Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Live from Philippe's: What's your issue this election season?

Anibal Ortiz

KPCC's Franks Stoltze interviews Michael Lewis at Philippe: The Original in downtown L.A.

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Anibal Ortiz

A group of friends have lunch at Philippe's in Los Angeles, Calif., Wednesday, October 10, 2012.

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Anibal Ortiz / KPCC

KPCC's Frank Stoltze cuts soundbites of an interview at Philippe's in Los Angeles, Calif., Wednesday, October 10, 2012.

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Anibal Ortiz / KPCC

KPCC interviews breakfastgoers at Philippe's in Los Angeles, Calif., Wednesday, October 10, 2012.

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Anibal Ortiz

The sawdust-covered floor at Philippe's in Los Angeles, Calif., Wednesday, October 10, 2012.

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Anibal Ortiz / KPCC

KPCC's Frank Stoltze interviews Sophie Lafferty at Philippe's in Los Angeles, Calif., Wednesday, October 10, 2012.

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Anibal Ortiz

The noon rush starts to arrive at Philippe's in Los Angeles, Calif., Wednesday, October 10, 2012.

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Anibal Ortiz / KPCC

KPCC interviews breakfastgoers at Philippe's in Los Angeles, Calif., Wednesday, October 10, 2012.

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Anibal Ortiz / KPCC

KPCC's Frank Stoltze phones in an interview at Philippe's in Los Angeles, Calif., Wednesday, October 10, 2012.

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Anibal Ortiz / KPCC

KPCC's Lauren Osen and Frank Stoltze talk briefly before their next interview at Philippe's in Los Angeles, Calif., Wednesday, October 10, 2012.


Update 12:15 pm: Lunch rush

The lunch crowd is here in force, shuffling the sawdust around Philippe's floor and upping the chatter quotient. We're wrapping up for the day, but check our That's My Issue section for updates on our next stop. We've been looking at a few cafes and meeting spots around South Los Angeles who'd be willing to host us next time. Any suggestions? 

Update 12:00 pm: Gay Marriage

Michael Lewis, a former supporter of President Barack Obama, says he'll be sitting this election out. Lewis says he feels the President's decision to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act caused him to reconsider his vote.

"My position is in alignment with the Bible," he says. "The Bible says that God wants a marriage between a man and a woman, so I withdrew my vote."

Lewis says he has a number of gay and lesbian friends, but says his beliefs have nothing to do with his feelings about individuals. "Nobody should judge anybody," Lewis says.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: parking ticket refunds, fundraising in the DA's race, endorsements in CD11

City Of San Francisco To Increase Number Of Parking Tickets To Aid Budget Deficit

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The city of Los Angeles is looking to create a database so Angelenos can figure out if they're entitled to a refund on disputed parking tickets.

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

Headlines

L.A. City Councilman Paul Krekorian wants the city to put together a database of Angelenos who are owed refunds on their parking tickets, reports the Los Angeles Times. As it is now, if the refunds are unclaimed, the city takes the money and puts it back into its own budget.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey has a fundraising lead over Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson, reports the LA Weekly. Over the last three months, Lacey raised $565,000 for her campaign for district attorney. That's compared to Jackson's $180,000.

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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.

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

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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.” 

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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.

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