Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Elections 2014: Robert Garcia, Damon Dunn headed to Long Beach mayoral runoff

Courtesy Robert Garcia and Damon Dunn campaigns

Long Beach Vice Mayor Robert Garcia, left, won the most votes in Tuesday's primary election for Long Beach mayor. He advances to the June 3 runoff, facing businessman Damon Dunn.

Vice Mayor Robert Garcia and businessman and real estate investor Damon Dunn emerged early Wednesday as the top two candidates headed for a June 3 runoff to become mayor of Long Beach.

They fought off State Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, who has high name recognition in the city. She finished third.

Garcia had been endorsed by departing Mayor Bob Foster and the Press-Telegram newspaper. He received 25.4 percent of the vote.  If elected in June, the college professor and member of the California Coastal Commission would become, at 36, the city's youngest, first Latino and first openly gay mayor.

Dunn, 38, built his wealth developing drug stores. The onetime candidate for California Secretary of State pulled in 22.3 percent of the mayoral primary vote. He self-financed much of his campaign. Dunn was endorsed by the Long Beach Jobs Political Action Committee, which is affiliated with the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce. If elected, Dunn would become the city's first African-American mayor.


LA councilman wants to cut pensions to city employees convicted of work-related crimes

City Council Los Angeles

Mae Ryan/KPCC

L.A. City Councilman Mitch Englander wants to cut pensions to city workers convicted of on-the-job crimes.

Los Angeles city employees who are convicted of job-related crimes would be forced to forfeit their pensions under a proposal introduced Tuesday. 

The motion from Councilman Mitch Englander follows a Los Angeles Times story about Samuel In, a city building inspector who pleaded guilty last year to taking more than $30,000 in bribes, but will continue to receive an annual city pension of $72,000. 

State employees who are found guilty of crimes related to their jobs cannot receive their pensions. However, that state law does not apply to cities with their own charters and pension systems. 

"We need to eliminate this loophole and explore the feasibility of retroactively eliminating the pension benefit," Englander said. "If not in this case then in all future cases where a felony conviction occurs after a city employee has already retires." 


No trace of suspended senators, but their offices are still open

California Lawmaker-FBI

Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Democratic state senators Ron Calderon, left, and Rod Wright were suspended from their positions last month. Their district offices remain open while the legal cases play out.

When the California Senate voted last month to suspend three members who are in legal trouble, they stripped the senators' privileges, even wiped their names off official websites. The suspensions left their constituents without a voice in the Senate, but staffers in those offices continue their work as before.

RELATED: Brown calls for resignations after state Senate votes to suspend Yee, Calderon, Wright (Updated) 

Democratic senators Ronald Calderon of Montebello, Roderick Wright of Inglewood and Leland Yee of San Francisco are still getting paid, but they are barred from their offices — both in Sacramento and their districts — and from stepping on the floor of the Senate.

Calderon and Yee have been indicted by the U.S. Attorney's office in separate cases that include charges of public corruption. Wright, who was indicted on perjury charges for lying about living outside his Inglewood area district, is awaiting sentencing. 


Maven's Morning Coffee: LAPD officer shot inside police station, a Q&A with Eli Broad, California gets a low grade on elections

Erika Aguilar/KPCC

Outside the Wilshire station where an LAPD officer was shot Monday, April 7, 2014.

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 Tuesday, April 8, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:


A Los Angeles police officer was shot seven times Monday night when a gunman walked into the LAPD's West Bureau and opened fired, reports the Los Angeles Times and KPCC. The wounded officer and a second cop were able to return fire. The gunman is now in critical condition.

Los Angeles Magazine has a Q&A with Eli Broad. On the subject of Mayor Eric Garcetti: "I like Eric Garcetti, but let’s see how tough he’s going to be on some of these issues" and on whether he is trying to buy the Los Angeles Times: "The answer is yes."


Rep. Speier proposes sexual harassment training for the House of Representatives

Former Congressman Bob Filner

Gregory Bull/AP

Bob Filner resigned as San Diego Mayor after at least 17 women brought sexual harassment allegations against him. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

A California congresswoman introduced a bill Tuesday that would require all House members to take sexual harassment training. This comes after video of a kiss between a married lawmaker and a staffer became public and a former member was released from three months of house arrest for sexual harassment.

Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Speier of San Mateo took to the House floor Tuesday morning, saying, "This is the Congress of the United States of America. This is not a frat house."

An investigation by KPCC found that U.S. senators are required to take sexual harassment training. House members are not.

RELATED: 6 reasons why sexual harassment complaints aren't more common in DC

Speier has introduced a bill that would require sexual harassment training for all members and staffers every two years.