Politics, government and public life for Southern California

'Get out the vote' efforts go behind bars into LA's jails

The Twin Towers Correctional Facility in

Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

The iconic Twin Towers Correctional Facility stands just northeast of L.A.'s skyline.

In the last few weeks before the Presidential election, "get out the vote" drives are in full gear nationwide. In L.A. County, there's even an effort to go behind bars to register jail inmates to vote.

On a recent Wednesday, Lt. Edward Ramirez joined a group of volunteers and L.A. County Sheriff's deputies heading into Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown Los Angeles to register inmates in a pod on the second floor of the eastern tower. 

Twin Towers is across the street from another famous L.A. lockup: the Men's Central Jail. The skyscrapers sit just northeast of LA’s classic skyline and have the look of a late century office complex. But their thin slats of window distinguish the buildings as what they are— home to L.A.’s maximum security inmates and those inmates needing psychiatric care.

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Bloomberg money bomb drops in Corona Congressional race

Mayor Bloomberg And Islanders Owner Announce Plan For Team To Play In Brooklyn

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at a press conference on October 24, 2012, in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

The Mayor of New York came through. Michael Bloomberg created his own political action committee, Independence USA, and promised to help select House candidates around the country who support tougher gun control measures.

New filings with the Federal Election Commission show Bloomberg's PAC spent nearly $200,000 on a race in the Inland Empire. The latest FEC report shows two expenditures: $65,000 last Tuesday and another $130,000 on Thursday to pay for campaign mailers that support Democratic State Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod in her race to unseat incumbent Democratic Congressman Joe Baca in Corona.

On this year's NRA report card, the National Rifle Association gave McLeod a "D," describing her as an "anti-gun" candidate; Baca, described as "generally a pro-gun candidate,"got a "B+." When Baca first ran for Congress in 1999, the NRA named him one of its “Defenders of Freedom.” Nearly all other California Democrats in Congress get an "F" rating from the NRA.

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Video: 51 Obama/Romney campaign ads you'd be sick of if you lived in Ohio

Barack Obama And Mitt Romney Participate In Second Presidential Debate

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) and President Barack Obama talk to each other during a town hall style debate at Hofstra University October 16, 2012 in Hempstead, New York.

In California, we’re mostly out of the line of fire when it comes to TV political ads. We see the national ad buys, but most of what the campaigns do is targeted at specific areas.

Here’s a look at the flurry of ads that you may not have seen as the election comes into the home stretch, starting at the beginning of October. Where we know, we’ve included the states the ads have been running in. We’ll be updating through Election Day.

If you see any noteworthy issue ads or ads supporting or attacking Obama or Romney on TV you think we should include, let us know in the comments below.

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2 candidates vie in San Gabriel Valley for state's first Asian-American district

Matthew Lin

Matthew Lin Campaign

A win for Dr. Matthew Lin would also be a win for the Republican party.

Two candidates in the San Gabriel Valley are fighting to represent the state Assembly’s first Asian-American majority district. 

Matthew Lin, a physician, and engineer Edwin Chau will face each other in the Nov. 6 election.

While the San Gabriel Valley has long been home to immigrants from China, Japan, and Southeast Asia, the latest round of redistricting created a seat where Asian-Americans represent 53 percent of the population. It’s the first of its kind in California. About half of the residents there were born outside of the United States and three-quarters speak a language other than English, according to the U.S. Census.

“The area has become a gateway for a lot of Asian-American immigrants and it has been that way for 30, 40 years now,” said Kathay Feng, executive director of California Common Cause.

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LA City Council OKs fewer pension benefits for new city employees

Coalition of LA City Unions

Alice Walton/KPCC

Attorney Victor Gordo leads a group of city workers during public comment at Friday's meeting of the L.A. City Council.

Los Angeles city workers hired after the start of the next fiscal year will have to work more years to receive fewer pension benefits, under a plan unanimously approved Friday by the Los Angeles City Council. 

The vote finalized a plan first approved a month ago. Councilmen Eric Garcetti and Richard Alarcon had asked city and labor representatives to get together to reach a compromise in the last 30 days, but the talks did not result in any changes.

Problems started with the city’s lawyers determine the new pension tier is not subject to collective bargaining. Labor leaders strongly disagreed.

“I’m here to tell you that we will vigorously pursue our administrative and legal remedies,” said Victor Gordo, an attorney for the Coalition of L.A. City Unions. “You have violated your obligation to meet and confer on the one end, and on the other end you’ve attacked the integrity of our collective bargaining agreement."

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