Politics, government and public life for Southern California

POLL: Do you support Sen. Feinstein's plan to reintroduce an updated assault weapons bill?

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) takes the stage during day two of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena on Sept. 5, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

In the wake of recent mass shootings, Sen. Dianne Feinstein announced Wednesday plans to bring back an updated bill to ban assault weapons.

Guns came back into the national conversation after the mass shootings at the July 20 midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora, Colorado, which killed 12 and injured 58 others. Shooter James Holmes, 24, spent $20,000 on ammunition and weapons — including an AR-15 assault rifle and a 100-round drum magazine that could shoot more than 50 rounds per minute. He also had 6,000 rounds of ammo. All of it was purchased legally.

The previous assault weapons ban, passed in 1994, was allowed to expire in 2004. It included a ban on the AR-15 assault rifle, the same weapon used by Holmes.


Unhappy Muslim delegates react to vote on Jerusalem at Democratic Convention

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Gali Tibbon/AFP/Getty Images

Christian pilgrims carry wooden crosses along the Via Dolorosa during the Good Friday procession in Jerusalem's old city in 2011.

Wednesday night's Democratic National Convention got off to a rocky start. Convention Chairman and L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa asked delegates for a voice vote on a platform amendment to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It didn't go well.

Some members of the California delegation are not pleased with the vote or the way it was handled.

Several delegates complained they weren’t told in advance about the amendment. Others said it should have required a ballot, not a voice vote. Muslim delegate Abdul Rahman of Antioch said some members of the Arab Caucus weren’t even in their seats when the vote was taken. He maintained there's no rift right now with the party or President Obama, "but we just need to do things a little better with communication."

Another Muslim delegate said because Jerusalem is significant to Christians, Jews and Muslims, it should be treated like Vatican City — as an autonomous municipality that doesn’t belong to any single country.  


Obama tries to make it up to supporters shut out of convention speech — via conference call

President Obama Holds Campaign Event In Norfolk, Virginia

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Barack Obama greets supporters during a campaign rally at Norfolk State University on Sept. 4, 2012 in Norfolk, Virginia. On Thursday President Obama will officially accept his presidential nomination at the 46th Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Up to 70,000 people were expected to watch President Barack Obama's speech Thursday night at a football stadium in Charlotte. But predictions of inclement weather moved the speech back to the much-smaller arena where the convention proceedings have taken place.

Who knows how it's being decided who will get in to the speech, but to make it up to those who won't, the president addressed them via livestream conference call this morning at 10:20 Pacific time.

This story has been updated.


Maven's Morning Coffee: Skid Row ruling, politician's arrest, support for the California Science Center

skid row

Andres Aguila/KPCC

A federal court has ruled that city crews cannot remove the unattended possessions of homeless individuals living on Skid Row.

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


A federal appeals court has upheld a ruling that prevents Los Angeles city officials from removing the possessions of homeless individuals from city streets, reports the Los Angeles Times. "Were it otherwise, the government could seize and destroy any illegally parked car or unlawfully unattended dog," Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw wrote for the majority.

Former Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer was arrested in Orange County for drug possession and child abuse after authorities discovered methamphetamine in a home she shared with her son, according to the Los Angeles Times. Nadia Lockyer is the estranged wife of state Treasurer Bill Lockyer.


DNC Chair Villaraigosa overrules majority on religious platform changes

Democratic National Convention: Day 1

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Delegates turn on Villaraigosa during Jerusalem and God platform vote. The L.A. mayor and DNC chair called a clear majority when there wasn't one.

The most controversial event of tonight's Democratic National Convention was just about the first event of the evening.

There was a special vote to amend the party platform, inserting a statement saying Democrats recognize Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel and reaffirming Democrats' belief in God as central to our American story.

There was no debate... but there was dissent from the floor.

The man at the podium, DNC Chairman Antonio Villaraigosa, called for a motion, a second, and then a vote, saying it needed two-thirds to pass. 

All in favor?  There were ayes.  All opposed?  The "nays" were even louder.

"In the opinion of the—"  And then Villaraigosa stopped. Using his school teacher voice, he said, "Let me do that again."

Villaraigosa called for a second vote.  Same result.  A party functionary came out and told him, "You've got to let them do what they're going to do."