L.A. CITY HALL: Mayor's race, Supervisor Mike Antonovich "outraged" by endorsement email distributed by Kevin James....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Antonovich 'outraged' by Kevin James endorsement email" - From the LAT:

County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich blasted as "outrageous" a letter distributed by Los Angeles mayoral candidate Kevin James that made it appear that the supervisor was endorsing James over his opponents in Tuesday's primary election. Antonovich said Monday he had nothing to do with the letter and was incensed that it used what he considered inflammatory language. The James campaign said it was inadvertently sent by email to "hundreds" of James' supporters and campaign volunteers.


The email blast bears the James campaign logo and appears to be signed by Antonovich. It asks readers to make a last-minute donation to help the James campaign get his pro-business, anti-union message out in the final hours of the race. It goes on to say that recent polls show the race tightening and that James has a chance to make it to the runoff and that "even though political insiders and union bosses have spent millions to silence Kevin, he's still in this thing because of the intensity and conviction of his supporters."

Antonovich's spokesman, Tony Bell, said his boss would never has sent a letter using such "negative rhetoric." Antonovich is demanding that the letter be rescinded, Bell said..............


POLITICS/SPORTS: AEG, proposed NFL stadium, Los Angeles Times report, "Has the NFL given up on AEG?"....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Has the NFL given up on AEG?" - From the LAT:

In a story posted Monday, Yahoo’s Jason Cole reported AEG’s proposal for a downtown NFL stadium “is essentially dead” to the league, citing two NFL sources who say the numbers don’t make sense.

For months, the league has made it clear it will only return to L.A. when the right deal is on the table, and that deal has yet to materialize. I wrote about that in August.

But the most intriguing aspect of the Yahoo report is that it is counter to the way the league has operated throughout the 18 years L.A. has been without a team..................


POLITICS/DEVELOPMENT (Bay Area): New Census list category, "mega-commuter," Bay Area at top of list defining worst trips to work; also, report, projected population growth, city of San Francisco, tough planning decisions to be made....

***A couple items relating to Bay Area transportation/development/demographics/politics....

* San Jose Mercury News:  "Bay Area tops new 'mega-commuter" Census list defining worst trips to work"

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "Hard choices ahead for growing S.F."


INTERNATIONAL: China, report, analysis, "red nobility" trumping egalitarian ideals, new focus on privileged status for the country's "princelings"....

* Los Angeles Times:  "In China, 'red nobility' trumps egalitarian ideals" - "Relatives of Communist China's founding fathers enjoy privileged status in politics and business that runs counter to party ideology." - From the LAT:

BEIJING -- One man is completing his ascent to the pinnacle of power. The other is in the midst of a searing public humiliation. Xi Jinping, China's new Communist Party secretary, will add the title of president at the end of the annual gathering of the National People's Congress, which opens Tuesday. The corruption trial of his purged rival, Bo Xilai, is expected shortly after.

Even as their fates have diverged sharply, the stories of their famous and powerful families have dominated Chinese political chatter for the last year. They have focused scrutiny on the country's "princelings," the sons and daughters of party or government officials, fostering a potent form of resentment in Chinese society. Including Xi, six of the seven men tapped in November for the Politburo Standing Committee, the highest ruling body in the Communist Party and thus China, are the sons of such officials.

The phenomenon is not confined to China. The close relatives of past leaders have risen to the top in Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, India, Singapore and both Koreas. But the phenomenon is more jarring in a communist country, where equal opportunity is the bedrock of the ruling ideology. 

The fact that there are no free elections leaves the party elders vulnerable to accusations that they have merely perpetuated China's dynastic traditions by handing down power within a "red nobility." The privileges of birth extend to every sector of the economy, be it oil, electric power, insurance or even diamonds.....................


SACRAMENTO: California high-speed rail project, analysis, commentary, Community Benefits Agreement, "disadvantaged workers," state's building trades unions....

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

* Sacramento Bee (editorial):  "Should ex-cons get dibs on rail project?" - From the Bee:

The first leg of California's High-Speed Rail project goes through the Central Valley, one of the most economically depressed areas of the state. Given that, a hiring policy that seeks to give preferences to "disadvantaged workers," including unemployed veterans, homeless people, single parents on government assistance and high school dropouts, is a laudable goal. That it also includes preferences for the unemployed who have "a criminal record or involvement with the criminal justice system" goes too far.

That is one of the provisions of the Community Benefits Agreement recently approved by the California High-Speed Rail Authority that has drawn justifiable attention from critics.

People who are qualified, have been in prison and served their debt to society should not be denied a chance to work on high-speed rail or any other government project. But that they should be given preference above other equally qualified long-term unemployed is absurd.

But before anyone gets too upset about preferences for ex-cons or homeless or even veterans for that matter, it's important to understand that those categories of "disadvantaged workers" are not the real focus of the Community Benefits Agreement. They are a distraction. The real beneficiaries of the agreement are the state's building trades unions. Embedded in the agreement are provisions that make it more likely that union workers will be employed on the project almost exclusively....................