Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Hotly contested political races on Capitol Hill

US Representative Dana Rohrabacher

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

U.S. Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) has his eye on the chairmanship of the House Science Committee.

It's election season in Congressional districts all over California where 53 seats are up for grabs. But some of those lawmakers are also scrambling for votes 3.000 miles away in Washington, DC.  They're trying to move up the leadership ladder.

California loses one powerful Republican leader next year when Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier retires. As a number of other House members step down, run for another office, or are defeated in the general election, several top jobs at House committees are opening up.

A pair of Orange County Congressmen are putting their names forward as committee chairmen, should the GOP retain control of the House.

Dana Rohrabacher of Huntington Beach has a great interest in international affairs.  He's been critical of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, saying he heads "a corrupt clique."  President Karzai doesn't much like Representative Rohrabacher: he denied him entry to Afghanistan recently. 


Maven's Morning Coffee: Rick Caruso gets tangled in Assessor's problems, support slips for Prop 30, Farmers FIeld up for final vote

Governor Jerry Brown JPL Visit

Andres Aguila/KPCC

A new poll finds support is slipping for Gov. Jerry Brown's Proposition 30 on the November ballot.

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 Friday, Sept. 28, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


Developer Rick Caruso's properties received preferential treatment from the Los Angeles County Assessor's Office, which devalued some locations thus allowing the company to pay less in property taxes, according to the Los Cerritos Newspaper Group. LAObserved gives the story some context.

The Daily News looks at Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's farewell tour, this time in the San Fernando Valley. "I'm 59 and I think I have a lot more to contribute. But, I want to take some time to figure out what's wrong with the system," he said at the United Chambers of Commerce luncheon.


High-profile Latinos come out in support of Eric Garcetti

Eric Garcetti

Eric Garcetti campaign

Mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti is of Latino heritage on his father's side.

A former justice of the California Supreme Court headlines a list of high-profile Latinos in support of Councilman Eric Garcetti’s run for mayor of Los Angeles. 

Garcetti is the only major mayoral candidate who can claim some Latino heritage. (Despite the Italian surname, he is Mexican on his father’s side of the family.) Garcetti has often spoken of spending time as a boy with his grandparents in Boyle Heights.

In his endorsement letter, Justice Carlos Moreno points out that relatives of his and Garcetti's once lived near each other in Mexico. 

The list of 100 supporters includes:

  • Rigoberto Arrechiga, president, Mexican American Bar Association
  • Former Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante
  • Sal Castro, Education Advocate
  • Jorge Corralejo, chairman & CEO, Latino Business Chamber of Greater Los Angeles
  • Alex Gallardo-Rooker, vice chair, California Democratic Party
  • Salma Hayek, actress


Curren Price joins list of state legislators seeking LA City Council seats

Curren Price

Curren Price campaign website

State Sen. Curren Price is the latest Sacramento lawmaker to run for the Los Angeles City Council.

A state senator who earlier this year got into a public argument with Councilman Bernard Parks over redistricting will run for the Los Angeles City Council.

Curren Price will run for the Ninth District seat currently held by Councilwoman Jan Perry. He has two years left in his State Senate term. If he wins the City Council race, it would force a special election to fill his senate seat.

Price joins a crowded field for Perry's seat. Among the 14 candidates are:

  • Ana Cubas, former chief of staff to Councilman Jose Huizar
  • David Roberts, appointee to the Redistricting Commission
  • Mike Davis, state Assemblyman (being termed out)
  • Terry Hara, deputy chief, LAPD 

Price announced his candidacy on Facebook, writing: “I am running for this office to offer leadership by calling for a new level of collaboration among public and private sector resources.”

“I’m adopting the phrase, the ‘New 9th,’ to signal a new level of commitment and enthusiasm to engage residents and community-based institutions to work together to improve the quality of life for all residents in the New 9th.”


DA Steve Cooley to back Kevin James for mayor of Los Angeles

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

District Attorney Steve Cooley will endorse Kevin James for mayor tomorrow at a City Hall news conference.

District Attorney Steve Cooley will endorse attorney Kevin James for mayor of Los Angeles Friday at a City Hall news conference, the campaign announced today.

When James first announced his candidacy in the spring of 2011, Cooley made a cameo appearance but declined to make an official endorsement at the time. This is easily James’ biggest endorsement to date. 

The James campaign has raised $222,000, according to the latest fundraising report filed with the Ethics Commission. (The next fundraising reporting window closes Sunday.) That’s in contrast to the other mayoral candidates, Controller Wendy Greuel and Councilman Eric Garcetti, whose campaigns have each raised $2.2 million. Councilwoman Jan Perry has $1.1 million in the bank for her campaign.

Though the mayoral race is non-partisan, James and Cooley are fellow Republicans.