Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Maven's Morning Coffee: Sheriff gets oversight, undocumented immigrants get ID cards, politicians play musical chairs

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will appoint a monitor to oversee the L.A. County jail system in light of abuse allegations against sheriff's deputies.

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 Wednesday, Oct. 17, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will hire a special monitor to oversee the jail system. Sheriff Lee Baca estimates it will cost $69 million to implement dozens of reforms at the jails. Los Angeles Times, KPCC.

A library card that would also act as an identification and pre-paid debit card for undocumented immigrants was approved by a Los Angeles City Council committee. Whether the card would be accepted by law enforcement agencies is unknown. The card would not be a driver's license and could not be used as a valid ID to board an airplane. Los Angeles Times, Daily News, KPCC.


KPCC launches MyBallot voter guide: Every Southern California 2012 election race, tailored to your ballot

Presidential Primary Panorama

Grant Slater/KPCC

Voters at a polling location yesterday.

Yesterday we launched our "MyBallot" voter guide. It includes coverage of every race, proposition and measure that will be on a ballot in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura Counties.

To access information, just enter your address, and the app will deliver a rundown of each race (from President to community college board), proposition and measure applicable to you, as well as links to KPCC and other coverage and candidates' answers to some of your questions.

(Rest assured, no information you enter will be collected or disseminated by KPCC or any third-party organization.)

You'll also be able to save your choices on your mobile device or print them out so you can bring them to the polls. If you're accessing the voter guide from your phone, the app has a streamlined mobile version as well.


Long Beach Democrat Laura Richardson's campaign awash in red ink

Congresswoman Laura Richardson is in trouble.

The publication “Roll Call” already lists her as the lawmaker most likely to lose her seat. Internal polling numbers from her opponent Janice Hahn show Richardson trailing by 16 points, with 30 percent undecided.

And according to the latest report filed with the Federal Election Commission, she owes more than $500,000 to her campaign treasurer, graphic designer, pollster, fundraising consultant, a couple of restaurants, the phone company, and lawyers.

The Long Beach Democrat only has about $68,000 dollars in campaign cash on hand.

During the last quarter, Richardson had to lend her campaign more money than she’d raised in campaign donations. She raised under $7000; she lent the campaign $9000. So far, she’s committed $19,000 of her own money to her reelection bid. 

Among those who contributed to the Richardson campaign last quarter was her mentor, the late Congressman and Lt. Governor Mervyn Dymally. She credits him with encouraging her to run for Congress.

Richardson is running against fellow Democrat, freshman Congresswoman Janice Hahn, in a newly drawn district.

Hahn is also in the red; she owes more than $60,000 than she has on hand. Hahn owes money for polling, printing, advertising, legal fees, and consulting. 

One consultant is longtime Democratic advisor Joe Trippi, who worked on campaigns for Tom Bradley and Alan Cranston and on the presidential runs of Ted Kennedy, Walter Mondale, Gary Hart, Richard Gephardt, Howard Dean and, most recently, John Edwards.

Hahn also owes money to a baseball club that is not the Dodgers.

Her father, the late L.A. County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn, was instrumental in bringing the Dodgers west from Brooklyn. Janice Hahn had a fundraising event in Washington, DC at Nationals Park, where the Washington Nationals play.

It's doubtful the money owed to the baseball team in DC cost her poltically: the Nats were playing the Dodgers that night.

But Hahn's fundraising prospects are better than Richardson's. Last quarter, Hahn raised nearly $180,000. That’s more than 25 times the amount raised by Laura Richardson. 



That's My Issue: Public Education

That's My Issue: Public Education

Kim Bui/Amy Lieu/KPCC

Peter Walts speaks to KPCC about his views on public education.

This post is part of KPCC & WNYC's "That's My Issue" series, and represents the views of its author, not of either station. 

Everyone has budget concerns. That's probably one of the first things you talk about when you talk about education.

I just really want it to work for everybody — public education.  We've got to find a way to fund it, we have to stop demonizing teachers. However, we do have to qualify what makes a good teacher and understand that more.

We have stop making them be police officers and social workers as well.

Parents need to do their jobs too, so we need to get more and more parents involved with their local schools.

But I suppose principally, funding would be the biggest concern right now, so very concerned about that.  

Let us know how a particular experience has affected your political opinions. Record it online, or drop us a note. Your piece could appear on WNYC and KPCC's websites, as well as on our air. 


Future of Los Angeles' digital billboards remains in limbo

Steven Cuevas/KPCC

Los Angeles city staff was asked to meet with billboard executives and neighborhood groups in the next 30 days to develop a new set of regulations for digital signs.

The future of digital billboards in the city of Los Angeles remained uncertain Tuesday as the city council asked planning staffers to meet with billboard companies and neighborhood groups to work out a new set of regulations for the signs. 

The staff report is due back in 30 days; however, an ongoing legal dispute between two major billboard companies, CBS Outdoor and Clear Channel Outdoor, and the city of Los Angeles is expected to be heard in court later this month. Councilman Paul Krekorian told his colleagues that the upcoming court date provides a sense of urgency that could push the two sides to find some common ground.

“My hope is that this will be the beginning of a discussion,” Krekorian said. 

His goals for the staff report are to:

  1. Reduce the number of static and digital billboards in the city
  2. Increase revenue to the city
  3. Resolve ongoing legal fights over billboards