Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Maven's Morning Coffee: DWP rate increases, pension rollback at City Hall, Rick Caruso keeps media guessing

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Frank Stoltze/KPCC

Will Rick Caruso run for mayor? He is keeping folks guessing by leaking details on possible media buys for November.

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

Headlines

LA Weekly reports billionaire developer Rick Caruso is checking out what it will cost to run mayoral ads on television starting in November. Ron Kaye LA and LAObserved also seem to have the same source, reporting that Caruso is willing to spend $15 million to $20 million on a campaign, and therefore can't help out fellow billionaire Eli Broad with a fundraising campaign for a pension ballot measure.

Electricity rates at the Department of Water and Power will increase, thanks to a preliminary vote of the Los Angeles City Council, reports the Los Angeles Times. The increase is expected to bring in $321 million by June of 2014.

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Carmen Trutanich, Laura Chick tangle in city attorney's race

Trutanich

Roberto (Bear) Guerra/KPCC

In an open letter, former City Controller Laura Chick calls City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, above, a liar and demagogue. His campaign responds that it's pure politics.

Most voters' attention is on November's presidential and Congressional races, but next Spring's city election is already generating some heat.

An open letter released Tuesday by former city controller Laura Chick, who was never one to hold her tongue, takes a shot at city attorney Carmen Trutanich.

In 2009, Chick was the controller and a vocal supporter of Trutanich, who was running for city attorney against then-Councilman Jack Weiss. She now says that was a “terrible mistake” in part because Trutanich did not support her position that the controller had the authority to audit programs housed in elected officials’ offices. 

“With this one breathtaking reversal, the so-called ‘People’s Attorney’ revealed himself to be a liar and demagogue, who would not only lie to me to gain my political support, but whose clear intention was to squash transparency and disallow the scrutiny of how taxpayers’ dollars are spent,” Chick wrote in her letter.

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UC Riverside to host congressional debate following presidential debate telecast

John Tavaglione

UC Riverside Extension

John Tavaglione is a longtime member of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. He is running for Congress in the 41st District.

Mark Takano

UC Riverside Extension

Mark Takano is a Democrat running for Congress in the 41st District. He is a teacher and trustee in the Riverside Community College District.


U.C. Riverside Extension will host a double-headed political debate for Inland Empire residents on Oct. 3, starting with a live telecast of the presidential debate on a big-screen TV, followed by a live, in-person debate between candidates for Congress representing Riverside's 41st District.

The Obama-Romney debate kicks off at 6 p.m. Wednesday and will be shown at the UCR Extension Center, 1200 University Ave. The 7:30 p.m. debate between Republican candidate John Taviglione and Democrat Mark Takano will be moderated by Marcia McQuern, former editor and publisher of The Press-Enterprise.

Tavaglione and Takano are running to represent the district that covers Riverside, Perris, Moreno Valley, Jurupa Valley and surrounding areas. Tavaglione got about 4,000 more votes than Takano in the primary election, and the open district race is seen as one of the most competitive in the state.

The 41st is a new, open Congressional district whose boundaries were drawn by the nonpartisan citizens redistricting commission. The person elected will be the first Riverside resident to represent the area in Congress since the early 1990s.

The free event is sponsored by the Riverside League of Women Voters, AARP, The Press-Enterprise, the Latino Network, the NAACP Riverside Branch and The Group. RSPV are required; call 951-827-4105.

The event is part of the UCR Extension Windows on the World program.

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One-third of Asian-American likely voters are undecided on presidential pick

Asian-American voters

Data: National Asian American Survey

Nearly one-third of likely voters who are Asian-American remain undecided about their choice for president, according to a new survey. But among those who express a favorite, they strongly prefer President Barack Obama to former Gov. Mitt Romney.

The independent, non-partisan National Asian American Survey interviewed a representative sample of more than 3,300 people for what the authors describe as the most comprehensive portrait of Asian-American political views.

Asian-American voters who are undecided could make a critical difference in the presidential election in the battleground states of Nevada, North Carolina and Virginia, said study co-author Karthick Ramakrishnan, an associate professor of political science at UC Riverside.

Asian-Americans interviewed about top issues showed strong preferences for Obama's stances on women's rights, health care and immigration, and were about equally split in support for Obama's and Romney's ideas on how to deal with the budget deficit.

A few numbers from the survey:

32 percent -- Asian-American likely voters who are undecided. (In the general population, about 7 percent are undecided)

25 percent -- Congressional districts where more than five percent of voters are Asian-American

45 percent -- Asian-American citizens who can be described as "likely voters"

15 percent -- California's Asian-American population

51 percent -- Asian-American voters who are non-partisan

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Maven's Morning Coffee: DWP salaries, pension reform at City Hall, helicopters swoop over Carmageddon

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nixhorizon/Flickr cc

A new analysis of the Department of Water and Power finds salaries there are higher than at other public and private utilities.

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 Tuesday, Sept. 25, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:

Headlines

Farmers Field moves ahead, as AEG's President Tim Leiweke tries to explain the timing and implications of the company's sale. Los Angeles Times/ Daily News/ Downtown News/ KPCC/ ESPN / Which Way, LA?

A consulting report finds the Department of Water and Power's salaries are significantly higher than those paid at other public and private utilities, reports the Los Angeles Times. The head of DWP argues that investing in energy efficiency would be a more effective way to save the utility money. Later today, the L.A. City Council will look at increasing the DWP's rates.

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