It's been a rough week for the Blake Hotel and the California delegation.
The hotel's been undergoing remodeling for months. They didn't quite work out all the bugs before opening their doors to the convention's largest delegation. A chunk of plaster fell off the building on Friday. The city reportedly condemned a few rooms for not being up to code. Guests got stuck in an elevator. One floor had no hot water, another no cold water. One guest said there was water dripping from his ceiling.
Californians haven't been shy about complaining. Loudly. The state party set up a special e-mail address for delegates to give feedback on their lodgings. Glad it's not me reading those complaints!
The staff has bent over backwards to try putting collective fingers in the many leaking dikes. Several I've talked to are working many, many overtime hours.
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First Lady Michelle Obama is embraced by Los Angeles mayor and Democratic Convention chair Antonio Villaraigosa after delivering a speech at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Sept. 4, 2012 on the first day of the Democratic National Convention (DNC).
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Los Angeles Mayor and Democratic Convention Chair Antonio Villaraigosa kisses Chair of the Democratic National Committee Debbie Wasserman Schultz shortly after she gaveled in the convention at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Sept. 4, 2012 on the first day of the Democratic National Convention (DNC).
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is in Charlotte all week, chairing the Democratic National Convention. But what happens if a wildfire takes a turn for the worse or some other local crisis erupts?
Villaraigosa said that if something serious happens that requires not just his attention "from afar," he'll "take the first plane out and be back." The mayor said he's on the phone every other hour, checking in with city hall and tending to L.A. government business.
He said the DNC and the Obama campaign know that if he needs to leave town to tackle a crisis in L.A., he'll do it.
Villaraigosa has been on the road quite a bit. He's made frequent trips to Washington, lobbying Congress for transportation loans. More recently, the Obama campaign has sent him to swing states such as Nevada to rally voters for the November election.
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Then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) reacts to the crowd on day four of the 2008 Democratic National Convention (DNC) at Invesco Field at Mile High Aug. 28, 2008 in Denver, Colorado.
Despite earlier statements by officials, the Democratic National Convention is moving President Barack Obama's Thursday night speech from an outdoor football stadium inside to the much smaller basketball arena, putting Obama in a potentially less dramatic setting — and possibly leaving many expecting to see the president's speech out in the cold.
Los Angeles Mayor and convention chairman Antonio Villaraigosa was asked earlier this week about how the weather might affect Obama's speech, which was to be delivered before more than 70,000 people in the city's football stadium. "The show must go on," Villaraigosa said.
Wednesday morning, as rain fell again, the DNC gave in. It's rained every day since I arrived on Saturday. Tuesday, delegates who mistimed their departure from their hotel arrived at the Time Warner Arena drenched from a series of downpours.
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An LAPD captain has filed a claim against the Los Angeles Police Department for allegedly being demoted without cause.
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Today is Wednesday, Sept. 5, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:
A Los Angeles Police Department captain who was demoted following his handling of a use-of-force case in the Foothill Division has filed a claim against police Chief Charlie Beck, reports NBC 4. Capt. Joseph Hiltner says he was demoted and transferred without cause. Last week, Beck announced the captain would be disciplined for failing to discipline his own officers after they threw a handcuffed to the ground.
L.A. City Councilman Eric Garcetti does a Q&A with Los Angeles Magazine for his mayoral campaign. Asked whether there are folks who don't like him, Garcetti says he got pushback on the Silver Lake Meadow Park and CicLAvia. "There is nothing more unpopular than messing with someone’s street. You can say that it’s puppy dogs, but it’s not out there. It’s warfare. We’ve got big problems to solve," Garcetti says.
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Becerra's speech was bumped Tuesday night, but there appears to be a happy ending.
They bumped Congressman Xavier Becerra's speech Tuesday night, but there appears to be a happy ending.
The L.A. Democrat was scheduled to speak just before 9 p.m. (Eastern time), but — Democrats being Democrats — they were running late. And suddenly Becerra disappeared from the schedule. They skipped him.
Becerra was asked to be the good soldier and sit down tonight. This from a Democratic official:
“Due to the overwhelming enthusiasm in the arena and extended applauses, Rep. Becerra generously agreed to move his speech to Thursday.”
There's a silver lining to the rainy day story. Becerra's speech has been rescheduled to the night most Americans watch a convention: the night the President speaks, Thursday night.
Another Democratic Latino in the spotlight.