Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Maven's Morning Coffee: Senate committee blocks ethics bill, LA councilmen go after wage theft, Mayor Garcetti kicks off Summer Night Lights

FBI Raid San Francisco

Rich Pedroncelli/AP

A state Senate committee blocked an ethics bill Tuesday that would have imposed the toughest restrictions since three Democratic senators were suspended for alleged criminal activity. In this photo made Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, left, speaks on a bill, while his seat mate Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, works at his desk at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif. Yee was arrested on federal corruption charges, Wednesday, March 26, 2014, while Calderon was indicted on federal corruption charges earlier in the year.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

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, June 25, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

A state Senate Committee blocked an ethics and campaign finance bill that would have imposed the toughest restrictions since three Democratic lawmakers were suspended for criminal charges, reports the Los Angeles Times. "The Republican proposal would have required faster public disclosure of campaign contributions, prohibited lawmakers from paying their spouses and children with campaign funds, barred the use of certain political funds for criminal defense expenses and doubled the penalty for bribery convictions," per the Times.

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California calls for constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United

Assemblyman Mike Gatto

Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) drafted California's request to Congress that it overturn the controversial Citizens United ruling

The California Legislature this week asked Congress to overturn the Supreme Court's ruling in the controversial Citizens United campaign spending case and curb the influence of corporate money in politics.

If 34 states ask, Congress would be required to hold a constitutional convention to draft an amendment.

In Citizens United, the court ruled that corporations have free speech rights under the First Amendment to independently spend unlimited amounts supporting candidates and measures. The 2010 ruling unleashed larger bouts of spending in national, state and local campaigns by corporations, unions and nonprofit organizations.

Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) was among the many voices denouncing the Citizens United ruling. Both houses of the state legislature approved his Joint Assembly Resolution 1, in which California asks Congress to draft a law overturning Citizens United.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: Mayor Garcetti's first year, a talk with Hilda Solis, thoughts on improving voter participation

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson And NBA Players Press Conference

Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

Zocalo Public Square considers Mayor Eric Garcetti's performance in his first year in office.

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, June 24, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

Zocalo Public Square says the jury is still out on Mayor Eric Garcetti's first year in office. "Is Eric Garcetti a rock-star-in-waiting who has laid the groundwork to make major change in Los Angeles? Or is he a bureaucrat who lacks direction and big vision for the future of the city?" per the group's website, which recaps last night's discussion on the topic.

Which Way, LA? talks to Supervisor-elect Hilda Solis. The show describes her as "may be the most powerful figure in LA politics with a low profile."

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Election 2014: Who will vie for Controller's job in November? Results are still unclear

Election Pano

Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Voters cast their ballots at Canyon Springs School's library on Tuesday evening, June 3 in Santa Clarita during Los Angeles County's primary election.

It's still not clear which candidates will compete for the state Controller's job in the November general election, though it's weeks after the June primary. 

The top vote-getter in the primary was Ashley Swearengin, the Republican mayor of Fresno, who will be one of two candidates for Controller on the November ballot.

But it's unclear who will be the other candidate.

With 26 of 58 counties having completed their count, State Board of Equalization Member Betty Yee led fellow Democrat former Assembly Speaker John Pérez by just a few hundred votes. Whoever comes out on top gets onto the November runoff ballot. One analysis says the answer will come from Lake County, where some 6,000 ballots remain to be counted. The state updates its count of ballots yet-to-be-counted here.

The Secretary of State's office on Monday said that Yee had the edge, with a statewide margin of 660 votes out of more than 4 million cast. That is just 0.016 percent.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: Trial for Richard Alarcon, a new leader at LADOT, a recount in San Bernardino

City Councilman Richard Alarcon

Andres Aguila/KPCC

Former L.A. City Councilman Richard Alarcon is on trial for voter fraud and perjury.

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 Monday, June 23, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

A Los Angeles Times editorial questions the city's rush to pass a new minimum wage for hotel employees. "It seems premature at best and cynical at worst to begin writing an ordinance without waiting to learn if the policy is a good one," according to the piece.

Former Controller Wendy Greuel may be called as a witness in the voter fraud and perjury case of former Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon, reports the Los Angeles Times. According to a deputy district attorney, "Alarcon had once asked Greuel — when she represented the 2nd District — to agree to shift her boundaries so the Sun Valley home would be in his District 7. Greuel declined." Alarcon is accused of not living in the city council district he was suppose to represent.

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