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State Of Affairs: Alarcon in court, Jerry Brown poll, high-speed rail and more

City Councilman Richard Alcaron listens to a fellow member speak during a council meeting at City Hall on June 1, 2012.
City Councilman Richard Alcaron listens to a fellow member speak during a council meeting at City Hall on June 1, 2012.
Andres Aguila/KPCC

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In today's State of Affairs, a former L.A. City Councilman is back in court, Governor Jerry Brown leads in the polls and a push to rethink high speed rail in California. KPCC political reporters Frank Stoltz and Alice Walton join the show with the latest. 

California this week became the second state to call for a constitutional convention on the issue of money in politics. What exactly does that mean, and what are the chances of a convention actually happening?

In reforms here in LA, two L.A. City Council members introduced a motion this week to criminalize wage theft. What is wage theft and why are these council members taking this on as an issue?

Staying on the city's economic policy for a moment, the Economic Development Committee met this week to talk about giving tax breaks to hotel developments in the city. Essentially, City Hall is looking at a policy that would allow developers to keep hotel tax revenues owed to the city. Why would the city give up money that could be used for things like police services and pothole repairs?

Mayor Eric Garcetti has launched what he calls the "Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles." He says its a non-profit organization focused on creating partnerships between the City and the private, nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. What's this all about?

Former L.A. City Councilman Richard Alarcon is back in court, on trial for voter fraud and perjury. This case stems from allegations that he did not live in the council district he was supposed to be representing. Prosecutors say they may call former city Controller Wendy Greuel as a witness. How does she fit into this case?

This week Sheila Kuehl secured the endorsement of San Fernando Valley Congressman Brad Sherman in her bid to replace L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. Why is this important?

State Senator Kevin De Leon wants Governor Jerry Brown to rethink plans to build high-speed rail in the middle of nowhere. Instead, he wants to see the project begin between Los Angeles and San Francisco. What else has he said on the issue?

Now to another one-time state legislator. Its hard to believe, but the political career of former State Assembly Speaker John Perez — cousin of former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa — may be in trouble. He ran for State Controller, but as of now is a few hundred votes short of making the runoff. Update us on one of closest state races in decades.

A recount is underway in San Bernardino County as democrats are fighting to hold onto a spot in the November runoff for Congressman Gary Miller's seat. What's at stake here?

Bell city officials have, for the most part, put the city's corrupt past behind them. However, there are still some lingering effects. This week it came to light that city officials are suing a former councilman, a foundation and a construction company for millions of dollars they received from former City Manager Robert Rizzo. How likely is the city to receover this money?

The latest Field Poll shows Governor Jerry Brown leading Republican challenger Neel Kashkari, but not by as much as a lot of people thought. Frank how does this bode for the election?

Some bizarre news out in Riverside County. A Perris city councilman called police this week to report a theft, but when the police arrived, it didn't turn out so well for Julio Rodriguez. What happened?