Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Dissed-off Californians: Study calls us disgusted, disgruntled, distrustful of state government

What unites California voters above all else? Pessimism about the state and its governance system.

That's what the Public Policy Institute of California concludes in its new report, "Improving California's Democracy," saying that voters' levels of disillusionment are at historic highs. Voters blame the recession, joblessness, the economy, state budget cuts that reduce local services, and wasted tax dollars.

The survey said voters trust their local governments more than Sacramento and Washington.

We also trust ourselves — through the initiative process — to make important decisions about public policy.

That's in spite of the fact — according to the survey — that voters lack basic knowledge about the complex decisions they are asked to make on Election Day.

The Policy Institute says greater public participation in elections is the answer. It recommends registering more eligible adults, extending the time allowed to register, pre-registering 17-year-olds to vote, even allowing online voting through county registrars' websites.

The report also calls for more rules requiring the funders of initiatives to be disclosed during signature gathering and campaigns, and on the ballot itself.


Bill Rosendahl tells LA City Council he'll finish term and keep fighting

Bill Rosendahl - 1

Anibal Ortiz / KPCC

Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl donned his veteran's cap as he told colleagues he will retire at the end of his term in June to focus on his continuing battle with cancer.

It wasn’t quite his swan song, but Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl took to the council floor Tuesday to make it official: he won't run for a third term as had been planned. Rosendahl's wide-ranging speech concluded with an endorsement of his chief of staff as his successor.

The decision was made just in the past few days, though there had been ongoing discussions since Rosendahl’s cancer diagnosis at the end of July, according to Mike Bonin, who will run for his boss’ seat next spring. When he learned of the cancer, doctors told Rosendahl the disease was already in stage four. The councilman believes the cancer may have gone undetected for more than a year.

“I’ve never given up on hope," Rosendahl said. "I always believe that if you can go forward in a positive spirit, you might, with the Lord’s help, make a difference with your soul and with yourself.” 


Steve Martin delivers a political ad you'll like

I've never lived in a swing state before. Technically, as KPCC's D.C. correspondent, I don't live in one now. But Virginia's just over the river and, as a result, I see countless political ads aimed at wooing undecided Arlington and Alexandria and Falls Church voters. Between the ads from the parties and the various PACs, I can be watching a playoff game and see four spots for the same race in between innings!

It's a bit wearing. Cherish your cell phone commercials, L.A. They're better than the alternative.

That said, here's my current favorite ad. Unfortunately, it's only on YouTube.  Steve Martin is stumping for his pal Bob Kerrey, who is making a comeback run at the U.S. Senate from Nebraska. Plus, you can pick up tips on how to make a wad of paper.


Maven's Morning Coffee: Rosendahl out of reelection, AEG seeks $10B, city attorney fights with former consultant

City Councilman Bill Rosendahl

Andres Aguila/KPCC

L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl will publicly address his decision not to seek reelection at this morning's Los Angeles City Council meeting.

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 Tuesday, Oct. 9, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl will not seek reelection as he continues his cancer treatments. In his place, chief of staff Mike Bonin will run in the 2013 primary. KPCC, Los Angeles Times, Daily News, Bill Rosendahl blog

The opening bid for the Anschutz Entertainment Group is $10 billion, according to Reuters. AEG has 25,000 employees and more than 100 sports and entertainment venues around the world.

The ugly fight between political consultant John Shallman and City Attorney Carmen Trutanich continues with the release of an internal memo between the two. In a statement to the LA Weekly, Shallman said of his former client, "I apologize to the city of Los Angeles for Carmen Trutanich. I feel like Dr. Frankenstein who, in his attempt to do good, created a monster and unleashed it on an unsuspecting populace, a monster who has morphed into the Kim Jong-Il of L.A. politics." 


LA City Councilman Bill Rosendahl decides against run for re-election (updated)

Betsy Annas/City of LA.

L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl (second from the left) will not run for a third term of office. The Westside councilman is undergoing cancer treatment.

L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl will not run for a third term of office. The decision comes as the Westside representative is battling cancer.

The 67-year-old councilman had pledged to run next Spring for a third term of office, but after undergoing more than 13 radiation treatments and multiple rounds of chemotherapy, Rosendahl has decided he must remain focused on his health.

He explained his decision in an e-mail to constituents.

“I promise you that I won’t stop getting things accomplished for you, for our neighborhoods, and for our city as long as I remain in office,” he said in his email. “It is because of these accomplishments and the promise of many more to be realized that I have decided not to seek a third term as your councilman.”

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa released a statement that said: "I was saddened to learn that Bill Rosendahl will not seek re-election. He is the Conscience of the Council, and City Hall will miss his energy and dynamism. I wish Bill a full recovery and good health."