Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Young Ricky Gill’s two minutes on the RNC stage

Ricky Gill is a candidate for Congress from the San Joaquin Valley. His parents were born in India.

“It was my first speech in front of a teleprompter,” Ricky Gill said of his appearance during Tuesday’s opening session of the Republican National Convention in Tampa. “The biggest difficulty is to keep pace with it.”

Gill had no trouble during his two minutes.

“My name is Ricky Gill, and I am humbled to stand before you as a Republican nominee for Congress, and a proud son of California’s San Joaquin Valley.”

Gill is just old enough to serve in Congress. He is 25.  

He is also considered a rising star in a California Republican Party desperately in need of one. The political website RealClearPolitics rates his race against 60-year-old Democratic Congressman Jerry McNerney a “toss up.”

That’s in part because the redrawn 9th Congressional District is less Democratic now (44% Democrat; 37% Republican). Gill also has an interesting resume — both his parents were born in India; Gill was born and raised in Lodi. 

Read More...

Ann Romney, Chris Christie hope to embolden party with key RNC speeches

Mitt Romney Campaigns Throughout Iowa

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Former Massachusetts Governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (R) addresses a campaign rally with his wife Ann Romney (C) and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie at a Hy Vee supermarket December 30, 2011 in West Des Moines, Iowa. Christie, a popular Republican governor who was urged to run for president earlier this year, appeared with Romney just days before the "first in the nation" Iowa Caucuses.

We’ve completed Tuesday’s two hours of KPCC local coverage from the GOP convention, but our workday is far from done. 

AirTalk producer Jasmin Tuffaha and I will head over shortly from our workspace in the Tampa Convention Center to the Tampa Bay Times Forum where this evening’s program will take place. As you know by now, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have been officially nominated by the delegates, so now the attention turns to making the Party’s case and showcasing its leaders.

Tonight, we’ll see Ann Romney talk about her husband as she sees him, and as Republicans hope the nation will see him. Then New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will offer the typically bell-ringing keynote speech to wrap up the night. 

The keynote is where each party highlights a strong speaker who’s also a rising star.

Read More...

Mitt Romney officially nominated; plus, a livestream of speeches

Mitt Romney Departs Boston Area For Tampa, Florida

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney walks off of his campaign plane with his wife Ann and grandson Joe Romney on August 28, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. Mitt Romney traveled to Tampa, Florida with his wife Ann Romney who will speak August 28, during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.


Live video for mobile from Ustream

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney swept to the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday night at a storm-delayed national convention, every mention of his name cheered by delegates eager to propel him into a campaign to defeat President Barack Obama in tough economic times.

Romney watched on television with his wife, Ann, at a hotel suite across the street from the convention hall as the convention sealed his hard-won victories in the primaries and caucuses of last winter.

New Jersey put him over the top in a ritual roll call of the states.

A parade of convention speakers mocked Democratic President Obama mercilessly, as if to make up for lost time at an event postponed once and dogged still by Hurricane Isaac.

The Democratic president has "never run a company. He hasn't even run a garage sale or seen the inside of a lemonade stand," declared Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican Party.

Read More...

Gov. Brown announces pension plan for public workers

Governor Jerry Brown JPL Visit

Andres Aguila/KPCC

Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled a pension agreement today that could save California billions by requiring public workers to pay more toward their retirement, while increasing the retirement age and capping benefits.

Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled a plan Tuesday that he says will save the state tens of billions of dollars by capping pensions, increasing the retirement age, and requiring employees to pay more toward their retirement.

The bill is written to apply to all public employees in California — state and local — though it would not affect charter cities and counties such as Los Angeles. University of California employees also would be exempt. 

Under the bill, which will be heard by a committee in Sacramento Tuesday afternoon, current and future public employees would pay half of their pension costs. Unions for current employees would have up to five years to negotiate the increase before it becomes automatic. The increase would be immediate for new employees.

“This was not easy," said Brown, speaking at a press conference at the Reagan State Office Building in downtown Los Angeles. "We’ve been negotiating for months up in Sacramento, but people have come together in the Legislature to bite the bullet and to clean up what has been a big mess.”

Read More...

An Orange County GOP delegate looks forward to Ann Romney's speech

Alexandra Coronado, a music teacher from Cypress, is a delegate to the Republican National Convention.

“Women are more giving.”

That's how Alexandria Coronado began her explanation of why President Barack Obama has the support of more woman than Mitt Romney.

Coronado stood outside the TradeWinds Hotel in St. Pete Beach, where the California delegation to the Republican National Convention is housed. She wore a cobalt blue dress, accessorized with her delegate credentials instead of a necklace.

“Democrats want to give things to people. And that appeals to women,” she said. “Republican women are more sensible.”

Coronado, 44, teaches music privately in the Orange County town of Cypress. She holds a PhD in musical arts from USC. She owns her own business and likes lower taxes and fewer regulations.

She believes Ann Romney—who addresses the convention Tuesday night—is the best person to carry the Republican message to women, and help her husband with a key group of voters in swing states.

Read More...