Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Count still not final in Assembly race, but Santa Monica Mayor Bloom headed to Sacramento for oath-taking

Richard Bloom Betsy Butler

Richard Bloom campaign/Betsy Butler campaign

With only one ballot update left, Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom has a 1,536-vote lead over Assemblywoman Betsy Butler in the close 50th Assembly District race.

It looks as if Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom is safe in assuming he'll sworn into office in Sacramento Monday as the Westside's new assemblyman. Friday's updated ballot count indicates that he's retained and expanded his lead over Assemblywoman Betsy Butler.

With more than 183,000 votes cast in the 50th Assembly District race, Bloom led Butler by 1,536 votes. His lead had been a razor-thin 79 votes a few weeks ago. The district includes Santa Monica, Malibu, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Agoura Hills.

Bloom posted a message on Twitter Friday that his lead appeared to be insurmountable and that he would join other legislators-elect to be sworn in at the state Capitol on Monday.

The outcome of the Bloom-Butler race has taken weeks to determine because so many of the votes cast in Los Angeles County were submitted as labor-intensive mail-in and provisional ballots that need to be verified before they can be counted.


Mark Ridley-Thomas sworn in as chair of Board of Supervisors

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas

Andres Aguila/KPCC

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas was sworn in Friday as the first African-American man to chair the L.A. County Board of Supervisors.

Standing on the lawn of Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital in Willowbrook, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas was sworn in Friday as the first African-American man to chair the Board of Supervisors. 

In his second term as the representative of the Second District, Ridley-Thomas will oversee the re-opening of MLK Hospital, which was previously known as King/Drew Hospital. It was shut down in 2007 following a Los Angeles Times’ series on patient care abuses.

“Even with all that we have done and all of what we have learned, there is still much to do,” Ridley-Thomas said. “Somehow today I hear the voice of one of America’s most prolific inventors. Thomas Edison [said], ‘Opportunity is often missed by most people because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work.'  

“Therefore I pose a question and it’s a simple one: Are you ready to don your overalls and embrace the next four years of opportunity?”


Californian wins the lottery...for a Congressional office

Mercer 20095

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Before they get to sit here, freshman members of Congress have to figure out where they'll work the rest of the time. That's where the office lottery comes in.

On Capitol Hill, this is the day the new crop of freshmen enters a lottery that determines where they’ll work. A Californian got the top opportunity to choose offices.

There's a superstition about dancing when it comes to influencing the luck of the draw in the office lottery. Redding Freshman Republican Doug LaMalfa threw caution to the wind and danced a Michael Jackson moonwalk for luck as he picked his number:  34 out of 70. Democrat Eric Swalwell of Dublin brought his own soundtrack: Journey's "Don't Stop Believing." He drew number 61.

Ventura Democrat Julia Brownley was the first to try dancing - a reluctant swaying to and fro. She won the office lotter and became the first Congressional freshman to choose an office. She wants one in the oldest and grandest House office building. "I seem to like the Cannon building just because of its historical features, I guess."

Brownley says that when she was in the California legislature, the Assembly speaker assigned offices. She says the Congressional process is more fair.

Did Brownley buy a Powerball ticket the other day, too? "I wish I had," she laughed.

One freshman who drew one of the lowest numbers put the best face on it, saying, “there are no bad offices when you’re lucky enough to be here in Congress.”



Maven's Morning Coffee: City Hall regulates elephants, Hall of Administration has conflict of interest, regulations for pot shops


Photo by Simczuk / Kasia via Flickr Creative Commons

KPCC's AirTalk talks to Councilman Paul Koretz about his motion to protect elephants from performing in the circus.

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, Nov. 30, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


SoCal Connected looks at the relationship between Supervisor Don Knabe and his son, who is a lobbyist. "Special interest groups and companies, large and small, pay Englander-Knabe hundreds of thousands of dollars to lobby the county. Many of those same groups and companies also donate to Supervisor Knabe's campaign coffers and to his charities, events, and other causes," according to the program.

The Los Angeles Times and Daily News don't exactly paint the president of the Board of Public Works as mother of the year. Andrea Alarcon announced last week she would seek treatment after police officers found her 11-year-old daughter left alone at City Hall around midnight. The newspapers now report that Alarcon had left City Hall all together to get a drink at a downtown hotel. "Once on the phone with police, Alarcon had trouble understanding what the officer was telling her, the sources said. She arrived at the police station about 2 a.m.," according to The Times.


Barbara Boxer endorses Wendy Greuel for mayor of Los Angeles

Wendy Greuel

Wendy Greuel Campaign

Controller Wendy Greuel's campaign for mayor was endorsed Thursday by U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer.

The mayoral campaign of Controller Wendy Greuel landed a high-profile endorsment Thursday from U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer.

The California Democrat noted that Greuel’s election would give the city of Los Angeles its first female mayor. (A second candidate, Councilwoman Jan Perry, would also be the city’s first woman mayor if elected.)

“I’ve known Wendy Greuel for two decades. Wendy is a proven leader who will focus on revitalizing our economy and creating jobs. I look forward to working with Wendy on priorities such as continuing to build a world class transportation system for the people of Los Angeles,” Boxer said in a statement from the campaign. 

Boxer is Greuel’s most prominent endorsement so far. Earlier this week, Greuel announced endorsements from Latino politicians including Congressman-elect Tony Cardenas, state Sen. Alex Padilla and Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar.