Represent! | Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Battle of political ads amps up in Palm Springs Congressional race

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What's a campaign to do when the race is getting tight and you've got money to spend in a California media market that's somewhat affordable? Start running lots of negative ads.

Two new spots have just hit the airwaves in the Coachella Valley Congressional race between Republican incumbent Mary Bono Mack and her Democratic challenger, Dr. Raul Ruiz.

The House Majority PAC, a Democratic political action committee, is running a week's worth of TV ads in the Palm Springs market, aimed at Mack. She's married to a fellow member of Congress from Florida (and U.S. Senate candidate), Connie Mack. The ad accuses her of forgetting about the Coachella Valley and taking advantage of a tax exemption for Florida residents.

On the tax exemption charge, the Bono Mack campaign points to an article in the Tampa Bay Times' fact-checking operation, PolitiFact. The charge stems from the unusual marital geography of Bono Mack and her husband. Both own homes in their own states. Both claim homestead exemptions, which translate into a tax break. You're only allowed one per household, but since both file taxes separately and hold title to their respective residences in their own name, the local Florida county appraiser's office gave his blessing to the exemption.


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CA Fair Political Practices Commission wants names of $11 million donors to Prop 30 and 32

California Gov. Jerry Brown, speaking in Sacramento in August, advocates a November ballot initiative that would increase sales and income taxes. An Arizona group has contributed $11 million to defeat Prop. 30 and a state commission wants the names of the donors disclosed.
Rich Pedroncelli/AP

California officials are expected to investigate an $11 million campaign contribution from an Arizona nonprofit. The money was donated to defeat Proposition 30 and pass Proposition 32. 

The Fair Political Practices Commission is demanding the group disclose who gave the money by Wednesday.

Americans for Responsible Leadership is described on its website as an organization that seeks to “advance government accountability, transparency, ethics, and related public policy issues.”   

The group donated $11 million to the Small Business Action Committee, which is working to defeat Prop. 30 and to pass Prop. 32, the proposed ban on payroll deductions for political donations.

The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) sent a letter to the group’s attorneys demanding the donor’s names.  

FPPC Chair Ann Ravel said if the group does not respond by Wednesday, the FPPC will sue Americans for Responsible Leadership.


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California legislators can change voting records after bills have passed or failed

A view of the California State Capitol in Sacramento.
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In a closely contested state Senate campaign, Assemblywoman Cathleen Galgiani has been urging voters to judge her on her legislative achievements, saying on her website that she is "proud to have a record of standing up for the people of my district." 

Voters who try to examine the record of the Central Valley Democrat may come away with the wrong impression.

They would not be able to tell that Galgiani remained silent during 136 votes, adding her vote to those pieces of legislation only after the bills had already passed or failed.

Nor would they see that she voted against a welfare to work bill supported by her party and voted for the establishment of a new school efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction fund. The reason: She changed her votes after the fact on both bills.

Her opponent in the 5th Senate District race, Republican Assemblyman Bill Berryhill, also did it, although less frequently. He added his vote to legislation that had already passed or failed 47 times this year and changed his vote twice.


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Maven's Morning Coffee: LAPD on immigration, Clinton in OC, more jail oversight

Police Chief Charlie Beck talks to the Los Angeles Times about his policies toward immigrant communities.
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Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, public meetings 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, Oct. 24, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


The Los Angeles Times looks at police Chief Charlie Beck's relationship with immigrant communities. "It's not so much that I am a dove on immigration. It's that I'm a realist. I recognize that this is the population that I police," he told The Times.

Former President Bill Clinton was in Orange County to drum up support for Democratic congressional candidates, reports KPCC. "I saw California lying flat on its back and then I saw California come roaring back to lead America in the 21st Century," he told a crowd in Irvine.


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Updated: Watch and discuss the 3rd-party presidential debate here (archived video)

Larry King performs onstage at the Comedy Central Roast Of Donald Trump at the Hammerstein Ballroom on March 9, 2011 in New York City.
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Updated: Larry King moderated a third-party presidential debate Tuesday night, including Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party), Jill Stein (Green Party), Virgil Goode (Constitution Party) and Rocky Anderson (Justice Party), and we've posted the video here.

Goode and Anderson failed to qualify for the ballot here in California, though our ballots have two third-party candidates who didn’t make this debate: Peace and Freedom candidate Roseanne Barr and American Independent candidate Thomas Hoefling. Still, it’s a chance to see two candidates who did qualify here, Johnson and Stein, express their beliefs and why voters should give them a chance over Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney.

Why should you watch, even if you’re voting for Obama or Romney? “This might help you decide who you’re voting for based on what these people say about the candidates. Because they’re all running against Romney and Obama, so they might open your eyes to some things,” moderator King told Politico.


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