”


Live from Carolyn's Cafe in Redlands: What's your issue?

Kim Bui/KPCC

The interior of Carol's Cafe in Redlands, California.

Carol's Cafe

Kim Bui/KPCC

Carolyn's Cafe

Kim Bui/KPCC

Carolyn's son and cafe worker Brad Strickland at work at Carolyn's Cafe

Update 12:00 pm Lunch time

The morning crowd is dying down and lunch is settling in. Now that we've talked with a good many Redlanders about the issues they care about, we're going in to have ourselve a bite. Hope you enjoyed it.

We'll be setting up at the Serving Spoon in Inglewood on Tuesday, Oct. 22nd from 7 am to 12 pm. Come on by!

Update 11:10 am: Good, paying jobs

Ed Halsell talked to us about his daughters, both of whom graduated college not long ago and struggled to find decent jobs. 

"Everyone I know whose children have graduated college are either unemployed or underemployed," he told us.

Ed works as the Chief of Maintenance at Patton State Hospital, a hospital for the criminally insane.

Update 10:51 am: How taxes are spent

We're hearing a lot for Redlands-ers concerned about taxes. Don Wallace from Redlands joined us to discuss the issue that inspired him to run for Redlands City Council: government spending. Don say she feels the government at both the local and national levels has spent far too much. He told us he hopes to get it under control


Maven's Morning Coffee: Eric Garcetti says no to a pension proposal, Laura Chick backs Wendy Greuel, Daily News looks at Measure A and B

Eric Garcetti

Eric Garcetti campaign

Los Angeles City Councilman Eric Garcetti opposes a proposal that would switch L.A. city employees to a 401 (k)-style retirement plan.

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, Oct. 19, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


It was a busy day at the downtown criminal courthouse as Councilman Richard Alarcon and county Assessor John Noguez each pleaded not guilty in two separate cases. Alarcon: KPCC, Daily News. Noguez: KPCC, Los Angeles Times, ABC 7.

Meanwhile the Daily News editorial page looks at what the assessor's arrest means for Measure A on the November ballot. "(John) Noguez is on paid leave and under pressure to resign. It's fairly certain his name, whatever it is, will never appear on a ballot again. More and more, it seems that no county assessor's name should," according to the newspaper.


That's My Issue: Reproductive rights

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Anti-abortion and pro-choice demonstrators argue in front of the Supreme Court during the March for Life January 24, 2011 in Washington, DC. The annual march marks the anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision by the court that made abortion legal in the United States.

This post is part of KPCC & WNYC's "That's My Issue" series, and represents the views of its author, not of either station. 

My name is Rhianon, and I pay attention to a lot of the issues, but I would say that one that is an absolute deal-breaker for me as a woman is women’s rights and reproductive rights. 

Just having been lucky enough to grow up in a family where it was always really supported that I was absolutely equal, that I have sovereign rights over my body the same way any other person should.

It affected the way that I feel about these things. 

I have friends who have had difficult situations who maybe something came up. I’ve had friends who couldn’t get birth control because they grew up in really religious or conservative families and groups like Planned Parenthood were there for them.