Politics, government and public life for Southern California

LA City Council special election slated for May at $400K cost

Mercer 14447

via cd6.lacity.org

L.A. City Councilman Tony Cardenas has been elected to Congress. The special election to fill his seat will cost the city about $400,000.

A special election to fill the vacancy that will be left by Los Angeles City Councilman Tony Cardenas’ move to Congress will cost the city about $400,000, according to a report from the city clerk.

The Sixth District seat will open too late to make it onto the March 2013 ballot. The City Clerk's office said there needs to be reasonable notice for prospective candidates to meet residency requirements and organize their campaigns.

The estimate assumes the primary for Cardenas' seat will be held on May 21, 2013, which is the runoff date for the mayor’s race, as well as city attorney, controller and eight city council seats. If the CD 6 primary isn't held on that day, the estimate will increase to well over $1 million. 

The report states: “The $400,000 cost is based upon the number of precincts in CD 6 and presumes an estimated 15 to 20 candidates filing papers to run, normal at-poll voting methodology, and the necessity of administering both the primary and runoff elections."


Californians in House leadership: one keeps his post, another hopes to move up

Congressman Xavier Becerra of Los Angeles is asking his colleagues to make him the fourth highest-ranking Democrat in the House.

Republican Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield was re-elected as House Majority Whip.

Now that Nancy Pelosi has said she wants to stay on as House Democratic leader, other party members are assessing their standing. On Wednesday, another Californian formally launched his campaign to move up the leadership ladder. 

L.A. Congressman Xavier Becerra is currently the fifth-ranking Democrat in the House. Now he’s sent a formal letter to colleagues, throwing his hat in the ring for the number four spot — Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. Becerra says relationships are the key to advancement: "It’s developing the friendships that let you get to the  point where you can actually ask for a vote."

Becerra has several things going for him: Pelosi is one of his biggest fans. And a quarter of the freshman Democratic class comes from his home state. "The more Californians there are," says Becerra, "the greater opportunity I have to try to have them be with me, supportive of me."


Pelosi staying on as Democratic House leader

Nancy Pelosi

Kitty Felde/KPCC

California Rep. Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday she will run for a leadership post.

Former House speaker Nancy Pelosi says she’ll run to keep her job as the Democratic leader in the House. Pelosi bristled at suggestions she should have stepped aside for a younger generation of Democrats.

Pelosi said she decided to run again, in part, because her kids’ support, and because of a message she said she heard over and over again from fellow House Democrats, "don’t even think of leaving.” 

Pelosi cited the role of money in politics, including billions of dollars spent on the presidential campaign, as one issue for the new Congress. “Our founders had in mind a government of the many," she said, "not government of the money.”

Pelosi surrounded herself with dozens of fellow female House members. She pointed out California’s Democratic delegation now has a majority of women. Those women – mostly middle-aged and older – were not happy when a younger reporter suggested the 72-year old Pelosi was hurting the party by staying on instead of encouraging younger leaders. There were hisses and cries of "discrimination!" Pelosi called the question “offensive” and said while men in their 30s were running for office, she was raising kids. 



Maven's Morning Coffee: LA's money woes, Californians head to DC, city attorney candidates debate

Pile of money

Tracy O./Flickr Creative Commons

Los Angeles Times writer Steve Lopez looks at California's money troubles, while the Daily News questions the wisdom of increasing L.A.'s sales tax.

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.

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Today is Wednesday, Nov. 14, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


Los Angeles Times writer Steve Lopez looks at California's financial woes. "In Los Angeles, we've now got a snapshot of the dilemma elected officials are facing. Do you raise taxes and fees to cover the deficits, try to rein in retirement plans, or both?"

A Daily News editorial says it will take a major campaign to convince Angelenos to increase the city's sales tax. "As they look to taxpayers to pull L.A. out of a budget deficit projected to be $216 million next year, officials may find themselves in a hole when it comes to public opinion," according to the newspaper.


Pelosi mum on leadership role; introduces Democratic freshmen

There are still two undecided Congressional races in California. But even without those, there are nearly a dozen new members of Congress from the Golden State. The top Democrat in the House, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, introduced her party’s new crop Tuesday in Washington D.C.

Pelosi filled the stage with new Democrats...and they kept spilling out of the green room. Pelosi welcomed several by name, including Ventura Congresswoman-elect Julia Brownley. 

Californians make up a quarter of the freshman class of Democrats. Pelosi had hoped to win a few more seats in California to retake the House, and the Speakership, but the GOP still outnumbers Democrats by about 18 members. She told reporters, "we may not have the majority, we may not have the gavel.  But we have unity."

Two Republicans from California were elected to the House.