Represent! | Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Independent Mike Meza endorses Republican Joe Gardner in Democratic 48th Assembly District

Assemblyman Roger Hernandez, left, is running for reelection against Joe Gardner, right, a retired member of the Santa Monica Police Department.
Roger Hernandez Office/Joe Gardner Campaign

It’s the homestretch for candidates whose names appear on the Nov. 6 ballot, which means everyone is looking for an advantage. In some cases, that advantage can be as simple as an endorsement from a former opponent. 

Take the 48th Assembly District race for example. Democrat Assemblyman Roger Hernandez is running for his second two-year term of office, but his district lines have been slightly re-drawn. He finished the June primary behind his Republican challenger, Joe Gardner, a retired member of the Santa Monica Police Department. Gardner picked up 46 percent of the vote, compared to Hernandez’s 43 percent — despite party registration in the district favoring Democrats by 18 percentage points.

The primary had a third challenger, Mike Meza, who ran as an independent. Meza won 11 percent of the vote in the primary and has endorsed Gardner in the November runoff.


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Opponents say Prop 30 ad blitz is misleading voters

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The No on Prop 30 campaign launched its first TV ad Thursday — attacking Governor Jerry Brown's Prop 30 ads, which launched a day earlier, as "smoke and mirrors."

“We are shocked and dismayed by the Governor’s willingness to mislead voters,” said Joel Fox, President of the Small Business Action Committee, in a statement.  “Prop 30 doesn’t provide any new funding for education and is really nothing more than a shell game that gives Sacramento politicians more money to spend on other programs."

Most of the attention is on a statement in the Prop 30 ads that its income and sales tax increases will only go to fund schools, and that politicians can’t touch the money.

Edgar Cabral, one of the Legislative Analyst’s education experts, says Prop 30 does funnel new tax revenue into a special fund that can only be spent on K-14 education.


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Maven's Morning Coffee: Baca responds to jail abuses, controller investigates Building and Safety, plans for more affordable housing

Sheriff Lee Baca responds to criticism of the Los Angeles County jail system.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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 Thursday, Oct. 4, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


Sheriff Lee Baca responded to criticism of Los Angeles County jails by saying, "I am paid to take criticism, even if it’s unfair," reports KPCC. The jails are currently under investigation by the FBI.

Controller Wendy Greuel will launch an investigation into the billing practices of Building and Safety following customers' complaints that they were overcharged or in some cases under-charged, reports the Daily News. "We will look into it closely and if there are problems, such as overcharging, will take steps to correct it immediately," said Bud Ovrom, general manager of Building and Safety.


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Bob Blumenfield prepares for 2 elections in the San Fernando Valley

Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield is running for a final term of office. He has also filed to run in next spring's primary for the Los Angeles City Council.
Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield's website

Out in the West San Fernando Valley, Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield is running for his final term as a state lawmaker. After the November election, he’ll be preparing for his first run at the Los Angles City Council.

While other Sacramento politicians are running for the Los Angeles City Council in 2013, Blumenfield is the only one whose seat is also up for reelection this year. Following the June primary for his Assembly seat, Blumenfield filed papers to run for the council’s Third District, where Dennis Zine is being termed out. (Zine's Assembly seats covers much of the same area as the Third District.)

“It’s an unfortunate clashing of the calendars,” Blumenfield said. “The seat is coming open now in March and you know, these typically are 12-year — up to 12-year — seats.”

His opponent in November is electrical engineer Chris Kolski, who received 41 percent of the vote in the primary. Kolski, a Republican who supported Ron Paul's run for the GOP presidential nod, hopes that Blumenfield's dual-race strategy turns off independents and even some Democrats. 


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Obama, Romney clash on economy in first debate

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) shakes hands with Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney during the Presidential Debate at the University of Denver on October 3, 2012 in Denver, Colorado.
Pool/Getty Images

In a showdown at close quarters, President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney sparred aggressively in their first campaign debate Wednesday night over taxes, deficits and strong steps needed to create jobs in a sputtering national economy. "The status quo is not going to cut it," declared the challenger.

Obama in turn accused his rival of seeking to "double down" on economic policies that actually led to the devastating national downturn four years ago — and of evasiveness on details for Romney proposals on tax changes, health care, Wall Street regulation and more.

Both men made frequent references to the weak economy and high national unemployment, by far the dominant issue in the race for the White House. Public opinion polls show Obama with a slight advantage in key battleground states and nationally, and Romney was particularly aggressive, like a man looking to shake up the campaign with a little less than five weeks to run.


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