Index
Thursday
Jul252013

POLITICS (State, Local, National): Scandals, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner, editorial: "San Diego Mayor Bob Filner and New York mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner just need to go away"....

* Sacramento Bee (editorial):  "San Diego Mayor Bob Filner and New York mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner just need to go away" - From the Bee:

It never ceases to amaze how some politicians can delude themselves that they are so indispensable and entitled that any scandal should not disqualify them. Just look at the spectacle of San Diego Mayor Bob Filner and New York mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner – if you can stomach it. The honorable thing for both to do would be to spare their cities the turmoil and step aside.

But no, they won't go away. They insist on putting their political ambitions ahead of everything else.

Some might say their fates matter only to residents of San Diego and New York. That would be wrong. If Filner and Weiner somehow survive, it would further lower the bar of acceptable behavior for all public officials. And that would be bad for all of us.

Some people might argue that as long as no laws were broken, personal peccadilloes don't make someone unfit for elected office. But there is a point at which questions of judgment and self-discipline completely undermine whatever positives a politician might offer on policy and leadership. Both Filner and Weiner have crossed that line.

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Filner admits he needs help; even if Weiner won't acknowledge it, he obviously does. Whatever demons they have, they should be exorcised in private, not played out in public. Like every other politician, they need to remember that it's not about them. If they truly care about the people they want to lead, they won't prolong these soap operas any longer.

Thursday
Jul252013

POLITICS/TRANSPORTATION (Bay Area): San Francisco Transbay Transit Center project, $300 million cost overrun: "Transbay project in a $300 million hole"....

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "Transbay project in $300 million hole" - From the Chronicle:

San Francisco's Transbay Transit Center, the so-called Grand Central station of the West that's now just a deep hole in the ground, will cost $300 million more than anticipated, Bay Area transportation officials were told Wednesday. And that financial hole could grow deeper, cautioned Steve Heminger, executive director of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Bay Area transportation planning and financing agency.

"We may not have seen the end of it," he said. "This is a very costly project."

The commission learned of the nearly 19 percent cost overrun as it agreed to let the Transbay Joint Powers Authority building the downtown transit center shift $47.8 million in toll bridge funds for future expenses to help cover the cost of a structural steel contract that came in over budget.

The construction cost for the first phase of the transportation hub at First and Mission streets, which will initially serve buses from seven transit agencies and eventually electric trains from Caltrain and high-speed rail, has risen from $1.6 billion to $1.9 billion in the revised budget the authority adopted on July 11................

Thursday
Jul252013

SACRAMENTO: More info/details, resuts, 52nd Assembly District, special election: "Ontario mayor, Pomona councilman to battle for vacant Assembly seat"....

***Following up on most recent earlier item noted here (unofficial results, 52nd Assembly District, primary election)....

* Inland Valley Daily Bulletin:  "Ontario mayor, Pomona councilman to battle for vacant Assembly seat" - From the IVDB:

Independent Paul Leon and Democrat Freddie Rodriguez are heading to a September special election runoff to determine who will next represent the 52nd Assembly District. The votes from Tuesday's primary will not be certified until Aug. 2, but with 100 percent of precincts reporting, the California Secretary of State's Office said Leon garnered 25.1 percent of the vote and Rodriguez brought in 21.6 percent.

The special election was called to fill the seat left vacant when Norma Torres, D-Montclair, was elected to represent the 32nd state Senate District in May.

The winner of the Sept. 24 runoff will finish Torres' Assembly term.

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The district covers portions of eastern Los Angeles County and western San Bernardino County, including Chino, Montclair, Ontario and western Fontana.............

Thursday
Jul252013

L.A. CITY HALL: Council District 6, special election, Nury Martinez appointed as "caretaker" pending certification of election results: "Nury Martinez gets head start as District 6 'caretaker'"; also, editorial, "Nury Martinez, an underdog, goes to L.A. City Hall"........

* Daily News:  "Nury Martinez gets head start as District 6 'caretaker'" - From the DN:

Former school board member Nury Martinez swept Tuesday's special election for the Council District 6 seat, beating rival Cindy Montañez by double digits, according to preliminary results released by the City Clerk's Office.

With all precincts reporting, Martinez received 55 percent, or 4,917 votes, compared with Montañez's 45 percent, or 4,093 votes. A spokeswoman for the City Clerk's election division said there are 1,070 outstanding votes to count, a mix of mail and provisional ballots, and staffers have until Aug. 13 to certify the votes and release the final tally.

In the interim, the City Council on Wednesday named Martinez as caretaker for the 6th Council District. This allows her to respond to constituent issues and begin to organize her staff, but she will not be able to vote on any matters pending before the City Council. Newly elected Councilman Felipe Fuentes, who had backed Martinez in the election, supported the proposal introduced by council President Herb Wesson and was looking forward to Martinez joining the council. . . . . . . .

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Many believed Montañez would prevail in Tuesday's election. The former state assemblywoman beat Martinez by 19 percentage points in the May primary and raised three times as much money as her opponent in the general election. She also had the backing of Mayor Eric Garcetti, who attended her fundraiser two weeks ago and tweeted his support.

Martinez was supported by former Congressman Tony Cardenas, who aggressively helped raise money for her through his connections to his former district. The council seat, which encompasses the area around Van Nuys, Sun Valley and Panorama City, has been vacant since Cardenas left for Congress in January..............

***ALSO:

* Daily News (editorial):  "Nury Martinez, an underdog, goes to L.A. City Hall

Wednesday
Jul242013

SACRAMENTO: 16th Senate District special election: "Leticia Perez concedes 16th Senate District race"....

***Following up on most recent earlier item noted here (unofficial returns, Vidak leading Perez in 16th Senate District runoff election)....

* Sacramento Bee:  "Leticia Perez concedes 16th Senate District race" - From the Bee:

Republicans have won back the 16th Senate District. Kern County Supervisor and Democrat Leticia Perez has conceded to her opponent, Republican farmer Andy Vidak, ending a costly and heavily contested race for the Central Valley seat.

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Perez trailed Vidak by several percentage points as of Tuesday night. The Secretary of State's office estimated on Wednesday morning that thousands of provisional ballots remained to be counted, but Perez said in [a] press release that "this campaign is over."

The win chips away at Democrats' two-thirds supermajority in the state Senate, reducing it to the minimum. The seat opened up earlier this year when Democratic senator Michael Rubio unexpectedly resigned, citing a desire to spend more time with his family, and took a job with Chevron.