Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Villaraigosa: Reforms must be included with sales tax increase

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Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa hasn't said yet whether he will support a sales tax increase. In a letter to the Los Angeles City Council, he said he wants to see seven commitments from members before he decides his position.

The Los Angeles City Council may decide Tuesday whether to ask voters to increase the city’s sales tax, but it remains to be seen if the proposal will win the support of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. 

In a letter to the council, the mayor listed seven reforms he wants to see along with a tax increase that could help close Los Angeles’ $216 million deficit:

  1. New management structure at the L.A. Zoo
  2. New management model at the Convention Center
  3. The elimination of 209 city workers
  4. Continued hiring of police officers
  5. Consolidation of street maintenance functions
  6. Establishment of economic development entity
  7. Pledge to maintain 5 percent of General Fund dollars in a reserve fund

“If we are going to ask the people of Los Angeles to vote for higher taxes, we must continue to cut spending, spur job creation, protect public safety and maintain fiscal discipline,” the mayor wrote in his letter.

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Bilbray, Lungren congressional races still too close to call

Kitty Felde/KPCC

Congressman Dan Lungren (R)

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Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Republican Congressman Brian Bilbray


It has been nearly a week since the election, but California still does not know who is going to Capitol Hill in two Congressional districts.

But California voters will be sending at least 11 new members of Congress to Washington, D.C.  That is nearly 20 percent of the delegation.

But two races are too close to call. 

In San Diego, incumbent Republican Congressman Brian Bilbray is trailing Democrat Scott Peters, a Port of San Diego Commissioner, by 1,300 votes, based on the latest count.  San Diego County is still counting mail-in and provisional ballots.

http://vote.sos.ca.gov/returns/us-rep/district/52/

Near Sacramento, incumbent GOP Congressman Dan Lungren is trailing his Democratic challenger, physician Ami Bera, by more than 1,700 votes.

http://vote.sos.ca.gov/returns/us-rep/district/7/

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Maven's Morning Coffee: future of Republican Party in California, Jan Perry as pro-business candidate, Villaraigosa to South America

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Devin Cook

The Los Angeles Times questions the Republican Party's future in California.

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 Monday, Nov. 12, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:

Headlines

The Republican Party is unlikely to have a credible, viable candidate to run against Gov. Jerry Brown in 2014, according to the Los Angeles Times. "It's practically impossible to envision Californians electing a Republican governor in the future, certainly not in the next gubernatorial election, in 2014. Talk to GOP pros and none can suggest a realistic, credible challenger to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown," reports The Times.

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LMU exit poll: LA's black voters favor tax, criminal justice and food label measures over other groups

Grant Slater/KPCC

Grand Park Election Night Party on November 6, 2012.

Loyola Marymount University's exit poll of Los Angeles residents shows that African American voters supported statewide tax measures and easing criminal justice penalties at higher levels than the region's other racial and ethnic groups.

Those results come as no surprise to Fernando J. Guerra, director of the Center for the Study of Los Angeles at LMU, which organizes the quadrennial poll. He said African American Angelenos have been leading the city's, state's and nation's liberal shift for a long time.

"We've seen a trend of African Americans moving from the Republican to the Democratic party and now it's almost unanimous," Guerra said. African American support for President Obama's reelection was 93 percent nationally, and 99 percent in Los Angeles, according to the poll.

He said the poll also showed that Prop 30 would not have won statewide without the very high level of support it had from Los Angeles voters.

The LMU  poll questioned voters at 10 polling places of each racial/ethnic category: White, Black/African American, Latino, Asian, and Mixed precincts. The margin of error for the entire poll is plus or minus 1.9 percent, and the margin of error for the African Americans and Latinos surveyed is about the same or smaller becasue those groups were over-sampled, Guerra said.

Los Angeles' African American voters voiced the strongest support for Prop 30's combined income and sales tax with four out of every five black voters polled saying they voted for Prop 30. About three-quarters of Latinos supported Prop 30.  

The other major tax issue, Prop 38, which would have increased taxes on the highest income residents, failed statewide. However, 56 percent of the Black voters polled in Los Angeles said they favored it. Support for the measure was in the 40s for Asians and Latinos, and got only 29 percent support among the poll's white voters.

Measure J, a Los Angeles County measure to continue a one-half cent sales tax for 30 years, needs a two-thirds majority to pass, and with at least 300,000 mail-in and provisional ballots yet to be counted, appeared to be losing with about 64.7 percent. On this measure 64 percent of black voters said they supported the tax, while about 60 percent of Latino, white and Asian voters said they approved.

Prop 34, to eliminate California's death penalty failed statewide, but the exit poll of Los Angeles voters found 62 percent favored getting rid of it. The poll said 70 percent of blacks favored eliminating executions, while just 45 percent of the Asian voters polled agreed. Latinos and whites were in the middle with about 63 percent favoring the end of capital punishment.

The other criminal justice measure on the ballot, Prop 36, to revise the Three Strikes Law passed statewide. Prop 36 also found high favor among white and black Los Angeles voters with about 80 percent favoring the revision, according to the poll. The Three Strikes law gave long prison terms to felons who committed a third crime, even one that might not be as serious as prior offenses.

The question of whether foods carrying genetically modified ingredients should have special labels also showed strong differences between black and other voters in Los Angeles. The poll said 68 percent of black voters favored Prop 37, but only 55 to 58 percent of Asian, white and Latino voters said they voted for it.

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Mayor Villaraigosa headed to Brazil, Chile, Colombia on trade mission

Democratic National Convention: Day 1

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will travel to South America at the end of the month on a nine-day trip to promote trade and tourism.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa just got done traveling around the country on behalf of President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign. Now he’s breaking out his passport for another trip – a trade mission to Chile, Brazil and Colombia. 

The mayor and executives from the Port of Los Angeles, Los Angeles World Airports and Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board will be in South America from Nov. 24 through Dec. 3.

“The future of Los Angeles is tied closely to our neighbors in South America," said Villaraigosa said. "As we strengthen and build our local economy, we must leverage our assets in this global marketplace to create jobs here in Los Angeles."

“With two previous trade missions, we worked to develop strong economic ties with Asia," Villaraigosa added. "Now, we’re going to strength our relationships in South America to increase investment, trade and tourism in L.A.”

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