L.A. CITY HALL: Commentary, LA Weekly, Villaraigosa membership, Committee to Fix the Debt; Ron Kaye, Los Angeles' "civic theater of the absurd"....

***A couple commentaries regarding L.A. City Hall that caught my eye -- Villaraigosa, Wesson, Riordan, etc...

* Daily News (Ron Kaye):  "The mighty fall in Los Angeles' civic theater of the absurd"

* LA Weekly (Gene Maddaus):  "Antonio Villaraigosa Joins Committee To Fix The Debt, Completing Plutocratic Conversion"


POLITICS (State, National): Defeat of Rep. Joe Baca, funding for opponent from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, analysis, commentary, "Billionaire Bloomberg knocks out Joe Baca, adds dynamic to gun politics"....

***Catching up on an interesting Dan Morain column from earlier in the week....

* Sacramento Bee (Dan Morain):  "Billionaire Bloomberg knocks out Joe Baca, adds dynamic to gun politics" - From the Bee:

Joe Baca never saw it coming, and neither did Gloria Negrete McLeod. But as state Sen. Negrete McLeod replaces Baca in Congress, the dueling San Bernardino County Democrats witnessed first hand the beginnings of a change in gun politics, courtesy of billionaire New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

No doubt the strongest gun control advocate on Forbes' list of the fabulously rich, Bloomberg seized an opportunity to unseat Baca, a pro-gun Democrat, by spending $3.3 million on television and mail attacks. Given his estimated $25 billion fortune, $3.3 million is couch cushion change. But it was three times the sum Baca and Negrete McLeod raised between them. By homing in on a loyal National Rifle Association politician, Bloomberg altered a long-standing element of American politics.

Time was, a politician like Baca could cast pro-gun votes, receive NRA support and not worry about an attack from any moneyed interest that promoted gun control. No such group existed, at least not on the order of the NRA. Until, that is, Bloomberg came along. He spent $8.1 million through his Independence USA political action committee in his first serious foray into the electoral politics of guns, and candidates he backed won in three of the six races where Independence USA played.

"It sends a message: you can lose your seat by voting against prudent gun legislation," said New York Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson, the strategist who led Bloomberg's campaign. "Hopefully, members will think twice before taking these votes. They can't just vote the NRA's way and assume they won't hear about it."

The NRA spent more than $17 million on this year's campaigns. It failed in its top priority, unseating President Barack Obama, a $12 million effort, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. The NRA didn't fare well in U.S. Senate races, either, spending six-figure sums in Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, Maine, Missouri and Arizona, winning only in Arizona.  It skipped Baca's race, a telling omission. . . . . . . . .


Bloomberg, meanwhile, was looking to make a statement...............



POLITICS (National): Reports, Rep. Maxine Waters secures ranking member slot on House Financial Services Committee, Waters to replace Rep. Barney Frank....

***Longtime Los Angeles area Representative Maxine Waters to be top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee....

* The Hill:  "Maxine Waters secures top Democratic spot on House Financial Services Committee"

* Bloomberg:  "House's Waters Set to Lead Democrats on Financial Services Panel"

* Wall Street Journal:  "Maxine Waters to Succeed Barney Frank on Banking Panel"


POLITICS: Nancy Pelosi to host memorial service for Mervyn Dymally in Washington, D.C..... 

* Los Angeles Times (PolitiCal):  "Pelosi to host memorial service for Mervyn Dymally in Washington" - From the LAT:

The late Mervyn M. Dymally, a pioneering Los Angeles-based lawmaker for decades, will be honored at a Dec. 12 memorial service in Washington, it was announced Tuesday. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) will host the event, scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. at the House  Visitors Center, Room 215.

Among those slated to speak are Democratic Reps. Maxine Waters and Karen Bass of Los Angeles and Janice Hahn of San Pedro. 


Anyone wishing to attend the event may call (202) 256-0499 or email


POLITICS (Bay Area): Controversy, San Francisco Housing Authority, update, report, "S.F. housing chief target of more reports"....

***Following up on earlier reports noted here....

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "S.F. housing chief target of more reports" - From the Chronicle:

The San Francisco Housing Authority Commission last month quietly hired former City Attorney Louise Renne to conduct an investigation into alleged illegal and inappropriate behavior by the agency's director, Henry Alvarez - but so far, the mayor and his appointed commissioners are standing by the housing chief as allegations against him continue to mount.

Meanwhile, Supervisor David Campos said he will ask Harvey Rose, the board's budget and legislative analyst, to conduct a performance audit of the Housing Authority to ensure that residents have adequate living conditions, and wants the results of the audit aired in a public hearing. Supervisor Christina Olague said she supports Campos' request and that several efforts by her office over the past year to shine light on the Housing Authority were stymied by Mayor Ed Lee's office and the Housing Authority Commission.

And a third lawsuit against Alvarez surfaced from an employee who said he publicly embarrassed her and then fired her after she went on workers' compensation leave following knee surgery.

The Chronicle reported this week that Alvarez is the subject of two other lawsuits from the agency's own lawyers. . . . . . . .

About 30 other employees of the Housing Authority have met several times since May with the mayor's top staff to complain about being bullied by Alvarez and about the director's management of the 6,476 units of public housing, but Lee told The Chronicle last week that he was unaware of the lawsuits or complaints against Alvarez and that he supports his handpicked chief. Lee is friends with Alvarez and officiated at his recent wedding.

The mayor's senior staff considered the allegations against Alvarez serious enough to recommend that the Housing Authority Commission, whose seven members are appointed by the mayor, hire an outside lawyer to conduct an independent investigation of Alvarez. Alvarez serves at the will of the commission, which hired Renne on Nov. 5 after two closed-session meetings on the matter.

The amount that the commission will pay Renne has not been set..............