Politics, government and public life for Southern California

LA prepares to get two report cards this week

Garcetti Forum

Grant Slater/KPCC

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will give his first State of the City address on Thursday at the California Science Center.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will give his inaugural State of the City address on Thursday, but before that happens, the blue ribbon 2020 Commission will release its recommendations of what L.A. can do to be a prosperous city in the 21st century. 

One year ago, just before L.A. voters elected a new mayor, city council president Herb Wesson created the 2020 Commission to examine the city's financial status. He named former Commerce Secretary Mickey Kantor and former City of L.A. jobs czar Austin Beutner to lead the panel.

Earlier this year, the commission issued a report that painted a bleak picture of Los Angeles. The panel found there is crisis in leadership and direction in the city.

The report stated: "Government relies on the public trust to function. When such big gaps occur between what government tells us and reality, ordinary citizens lose their trust in democracy." 


Elections 2014: A wide-open field for Tuesday's mayoral election in Long Beach

A cruise run by the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Calif., exposes guests to the "urban ocean" in the country's biggest shipping terminal.

Kirk Siegler/NPR

A cruise run by the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach exposes guests to the "urban ocean" in the country's biggest shipping terminal, which includes the Port of Los Angeles.

Termed-out Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal is one of 10 candidates in Tuesday's election for mayor of Long Beach — the sixth largest city in the state, home to 462,000 people. Current city council members Gerrie Schipske and Robert Garcia are also running.

Long Beach City College trustee Doug Otto, an attorney and onetime planning commissioner, is also a candidate. He was part of a citizens group that did some of the early planning of Long Beach's tourist harbor.

Otto and Garcia received endorsements from the Long Beach Press-Telegram. Garcia, the city's current vice-mayor, was endorsed by the outgoing mayor, Bob Foster. 

RELATED: KPCC's coverage of the 2014 elections

Real estate businessman and former Secretary of State candidate Damon Dunn is running, too. Dunn attended Stanford and briefly played in the NFL.


In the Inland Empire, a Congressional candidate returns to her roots

Lesli Gooch for Congress/Facebook

Lesli Gooch appealed to potential voters this week at a meeting of Redlands Tea Party members.

Lesli Gooch voting

Lesli Gooch

Lesli Gooch, who is running for Congress in the Inland Empire, Tweeted this photo on March 25 with the message: "I was honored to show my support today and vote for @MikeMorrellGOP, our republican candidate, for #SD23"

When Republican Congressional candidate Lesli Gooch Tweeted her pride at voting in last week’s special state senate election in San Bernardino County, it was the first time she'd ever cast a ballot in the area that she hopes to represent in Washington.

According to county records, Gooch registered to vote March 7, the same day she filed papers to run in the 31st Congressional District to succeed her onetime boss, Rep. Gary Miler (R-Rancho Cucamonga).

Her Johnny-vote-lately status has drawn anonymous attacks on Twitter, but Gooch is on solid legal ground because candidates for Congress are not required to vote or live in the district where they are running.

“Democracy has no zip code,” Gooch said in response to a question about her brief history of voting in San Bernardino County. She was previously registered to vote in Alexandria, Virginia according to county Registrar records.


How the Kuehl-Shriver endorsement battle stacks up

Bobby Shriver Sheila Kuehl

Shriver Campaign/Kuehl Campaign

Bobby Shriver and Sheila Kuehl are the leading candidates in the L.A. County Board of Supervisors race to replace the termed-out Zev Yaroslavsky.

Bobby Shriver scored the endorsement this week of former Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg, a name that might help the Los Angeles County Supervisor candidate win support in the San Fernando Valley portion of the Third District.

But in the battle to amass as many big political names as possible, rival candidate Sheila Kuehl appears to have a broader range of endorsements in the non-partisan race, especially with labor and political groups. Kuehl, who served 14 years in the state Assembly and Senate, lists dozens of names on her website. Shriver, a former Santa Monica City Councilman who served a term as mayor, does not list endorsements on his website, but his campaign provided the list below.

Kuehl has 10 current state legislators among her backers, including Senator Ted Lieu, who represents coastal cities and is running for the Congressional seat being vacated by Henry Waxman. There is considerable overlap on the Westside between the Congressional and Supervisor districts. 


California Republican Congressman Denham pushes immigration reform in defense bill

Rep.  Jeff Denham (R-Turlock)

Kitty Felde/KPCC

Republican Rep. Jeff Denham attended the immigration rally at the National Mall last fall

For the second time this week, a California Congressman has tried to attach an amendment to a spending bill to move immigration reform forward in the House of Representatives. And for the second time, Republicans blocked the attempt – even though the latest request came from a fellow GOP member.

Congressman Jeff Denham's ENLIST (Encourage New Legalized Immigrants to Start Training Act) bill would offer permanent residency to undocumented immigrants who serve in the military. The sophomore Republican from Turlock pushed for the measure to be included as an amendment to the military spending bill, even though he does not sit on the House Armed Services Committee.

Conservative critics reacted swiftly, calling it “blanket amnesty.”

Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King told Breitbart News: “as soon as they raise their hand and say 'I'm unlawfully present in the United States,' we're not going take your oath into the military, but we're going to take your deposition and we have a bus for you to Tijuana."