Politics, government and public life for Southern California

School teacher battles GOP county leader in high stakes Inland Empire congressional race

41st Congressional District Candidates

Courtesy Tavaglione for Congress 2012 & Steven Cuevas

The candidates for the 41st Congressional District: John Tavaglione (above) and Mark Takano.

Two Riverside natives are competing to become the first representative of the newly drawn 41st Congressional District.  It covers a big part of the Inland Empire including Riverside and Moreno Valley. 

The Republican, John Tavaglione, is a veteran county leader who moonlights in a garage band. The Democrat, Mark Takano, is an openly gay, Asian American high school teacher.

Inside a classroom during a recent campaign visit to Riverside Community College, Takano tells a couple dozen students and would-be campaign volunteers what he’ll do if elected to Congress.  It’s a comfortable setting for the 52-year-old Democrat: Takano is a Riverside Community College trustee.

“I talk about the choice in this election being about common sense Riverside values and those values being things like aid to community colleges,” Takano says. “We have people here who will benefit from the Affordable Health Care Act.”


New survey reports Props 30 and 38 are causing mutual harm

A new Field Poll suggests that each of the rival tax measures on the November ballot is drawing support away from the other.  

The survey has Brown’s measure, Proposition 30, leading by 10 points — but down from previous Field polls and just short of the 50 percent it needs to pass.  Education advocate Molly Munger’s tax measure, Prop 38, trails by 15 points. 

“Prop 38 is pulling some voters away from 30," says Field Poll Director Mark DiCamillo. "We’re measuring it at 9%.”

Yet, DiCamillo says Prop 30’s undecided voters could be more likely to vote yes in the end.  For example, more of them approve of the governor’s job performance than disapprove, and are concerned about potential budget cuts if the measure fails.

“So all these things indicate to me that the governor’s measure is in fairly decent shape,” DiCamillo said.  


Maven's Morning Coffee: Handcuffed man shot by LAPD, LA looks at new taxes, Wendy Greuel silent on tough issues?


Andres Aguila/KPCC

According to the Los Angeles Times, police shot a man who was handcuffed and lying down on his stomach.

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 Thursday, Nov. 1, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


A South L.A. man was shot by police officers while he was handcuffed and lying on his stomach, according to the Los Angeles Times. "The case marks the second time in as many months that the LAPD has withheld important and potentially unfavorable information from the public in cases involving serious uses of force by officers," according to The Times.

A proposed ballot measure that would have allowed the Los Angeles City Council to hire its own attorneys will not appear on the March ballot, reports the Los Angeles Times. Council members and City Attorney Carmen Trutanich will meet over the next two weeks to see if they can reach an agreement on their own.


The trickle-down effect of California campaign funding

Republican Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack is in a tight re-election race, but that hasn't stopped her from making contributions to other candidates from her campaign fund and her political action committee.

US Representative from California Loretta Sanchez

Scott Nelson/AFP/Getty Images

Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez received a donation from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and then made a donation to another party candidate.

One steady source of income to Congressional campaigns in this election has been from current members. And they have lots of different ways to give.

Nancy Pelosi rose through the ranks to become the Democrats’ Congressional leader in part because of her fundraising prowess. In this election cycle, for example, she raised more than $2 million for her own campaign.

Sheila Krumholz, who heads the Center for Responsive Politics, says because Pelosi’s re-election is a lock, she can open up her purse strings: "She can then take that money to tithe to the party."

Pelosi can do this by contributing to the party's campaign arm for House members, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Krumholz says Pelosi will raise funds, "both from her campaign and from her leadership PAC. She will then support other colleagues, junior colleagues, struggling candidates for office."


Judge approves audit of group that donated $11 million to proposition campaigns

A Sacramento Superior Court judge on Wednesday ordered an Arizona organization, Americans for Responsible Leadership, to provide more details regarding an $11 million donation it made to a California group involved with two critical propositions on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The law firm representing Americans for Responsible Leadership said it will appeal the decision. Such an appeal would temporarily halt Wednesday’s ruling.

California’s elections watchdog, the Fair Political Practices Commission, went to court seeking the identities of the individuals who provided the donation. The FPCC’s Ann Ravel says an appeal would make it impossible to get the names of donors disclosed before the election.

The donation, made to California’s Small Business Action Committee, is being used in campaigns to defeat Prop 30, Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax initiative, and to pass Prop 32, the ban on payroll deductions for political contributions.