Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Maven's Morning Coffee: Farmers Field gets OK, Eric Garcetti talks jobs, Obama heads to LA for fundraiser

Stadium Update 111511

Ashley Bailey/KPCC

Plans to build the Farmers Field football stadium are moving forward thanks to approval from the Planning Commission.

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 Friday, Sept. 14, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:

Headlines

In a policy speech at Los Angeles City College, mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti talked about his plans to create new jobs, according to the LA Weekly. "That dynamic must change. We need a fundamental shift. The focus must be on jobs and the economy," he said.

The Planning Commission approved plans to build Farmers Field after a 10-hour meeting on the project. The next step is for the development to receive approval from the Ad Hoc Committee on the Downtown Stadium, followed by the Los Angeles City Council. KPCC. Daily News. Los Angeles Times.

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California's political reforms are no game-changer in 2012 election

Getty Images

The same-party general election between Democratic Congressmen Howard Berman, left, and Brad Sherman is a result of voter-approved political reforms that are having little impact in 2012, according to the Public Policy Institute of California.

Californians voted in 2008 to create a citizens commission to redraw electoral districts, which also resulted in a system where the top-two finishers in the primary would advance to the general election — even if they are from the same party.

The idea was to shake thing up by creating more competitive races, and opening contests to more diverse and moderate candidates.

But the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) says the reforms that took effect this year haven’t created anything close to a new political landscape. It’s more like someone just rearranged the furniture.

"The primary results were broadly in line with what might have been expected under the old system," says Eric McGhee, a PPIC policy fellow who co-authored a report released Wednesday. "So far, the first step on the road of electoral reform has been a small one.”

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Maven's Morning Coffee: campaign finance overhaul, murder in Beverly Hills, DWP rate increases

Molly Peterson/KPCC

DWP General Manager Ron Nichols is making the case for increasing electricity rates, though a plan to also increase water rates is on the back burner for now.

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, Sept. 13, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:

Headlines

The LA Weekly takes a look at a bizarre murder case in Beverly Hills' Trousdale Estates. "Dark realities — a twisted love triangle, an allegedly bent and violent 'hero,' a troubled young Asian-American gambler-turned-pimp, a beautiful black Westside rhythmic gymnast allegedly pressured into prostitution — are unfolding at the courthouse," according to the paper.

A proposal to provide more matching funds per campaign contribution is making its way through the Los Angeles City Council. The change would cost the Ethics Commission's account about $12 million. Daily News. Los Angeles Times. KPCC.

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LA City Hall changing way public dollars are given to political campaigns

Piles of cash

Photo by 401K via Flickr Creative Commons

Los Angeles City Council gave a preliminary OK to a proposal that would provide more public dollars to political campaigns. A final vote is expected next week.

A proposal that would provide more public dollars to local campaigns was given preliminary approval Wednesday by the Los Angeles City Council.

The move was welcomed by California Common Cause as a way to make smaller donors more powerful in major city elections. 

Currently, city council candidates who qualify for matching funds can have the first $250 of a donation matched dollar-for-dollar by the city. That means a donation of $250 effectively becomes a $500 donation. For citywide candidates, the first $500 of a donation are matchable. 

Under the proposal, which is expected to receive final approval next week, beginning in 2013 candidates would receive a two-to-one match on donations in a primary election and a four-to-one match in the general. 

Beginning in 2015, only those donations from Los Angeles residents will be eligible for matching funds. City council candidates would also be required to get 200 donations of $5 or more from within their district.

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Eric Garcetti plays mayor of Los Angeles on the big screen

Eric Garcetti

Eric Garcetti campaign

L.A. City Councilman Eric Garcetti is running for mayor, and he's playing the mayor of Los Angeles in the new film "End of Watch."

Los Angeles City Councilman Eric Garcetti wants to be mayor so badly that he’s playing the role in a movie — seriously.

Garcetti appears as the mayor of Los Angeles in the new film, “End of Watch,” which stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña as LAPD officers who “patrol the meanest streets of south central Los Angeles,” according to the film’s website. (On IMDB, Garcetti is listed as playing himself.)

Anyone who donates $50 or more to Garcetti’s campaign by noon on Saturday will be eligible for a chance to attend a screening of the film with the councilman and Gyllenhaal, who has donated to Garcetti's campaign. 

It’s not the first time Garcetti has played mayor of Los Angeles. A year ago he popped up on TNT’s “The Closer.” The councilman's father, former District Attorney Gil Garcetti, is a consulting producer on the series. Of course, when Eric Garcetti was city council president, he got to be the acting mayor – for real – whenever Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was out of town. 

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