Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Young voters: Are you liberal on Facebook, but conservative in the voting booth?

Arroyo High students visiting Duarte High

Sharon McNary/KPCC

Arroyo High School students Raul Del Cid, 17, Vennis Hong, 16 and Rocio Payan, 17, chat at Duarte High School, site of a forum on negative political advertising.

I got to hang around at Duarte High School Saturday night with about 200 students from San Gabriel Valley area high schools at the Arsalyn Youth Forum to engage young people in civic life. The topic was negative political advertising.

I brought examples from the four most famous negative political ads I could think of — the 1964 LBJ Daisy ad, the 1988 Willie Horton ad, the 2004 Swiftboat Veterans for Truth ad and the Demon Sheep ad from Carly Fiorina's 2010 U.S. Senate campaign. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow called Fiorina's "the attack ad so bad, nobody wanted to believe it was real."

A young woman asked why people who loudly express their political opinions don't often listen to others' views. In response, I asked the audience who among them had unfriended someone on Facebook after seeing a political comment they disagree with. A lot of hands went up. And that question got us talking more about social media and voting.

High school senior Addison Hu, governor of the Arsalyn Youth Forum, told me that young people get a lot of peer pressure to express liberal sentiments on social media like Facebook, but when they become voters, they might vote more conservatively.

Do others feel this way? If you're age 17-23, tell KPCC about your own involvement or avoidance of politics and voting. It's confidential, and a KPCC journalist will write you back.


Take your pick: 2 debates offer taste of Los Angeles politics Wednesday night

Los Angeles City Hall

Alice Walton/KPCC

Several candidates who want to take a spot at L.A. City Hall as the city's new mayor will debate Wednesday night. Candidates for L.A. County DA are also debating.

Two debates Wednesday night offer the politically interested a chance to find out more about the candidates for mayor and the new district attorney.

One debate features two people who want to be L.A.'s top criminal prosecutor. Jackie Lacey and Alan Jackson will face off at Casa Italiana in a debate sponsored by the Italian American Lawyers Association of Los Angeles.

Yes, there is such a thing.

Retired U.S. District Court Judge George Schiavelli will moderate. No-host bar at 6 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m., then the debate. The address is 1051 N. Broadway in downtown L.A.

Lacey and Jackson are vying to succeed L.A. District Attorney Steve Cooley. Lacey, who serves as Cooley's second-in-command, is seeking to become the first woman and first African-American DA.

Jackson serves as a prosecutor in the DA's major crimes division and regularly appears on NBC's Unsolved Case Squad. He finished second to Lacey in the primary and faces an uphill battle after the big police unions that represent LAPD officers and sheriff's deputies endorsed Lacey.


Maven's Morning Coffee: AEG up for sale, business tax holiday gets extended, Angelenos talk sidewalks


Wendy Lee/KPCC

The owner of the Staples Center, Anschutz Entertainment Group, is being sold off from its parents company.

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, Sept. 19, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


The Anschutz Entertainment Group is up for sale, breaking away from the parent group Anschutz Co. The company owns the Staples Center, Los Angeles Kings, and has stakes in L.A. Live and the Los Angeles Galaxy. There's also the matter of AEG building a professional football stadium in downtown. Los Angeles Times LA Biz Observed Wall Street Journal Native Angeleno

Over at the Los Angeles Times, Steve Lopez takes on broken sidewalks and overgrown trees. " ... residents there have an app on their smartphones to report problems with sidewalks, potholes and graffiti. Others wondered why meter readers or other government employees couldn't add the task of identifying bad sidewalks to their routines," Lopez writes.


'Chasing the Hill' follows campaign of mythical California congresswoman

Courtesy "Chasing the HIll"

A screenshot from an episode of "Chasing the Hill," a Web-only show tracking the fictional political campaign of California Congresswoman Kristine Ryan.

California Congresswoman Kristine Ryan is getting hammered with some rough stuff on the Internet. The opposition in her re-election campaign has targeted her with a barrage of negative ads. 

One ad accuses Ryan of having the worst attendance record of any member of Congress. "63 percent of the time this year, she didn’t bother to show up to work," the ad says. "If you or I did that, we’d be out of a job in a second. Well, that’s what we should do in June. Fire Kristy Ryan!"

Never heard of Ryan? That’s because she’s the candidate at the heart of a new, web-only drama series called “Chasing the Hill.” 

Brent Roske is the creator, writer, and director of the series. He says the series is about "the challenge of mixing personal life and professional life." Roske was a marketing guy with NBC for many years. He wrote and produced specials and indie films, but wanted a project over which he had almost complete control without network interference.
The series takes advantage of ever-changing technology that makes quality production possible with relatively inexpensive equipment. "We use audio sometimes on iPhones," Roske says. "I love that sort of grit."


LA's business tax holiday extended to 2015

City Councilman Paul Krekorian

Andres Aguila/KPCC

The Los Angeles City Council voted 10-2 to extend a policy that exempts new businesses from paying a gross receipts tax for their first three years of operation. Councilman Paul Krekorian, chair of Budget and Finance, voted against the extension, saying there needs to be more study of the economic impact.

New businesses will continue to get a tax break from the City of Los Angeles.

The City Council on Tuesday voted to extend its policy of exempting new businesses from paying a gross receipts tax for their first three years of operation. The exemption will apply to businesses that begin operating before the end of 2015.

In an effort to attract new businesses to Los Angeles, the City Council agreed three years ago to waive the tax through 2012, without a cap on how much a company earns. Prior to that ordinance, it was the city’s policy to waive the gross receipts tax for two years for companies making less than $500,000. 

Councilman Mitch Englander said the extension is a step toward eliminating the gross receipts tax, which generates more than $400 million a year for the city. The tax is frequently cited as a sign that Los Angeles is not business-friendly. The theory is that, by eliminating the tax, more new businesses will flock here.