Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Who is David Kanuth and how did he raise all that money?

David Kanuth is dark horse candidate in the race to succeed Westside Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman.

Venice defense attorney David Kanuth separated himself from a crowded field of candidates in a competitive Westside Congressional race by raising almost $800,000 from individual donors in just two months.

The 33rd Congressional District has been represented  for decades by Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman, but when he announced his retirement in January, 21 candidates jumped into the race. They include well-known political veterans such as State Senator Ted Lieu and former L.A. City Controller Wendy Greuel, and New Age author Marianne Williamson.

Kanuth, a 37-year-old Democrat, doesn't have that kind of name recognition. He's a native of Columbus, Ohio, who attended Harvard as an undergrad, then came to Southern California where he created Internet startup companies. He has lived on the Westside since 1999, except for three years while he attended law school in Washington D.C.


Jay-Z and Garcetti make it official: Made in America fest is coming to LA (updated)

Shawn "Jay Z" Carter and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti - Press Conference

Paul A. Hebert/Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP

Mayor Eric Garcetti, left, and Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter announce the Made in America Festival from the steps of City Hall on April 16, 2014, in Los Angeles.

Alice Walton/KPCC

Rapper/entrepreneur Jay-Z stood with L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti on the Spring Street steps outside City Hall, the proposed site for the main stage at the Made in America festival.

Photos from social media | Map of proposed closures | Proposed street closures

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and entrepreneur/rapper Jay-Z stood outside City Hall Wednesday morning to formally announce the two-day Made in America festival will take place in downtown L.A. over Labor Day weekend.

The announcement comes despite concerns from the city councilman who represents downtown, Jose Huizar, over the effect on downtown residents and businesses, and the notion of a public park being used for a ticketed, commercial event. The event could draw as many as 50,000 people daily.

Garcetti and Jay-Z spoke on the Spring Street steps, the proposed location of the festival's main stage, overlooking Grand Park. The festival is slated for the park and surrounding streets on Aug. 30 and 31. Garcetti didn't talk about Huizar's concerns, but the Mayor's Office said nothing has been finalized regarding street closures. A spokesman did say festival organizers would reimburse the city for the costs of providing security and rehabilitating Grand Park after the event. 


Maven's Morning Coffee: Profile of Bobby Shriver, race to replace Henry Waxman, new force policy for Sheriff's Department

Bobby Shriver

Ken Scarboro

The Los Angeles Times profiles supervisorial candidate Bobby Shriver.

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, votes 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 Wednesday, April 16, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:


KPCC looks the fundraising totals for candidates in the race to replace Rep. Henry Waxman. "The contest to replace him is shaping up to be one of the most expensive races in California. The top five fundraisers in the race collected $3.6 million dollars in the first quarter of this year — and there's still a month-and-a-half before the June 3 primary," according to the station.

The Los Angeles Times profiles supervisorial candidate Bobby Shriver. "It's a paradox of Shriver's campaign to replace Zev Yaroslavsky on the L.A. County Board of Supervisors: His pedigree is a major asset, yet his main challenge in the June primary is to show that he's more than just another Kennedy scion," per the Times.


Alert to homeowners: a property tax hike may be in your future

James Callan/Flickr

Home values are rising again and so are tax revenues for cities and counties.

Before Los Angeles County CEO Bill Fujioka sat down Monday to present his proposed budget for the next fiscal year, he let out a hearty laugh as he joked with reporters. The CEO is in a good mood these days as an improving economy produces more tax revenues.

Fujioka is projecting a four-percent increase in property tax revenues for the fiscal year that starts July 1. During the recession, hundreds of thousands of California homeowners asked for the value of their homes to be reassessed and for their property taxes to be lowered accordingly. Now, counties across the state are reassessing again and raising taxes as home values rise.

“In many cases, we had lowered the assessed value of a home by 10-to-12 percent less than base value,” said Orange County Assessor Webster Guillory.  The base value is the price of the home when it was purchased by the current owner.


Big dollars raised in Congressional race to replace Henry Waxman (Updated)

Marianne Williamson

Sharon McNary/KPCC

Marianne Williamson, seen here at a February campaign event, has raised more money to date than any other candidate in the race to succeed retiring Congressman Henry Waxman.

When the veteran Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman announced in late January he wouldn't seek re-election in the 33rd District, it set off a mad dash for the rare open seat on L.A.'s Westside and opened the floodgates for campaign contributions.

Now, the contest to replace him is shaping up to be one of the most expensive races in California. The top five fundraisers in the race collected $3.6 million dollars in the first quarter of this year — and there's still a month-and-a-half before the June 3 primary. 

There are well-known politicians in the race, including State Senator Ted Lieu and former L.A. City Controller Wendy Greuel. But their fundraising efforts from January-to-March were eclipsed by a little-known fellow Democrat.

Attorney David Kanuth raised $798,453 without any support from political action committees and without lending or giving his campaign any of his own money.