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Tuesday
Aug162011

POLITICS/REDISTRICTING: Janice Hahn, announcement that she will run in newly-drawn 44th Congressional District, Rep. Laura Richardson and Assemblyman Isadore Hall also apparently intending to run for same seat....

***Perhaps no surprise here, but it does now appear to be official that Janice Hahn will be running next year in the newly-drawn 44th Congressional District. This will apparently put her in a battle with Rep. Laura Richardson and Assemblyman Isadore Hall in a district that is described in some circles as being "one of three L.A. area districts carved out for African-Americans." 

* LA Weekly (Gene Maddaus):  "Janice Hahn Will Run For 'Black' Seat In Congress" - From the Weekly:

   Well, this is gonna get ugly. Rep. Janice Hahn announced today that she will run in the redrawn 44th Congressional District. The district runs from Watts to San Pedro, and includes much of her former City Council district.

   So what's the problem? The problem is that this is one of three L.A.-area districts carved out for African-Americans. And, as we've pointed out before, Janice Hahn is not black. Assemblyman Isadore Hall and Rep. Laura Richardson, who are both black, are also running for this seat. Hahn can rightly point to a long history of representing black voters, and will also likely invoke her father, Supervisor Kenneth Hahn, early and often.

   ****

   Hahn won her seat last month, replacing retiring Rep. Jane Harman. But much of her coastal 36th District has been drawn into Rep. Henry Waxman's district. Another portion has been drawn into Maxine Waters' district. Hahn can't viably run in either one, leaving her the choice of running in the 44th or retiring after just over a year in Congress.

   Now that she's decided to go for it, this should be at least as compelling and hard-fought as the Berman-Sherman slugfest in the Valley.  

Tuesday
Aug162011

AFTERNOOON MEMOS: AEG/NFL stadium, Villaraigosa against waiving environmental rules; report, how public pensions in Calif. are changing; editorial, DWP rebates "too pricey" for taxpayers; cancellation by city of L.A. of its Standard & Poors rating contract.... 

Tuesday
Aug162011

POLITICS: Villaraigosa, Sacramento speech, criticism of Jerry Brown, "aiming low" on state budget, need for overhaul of Proposition 13; speculation, "initial foray into statewide politics".... 

***Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is making news out of Sacramento today....

* Los Angeles Times (PolitiCal):  "Villaraigosa takes aim at Jerry Brown in Sacramento speech" - From the LAT:

   Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa came to Sacramento on Tuesday and called out Gov. Jerry Brown for “aiming low” and being unwilling to challenge Proposition 13.

   “Gov. Brown, I say we need to have the courage to test the voltage in some of these so-called third-rail issues, beginning with Proposition 13,” read an advance copy of his speech to the Sacramento Press Club this afternoon. He said the state budget passed by legislative Democrats and signed by Brown earlier this year simply “patched the leaks” of the state’s unstable fiscal ship, but did little to solve the state’s long-term problems. 

   ****

   Villaraigosa offered the governor some ideas. He talked about eliminating property tax protections for businesses and eliminating the corporate tax. Villaraigosa also embraced an idea floated by the good-government group California Forward and others to lower the state income tax, but to create a new tax on services.

   ****

   Villaraigosa’s appearance showed the lame-duck mayor is clearly considering his options, and his press team treated the Capitol trip as a major media event. Monday night, a Villaraigosa spokeswoman outlined the major themes of the speech to reporters. Early Tuesday, emailed copies of the address were sent out, complete with markings where the laugh lines were supposed to be. The speech itself was filled with sound bites and catch phrases, christening his tax plan "a grand California bargain" and accusing California Republicans of embracing “tea party economics.”

* Sacramento Bee:  "Villaraigosa calls for overhaul of Proposition 13" - From the Bee:

   In what could be an initial foray into statewide politics, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa  called Tuesday for a renewal of progressive politics in California in the nation, including an overhaul of the state's iconic limit on property taxes, Proposition 13.

   ****

   Villaraigosa was particularly critical of the spending cuts that Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature's Democrats made to balance the state budget after their efforts to extend some state taxes were rejected by Republicans. Those cuts, he said, will damage California's ability to educate its children and remain economically competitive. 

   ****

   Some Democrats have backed changes in Proposition 13 that would remove, or at least modify, its protections for business property, but Brown has not signed onto that drive. He was governor when Proposition 13 passed in 1978 and although he opposed it prior to the election, after its passage he declared himself to be a "born-again tax cutter" and became a champion of state tax cuts and spending limits...................

Tuesday
Aug162011

POLITICS/EDUCATION: Oakland, public schools police chief placed on administrative leave, alleged series of racial slurs directed at fellow officers.... 

* San Francisco Chronicle (Matier & Ross):  "Oakland schools chief allegedly used racial slur" - From the Chronicle:

   The politically connected police chief of the Oakland public schools has been placed on paid administrative leave for allegedly hurling a series of racial slurs at fellow officers - then trying to cover up the incident - following a day of drinking at a charity golf tournament.

   Police Chief Pete Sarna, 41, told officials that his use of the word "n-" was offhanded and intended to be funny, sources tell us. But San Francisco attorney Joe O'Sullivan, who is representing a white officer who filed a complaint with the school district, says the episode was anything but comic. As O'Sullivan tells it, it started when Sarna invited three school district officers and a civilian staffer who works for him to play in a charity Oakland police golf tournament at the Sequoyah Country Club in the Oakland hills in mid-July.

   As the group was headed home afterward through the Caldecott Tunnel, O'Sullivan said, Sarna turned to an African American sergeant and began cursing him, saying no blacks should be allowed to live in Orinda and that "the only good n- is a dead n- and they should hang you in the town square to prevent any other n- from coming in the area."

   "There was no trigger for it - he just blurted it out," O'Sullivan said. The attorney said the outbursts continued when they reached a white sergeant's home in Lafayette, where Sarna allegedly directed insults at his colleague's children. He let loose with more slurs at an Asian American officer as he was being driven to his home, O'Sullivan said.

   Several days later, after word went around the department that a complaint had been lodged against Sarna, O'Sullivan said the chief drove the African American sergeant to a secluded location and told him, "What happened didn't happen."

   Troy Flint, spokesman for the Oakland Unified School District, declined to discuss specifics of the incident. But he confirmed that Sarna had been placed on paid leave pending completion of a personnel investigation.

   ****

   One person who knows Sarna well described him as someone who has been deeply dedicated to Oakland's youth, and its black community in particular. He noted that Sarna's wife is African American. "But males do stupid things when they drink," the source said.

Tuesday
Aug162011

MORNING MEMOS: Ports of L.A., Long Beach, terminal operators reach agreement on emissions; redistricting reform (editorial);Sacramento, corporate tax break (Dan Walters); Dodgers, bankruptcy court, clash with merchanidse vendor; etc....

***A variety of items and issues this morning....

* Daily News (editorial):  "On the map -- California's redistricting reform can serve as model for rest of the state"

* Daily Breeze:  "Port terminal operators reach agreement on emissions, public notification"

* Los Angeles Times:  "Dodgers win clash with merchandise vendor in Bankruptcy Court"

* Sacramento Bee (Dan Walters):  "A corporate tax break Democrats adore"

* Los Angeles Times (editorial):  "Hunt for Bid Laden profits" - "Timing of film about the killing of Bin Laden of Al Qaeda's leader seems to be driven by money not politics.