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Monday
Apr082013

L.A. CITY HALL: Mayor's race, Rep. Maxine Waters endorsement of Wendy Greuel; report, Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel campaigning in San Pedro, local residents are "wary of candidates' promises".... 

***A couple items this morning regarding L.A.'s mayoral race....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Greuel wins key endorsement from Rep. Maxine Waters"

* Los Angeles Times:  "San Pedro voters wary of mayoral candidates' promises" - "As the runoff election nears, Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel say they won't forget San Pedro's needs. Many residents aren't convinced. 'We feel like we're a lost relative down here,' one says."

Monday
Apr082013

L.A. CITY HALL: Los Angeles City Attorney election, interview with Mike Feuer, Downtown News, The Regardie Report, "Eight Short Stories, and One Long One, About Mike Feuer"....

* Downtown News (The Regardie Report):  "Eight Short Stories, and One Long One, About Mike Feuer" "Tales From the City Attorney Candidate Who Aims to Unseat Incumbent Carmen Trutanich" - From the DTN:

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - Story 1) Mike Feuer had to be pleased. He had finished first in the Los Angeles City Attorney primary and was on to the runoff, where he would go one-on-one against the City Hall insider he had just beaten. Feuer had run a solid, effective campaign and proved himself an able fundraiser. He had secured battalions of high-profile endorsements, including the influential Los Angeles Times.

While that describes 2013 — Feuer bested incumbent Carmen Trutanich 44%-30% in the March 5 election — it applies to 2001 as well. That was the year that Feuer, then a City Councilman, beat Rocky Delgadillo in the City Attorney primary. Then the gloves came off, and in the runoff, after some hefty independent expenditures from the NRA and the billboard industry, Delgadillo won with 52.4% of the vote. Many political observers felt Feuer blew a race he had no business losing.

Speaking last week at a Civic Center coffee shop, Feuer claimed not to think much about the 2001 defeat. He thinks this race is very different. He thinks he is well positioned to win. “I think that the electorate has a very firm impression of Mr. Trutanich’s record and an increasing impression of mine,” he said between sips of tea on a sunny afternoon. “There is, I think, a very firm idea in the public mind as to who each of us really is, and that is going to be very helpful to me in this election.”

Story 2: Mike Feuer is funnier than you might think. . . . . . . . .

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Story 3: To supporters, Feuer is an experienced leader and a seasoned campaigner. To opponents such as Trutanich, he is a “career politician.” . . . . . . . .

Story 4: After the cat conversation, we arrange to meet at a South Park cafe. I arrive a few minutes before Feuer, who pulls up in a Prius. He parks across the street. Although the one-way road is virtually dead, with no traffic coming, he refuses simply to cross the street. Instead, he walks to the end of the block and waits patiently at the intersection until the white “walking man” sign appears. . . . . . . .

Story 5: Feuer, 54, was born in San Bernardino, the eldest of three boys. . . . . . . .

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Story 6: Feuer and Trutanich had their first face-to-face debate in Sherman Oaks last November. A raffle took place at the end of the testy proceedings. Both candidates picked tickets. One winner was Feuer’s mother, Stella. . . . . . . .

Story 7: During the primary Feuer faced Trutanich, who had only entered the race after unexpectedly losing the District Attorney election in June, and Greg Smith, a private attorney who spent $737,000 of his own money on the campaign. Smith and Trutanich repeatedly bombed Feuer with the accusation that he is not qualified to be City Attorney because he was never a trial lawyer and thus lacks necessary experience. . . . . . . .

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Story 8: Although Trutanich is the current City Attorney, Feuer has emerged as the frontrunner. He has received the lion’s share of the major endorsements. In the primary he spent more than $1.2 million. Trutanich spent just $770,000.

Story 9 (the long one): The money has emerged as a source of controversy. Feuer and his chief campaign strategist, John Shallman, worked out a deal wherein Shallman would not be paid during the primary, but would receive a bonus if Feuer won outright. This provided Feuer more money to spend on other aspects of the campaign. It also allowed him to stay below the approximately $1.3 million spending ceiling to receive city matching funds. He ended up getting $300,000 in city cash.

When we sit down, I tell Feuer that he may not have done anything illegal (Trutanich’s campaign thinks otherwise), but I do think he found a loophole and exploited it................

Sunday
Apr072013

L.A. CITY HALL: Mayor's race, Garcetti endorsements from L.A. City's Councils black members; also, independent expenditures campaign for Garcetti receiving donations from private sector unions, Greuel continues to receive big $$$ from public employee unions....  

***A couple items regarding the L.A. mayor's race....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Eric Garcetti wins endorsements from City Council's black members" - "Bernard Parks, Jan Perry and Herb Wesson accompany the mayoral candidate to his rally in Leimert Park, where he makes a pitch he hopes will resonate with black voters."

* Los Angeles Times:  "Labor money starts flowing in for Garcetti" - "An independent campaign backing the councilman is getting private sector union donations. But Greuel, with better public union support, has the dollar advantage."

Sunday
Apr072013

L.A. CITY HALL: Los Angeles World Airports, control of LA/Ontario International Airport, city of L.A. seeking "appropriate compensation" for transfer of control to Ontario....

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

* Inland Valley Daily Bulletin:  "Los Angeles looking for 'appropriate compensation' for ONT" - From the IVDB:

ONTARIO -- It is a question that often comes up - why would Los Angeles World Airports want to keep a struggling airport rather than focus its attention entirely on modernizing the region's largest airport, Los Angeles International?

For the past four years, Ontario officials have contended that L.A./Ontario International Airport has been neglected by LAWA, the medium-hub facility's owner and operator, which in turn has led to the slow demise of passenger activity. Last year, about 4.5 million passengers traveled in and out of ONT, a figure so low it was last seen more than two decades ago.

In the past several months, officials from Los Angeles, which oversees LAWA, and the city of Ontario have been in negotiations over transferring control of the airport. "The city of L.A. needs appropriate compensation for investments in ONT," said Maria Tesoro-Fermin, spokeswoman for LAWA, which owns and operates LAX, ONT and Van Nuys Airport. LAWA also controls L.A./Palmdale Regional Airport.

LAWA may want to hold onto ONT for several reasons, including its potential growth and because of the value it may bring to its regional system, said Marcia Godwin, associate professor of public administration at the University of La Verne. "I do think their authority sees it as a regional system that makes them more competitive," Godwin said. At the same time, LAWA may keep ONT because of the investments it has made already there, she said.

But Greg Lindsay, co-author of "Aerotropolis: The Way We'll Live Next," said he believes it would be better for Ontario to have control of the airport. "They might as well split it off because LAWA is in a massive conflict of interest out there. They should be expanding LAX, but, if they do, they have less and less interest in Palmdale and Ontario," said Lindsay, a featured speaker recently at Ontario's State of the City event.

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ONT's history with LAWA dates back to 1967, when Los Angeles, at the request of Ontario, started managing and developing the Ontario airport, which at the time was serving less than a million passengers.....................

Sunday
Apr072013

SACRAMENTO: California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, editorial, "Stem Cell agency finally addresses potential for conflicts"....

* Sacramento Bee (editorial):  "Stem cell agency finally addresses potential for conflicts" - From the Bee:

Politics is the art of the possible.

Jonathan Thomas, who chairs the oversight committee for California's stem cell institute, has taken important steps in reducing the potential for conflicts within this agency. He hasn't gone as far as we would like, or that independent outside reviewers have recommended, in reforming governance of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. But he's persuaded CIRM's oversight board to make some changes it has long resisted. He's achieved what's possible, at least for now, and the board may empower him to go further..

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Aware that his board was unlikely to go along with . . . sweeping changes, Thomas, an investment banker with a Yale law degree and scholarship in the sciences, brokered a compromise. At a meeting last month, he persuaded the institute's oversight board to adopt changes that will prevent board members of funding-eligible institutions from voting on grants. They will still be allowed to discuss individual grants, but not vote on them.

We think Thomas and the oversight board should go further and adopt the Institute of Medicine recommendations. But that is politically unlikely. As is now obvious, it will be up to the Legislature to fully remove representatives of funding-eligible institutions from being involved in decisions about grants that could come back to them.

Thomas, to his credit, recognizes that his compromise may not be the perfect solution. He wants to test out the new policy for a year, and see how it works............