Index
Tuesday
Oct212014

SACRAMENTO: Campaign donation limits, editorial: "How campaign donation caps are like jumbo shrimp" ....

* Sacramento Bee (editorial):  "How campaign donation caps are like jumbo shrimp" - From the Bee:

Like jumbo shrimp, campaign contribution limit is an oxymoron.

Donations given directly to candidates for governor are capped at $27,200 per election, or $54,400 for the primary and general elections. Direct donations to legislative candidates are capped at $4,100 per election. But the open secret is that politicians easily can skirt the limits. A preferred way in the 2014 campaign is to establish committees to raise money for ballot measures. The law permits donors to give unlimited sums to ballot measure campaigns.

Gov. Jerry Brown portrays himself as frugal as he busily raises millions to promote Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond, and Proposition 2, which would keep budget spending under control.

We’re not implying Brown is compelling contributions, but almost every major interest doing business in the Capitol is pitching in.

There is the $100,000-plus club: . . . . . . . .

   ****

 

Several state legislators have ballot measure accounts, too, allowing them to bypass contribution limits and identify themselves with measures that have popular appeal.

Assemblyman Adam Gray, D-Merced, took $35,000 from the California Independent Petroleum Association, $25,000 from the California Association of Health Facilities, and $15,000 from Hilmar Cheese Co., to promote Propositions 1 and 2.

Assemblyman Henry T. Perea, D-Fresno, sent out an invitation last month for a two-day golf fundraiser at the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay seeking up to $40,000 per donor. . . . . . . .

Charles and Molly Munger, the children of billionaire Charles Munger Sr., can give $4,100 to individual legislative candidates. But Charles Jr. gave $1.2 million to the California Republican Party, and Molly gave $225,000 to the California and Los Angeles Democratic parties. Parties, in turn, pour hundreds of thousands into individual Assembly and Senate races.

Voters thought they were approving campaign finance limits in 2000 when they voted for Proposition 34 in 2000. But politicians wrote the measure. Honest thieves that they are, the authors fully understood what they were doing.

At least California has strong public disclosure provisions.................

Tuesday
Oct212014

SACRAMENTO: California Department of Human Resources: "Jerry Brown makes key state personnel appointments" ....

* Sacramento Bee:  "Jerry Brown makes key state personnel appointments" - From the Bee:

Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday appointed Richard Gillihan to head the California Department of Human Resources, where he has served in an acting role since February. Gillihan, 46, took over after Julie Chapman suddenly stepped down amid criticism that the department lacked leadership. His appointment broke a chain of CalHR chiefs who were labor insiders or bureaucrats who had come up through the department in favor of a technology expert and fiscal manager from the Department of Finance.

Gillihan’s 20-year state career started with the California Youth Authority. . . . . . . .

   ****

The position pays $167,000 per year and requires Senate confirmation.

Brown also named Steve Satake as labor relations officer for the department. Satake has worked in labor relations at the Franchise Tax Board since last year. Before that, he held several personnel and labor-relations positions at Caltrans from 2006 to 2013 and was a claims adjuster at the State Compensation Insurance Fund from 2004 to 2007.

His new job pays $84,720 per year and does not require Senate confirmation.

Tuesday
Oct212014

L.A. CITY HALL: Proposed city minimum wage increase, motion seeking independent study: "Los Angeles City Council members call for new study of Mayor Eric Garcetti's minimum wage proposal" ....

* Daily News:  "Los Angeles City Council members call for new study of Mayor Eric Garcetti's minimum wage proposal" - From the DN:

Presenting a possible curve ball to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s ambitious plan to boost the city’s minimum wage, several City Council members on Tuesday called for another study of the mayor’s proposal and said they want to explore exemptions for some industries. A motion signed by five council members seeks an independent study of both Garcetti’s plan to raise hourly wages to $13.25 by 2017 and another City Hall proposal to push wages to $15.25 by 2019. The motion seeks analysis on the two proposals and a wage hike’s impact on local nonprofits and small businesses.

Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, one of the motion’s primary authors, said Tuesday he’s concerned businesses will lay off staff or relocate if the city raises the minimum wage. The councilman discussed the mayor’s proposal with more than 30 business throughout his district, an area that includes Hollywood, Atwater Village and Glassell Park, he said. “I haven’t talked to one single business owner that has said they wouldn’t have to reduce staff,” O’Farrell said.

   ****

Under a separate plan, several City Council members want to raise wages to $15.25 by 2019.

With both proposals being considered at City Hall, City Councilman Bob Blumenfield said Tuesday he’s concerned about nonprofits such as Valley Village, a Winnetka-based organization serving those with developmental disabilities. Operating costs for Valley Village would rise under a minimum wage hike, but the group wouldn’t be reimbursed for those expenses, since funding comes from state and federal sources. "It’s heartbreaking to think about a loss of services there,” said Blumenfield, another of the authors of the motion presented Tuesday.

   ****.

The motion comes just weeks after the City Council approved a new law requiring larger hotels to pay their workers $15.37 an hour. Business groups complained the council was bowing to unions, who pushed for the law.

   ****

Garcetti and some City Council members have said they hope the separate wage proposals are voted on by January. On Tuesday, O’Farrell said he doesn’t believe the council “should be in a mad rush to complete a study just to make a deadline that’s been articulated.”

Asked about Tuesday’s motion, Garcetti spokesman Jeff Millman said: “We look forward to listening and discussing with the council members.”

Tuesday
Oct212014

LOCAL GOVERNMENT (County of Los Angeles): Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, 4-0 vote, final approval, process for appointments to Employee Relations Commission: "L.A. County supervisors finalize rule to break stalemate on labor commission" ....

* Los Angeles Times:  "L.A. County supervisors finalize rule to break stalemate on labor commission" - From the LAT:

Los Angeles County supervisors gave final approval Tuesday to a proposal that would allow them to break an impasse between management and labor over the makeup of a commission that rules on disputes involving county workers.

A three-member commission had been stalemated, without a working majority to make decisions. Unions and management have been in a standoff since the supervisors changed the process for appointing commissioners last year. Under the old process, labor and management had to agree on all three appointments. Under the new rules, each side could independently pick a commissioner but would have to agree on the third. Unions preferred the old system and mounted an unsuccessful bid to get the new process thrown out through state legislation. In the meantime, the Employee Relations Commission has only one member -- the one appointed by management -- and has been unable to decide on any of hundreds of complaints that have piled up. 

Under the plan approved Tuesday, if management and labor fail to agree on a third candidate within 90 days of a seat opening up, each side can submit nominees and the supervisors would select one to fill the position.

The vote was 4 to 0, with Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas abstaining. Ridley-Thomas, who is the only consistently pro-labor vote on the board, said he wanted to see more done to resolve the situation without "more acrimony."

   ****

 

The head of the Coalition of County Unions sent a cease-and-desist letter to the county last week, saying it was illegal for supervisors to vote on the latest proposal because management had not met with unions to discuss it.

Meanwhile, the two Nov. 4 election candidates running to replace Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky came down on opposite sides of the issue in a debate Friday........................

Tuesday
Oct212014

L.A. CITY HALL: Mayor Eric Garcetti nomination of WENDY MACY as new General Manager, City of Los Angeles Personnel Department ....

***Announcement, Mayor Eric Garcetti nomination of WENDY MACY as new General Manager, City of Los Angeles Personnel Department.  Excerpts from Garcetti press release:

MAYOR GARCETTI NOMINATES WENDY MACY AS NEXT GENERAL MANAGER OF PERSONNEL

Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced the nomination of Wendy Macy as the next General Manager of City of Los Angeles Personnel Department.  Macy currently serves as Director of Human Resources for the County of Sonoma, a position she has held since 2011, and was previously Chief Operating Officer of the Los Angeles Unified School District.

In Sonoma County, Macy managed a full-service human resources agency, was instrumental in negotiating new agreements with 11 bargaining units to strengthen fiscal sustainability, and played a role in the County’s strategic planning and budget development functions.
Macy is an attorney who spent a decade with the Los Angeles Unified School District as Chief Operating Officer, Personnel Director, and Associate General Counsel.  At the school district from 2001-2011, she led the Personnel Commission through tough economic times, reorganizing major functions to cut costs and improve service.
Macy received her law and bachelors degrees from Harvard University.
Macy would succeed Maggie Whelan, who retired earlier this year after 47 years of service to the City, and current acting General Manager David Luther.  Her appointment is subject to confirmation by the City Council.