POLITICS/BASEBALL: Dodgers, sale of minority ownership share to South Korean investors?: "Dodgers said to be in talks to sell minority share to South Korean group" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Dodgers said to be in talks to sell minority share to South Korean group" - From the LAT:

The Dodgers are in negotiations to sell a minority ownership share to a group of South Korean investors, a person with direct knowledge of the discussions said Thursday. There is "zero" chance the Dodgers' owners would surrender control of the team in the deal, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks have not been confirmed publicly. The person said the talks were "progressing" but otherwise declined to characterize how advanced the negotiations might be or handicap the chances of reaching a deal.

None of the Dodgers' five individual investors — controlling owner Mark Walter and partners Todd Boehly, Bobby Patton, Peter Guber and Magic Johnson — would sell his share as part of the deal, two people familiar with the matter said.


The Korea Joongang Daily, one of two South Korean newspapers that first reported the talks, said the investment group hoped to buy 20% of the Dodgers for about $370 million, which would value the Dodgers at $1.85 billion. Boehly told the Los Angeles Times in December 2012 that Guggenheim Baseball valued the Dodgers at $3 billion. Boehly also told The Times then that Guggenheim Baseball had discussed ownership investments by what he called a "strategic partner" from Mexico and/or South Korea. Those talks did not result in any deals.


Any party joining the Dodgers' ownership group would have to be approved by Major League Baseball. The league does not prohibit foreign investors. A league spokesman declined to comment Thursday, referring questions to the Dodgers ..................


POLITICS: Public Policy Institute of California, "independent voters": "Distrust part of independent voters' makeup" ....

* Capitol Weekly:  "Distrust part of independent voters' makeup" - From Capitol Weekly:

Skeptical, younger, grumpy and suspicious – that about sums up California’s independent voters. Distrustful of institutions, disenchanted with government and leery of the major political parties, the reach of the independent voter is widening, according to the head of a top research institution. “They tend to be young, highly educated, male more than female,” said Mark Baldassare, president of the Public Policy Institute of California, which regularly surveys California’s political mood.

One out of every two independent voters are college educated, compared with about 41 percent for Democrats and 32 percent for Republicans. About 55 percent are male, 45 percent female. "Some of them are people who left the party, or new voters who don’t see a reason to belong to a party,” he added. “I wouldn’t call them infrequent voters, but they don’t necessarily think they have to vote in every election,” Baldassare told a Capitol hearing of the Little Hoover Commission, adding that they are “distrustful not only of government, but of institutions.”

During the past 16 years, voters who decline to state a party preference have doubled . . . . . . . .


Independent voters typically are harder to define and their electoral conduct harder to predict than those with party affiliations. “Moderation” generally describes them, and “they lean a little more to the Democratic side than to the Republican side,” while they are “fiscally conservative, socially liberal, environmentally liberal,” Baldassare said.

Other issues are at work, apart from voters’ disenchantment with political parties. Ethnic and age considerations also play a role ...................


LOCAL GOVERNMENT (Los Angeles, Ontario): Los Angeles World Airports, LA/Ontario International Airport, court ruling, validity of 1967 joint powers agreement: "Los Angeles scores legal victory in Ontario airport suit" ....

* Inland Valley Daily Bulletin:  "Los Angeles scores legal victory in Ontario airport suit" - From the IVDB:

RIVERSIDE >>Los Angeles scored a legal victory Thursday when a judge validated the 1967 joint-powers agreement that gave the city control of L.A./Ontario International Airport.

In a tentative ruling in Riverside Superior Court, Judge Gloria Connor Trask wrote that Ontario had an opportunity to rescind a 1985 agreement that turned the deed over to L.A. because it was “not exercised in the manner authorized by law.” But, Trask wrote, Ontario needed to have made the motion by 1989. “Los Angeles correctly argues that the period during which Ontario could seek rescission based on irregularity of the transfer has long passed,” she wrote.

Ontario was seeking to terminate the existing joint-powers agreement, as well as the 1985 agreement because the city claims Los Angeles has not made the best efforts to maintain traffic at ONT. Los Angeles argued Ontario was raising the issue 40 years too late.


Ontario has 15 days to file an objection to the tentative ruling, said Andre Cronthall, Ontario’s attorney.


Attorneys for both cities have filed multiple motions and cross motions in the case. Earlier this week, Trask ordered that L.A. turn over 399 documents it had deemed were protected under attorney-client privilege. L.A. took the matter to the state’s 4th District Court of Appeal in Riverside, which suspended the release of the files, pending further review.

Both cities are expected back in court Feb. 6 for the release of other documents in the case.


POLITICS (National, State): Barbara Boxer, U.S. Senate seat, Tom Steyer: "Billionaire Steyer won't run for Boxer's Senate seat"; "Steyer won't run for U.S. Senate; attention turns to Villaraigosa"; "Tom Steyer's exit shifts race focus to Antonio Villaraigosa"; "Villaraigosa leaves mayor's group hungry on U.S. Senate plans" ....

***Sampling of coverage, Tom Steyer will NOT be a candidate for Barbara Boxer's U.S. Senate seat....

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "Billionaire Steyer won't run for Boxer's Senate seat"

* Sacramento Bee:  "Steyer won't run for U.S. Senate; attention turns to Villaraigosa"

* Los Angeles Times (PolitiCal):  "Tom Steyer's exit shifts race focus to Antonio Villaraigosa"

* Sacramento Bee:  "Villaraigosa leaves mayor's group hungry on U.S. Senate plans"


LOCAL GOVERNMENT (Los Angeles, South Bay): Rob Katherman, felony public corruption case, embezzlement: "Robert and Marilyn Katherman ordered to stand trial for embezzling public funds" ....

***Following up on earlier items noted here (Robert Katherman, felony public corruption case, embezzlement of public funds)....

* Daily Breeze:  "Robert and Marilyn Katherman ordered to stand trial for embezzling public funds" - From the DB:

A Rancho Palos Verdes couple was ordered Thursday to stand trial for allegedly funneling about $20,000 in public funds through their nonprofit to help a West Basin Municipal Water District director pay his children’s tuition, dance lessons and rent. Robert and Marilyn Katherman are set to be arraigned Feb. 5 in Torrance Superior Court on charges of misuse of public funds and embezzlement, Judge Eric Taylor ruled at the end of a two-day preliminary hearing.

During about five hours of testimony, Torrance police Detective Charles Ahn read bank statements and cited checks ranging in amounts from $350 to $8,000 to outline how the nonprofit run by the Kathermans received allocations from the water district, where their longtime friend, Ronald Smith, served as an elected board member, and used the money to pay off his personal expenses during a three-year period. Smith, who resigned his post and pleaded guilty to the scheme in September, was sentenced to 180 days in jail and five years probation, and ordered to reimburse the water district $7,765. Smith served about 55 days in jail and can never hold public office again.

As he questioned Ahn and explained his case to Taylor, Deputy District Attorney Dana Aratani described a simple scheme to defraud the public, although it was never revealed what the Kathermans gained from assisting Smith. No allegation was made in court that the Kathermans put any money into their own pockets.

Smith, a father of seven, admitted in court in September that he devised a plot with Robert Katherman in 2010 to use funds available to him as an elected official to help him with financial problems ......................