Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, left, and Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky hold souvenir concrete chips as they celebrate the demolition of two lanes of the Mulholland Drive bridge over Interstate 405 ahead of schedule in Los Angeles Sunday, July 17, 2011. The event that many feared would be the “Carmageddon” of epic traffic jams cruised calmly toward a finish Sunday as bridge work on the Los Angeles roadway was completed 16 hours ahead of schedule and officials reopened a 10-mile stretch of one of the nation’s busiest freewaysOh, I mean Mayor Villar has proposed to modify California’s Proposition 13 for business property taxes.
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.
“Progressives have to start thinking – and acting – big again,” Villaraigosa declared in prepared remarks for the Sacramento Press Club, to counteract anti-tax and anti-government drives by the Tea Party and other conservative blocs.
“If the Tea Party in Washington and their counterparts here in Sacramento are intent on pitching jobs overboard in the mindless pursuit of ideology over country, we have to be willing to stand and defend our people,” Villaraigosa said, adding, “And yes, that means making a case for new revenue to sustain long-term investment.”
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.
“Governor 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,” Villaraigosa told the press club. “We need to strengthen Proposition 13 and get it back to the original idea of protecting homeowners, Proposition 13 was never intended to be a corporate tax giveaway but that is what is has become.”
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.
Does Villaraigosa who is termed out for another term as the Los Angeles Mayor, really think he has a shot at the California Governorship? And, by going to the LEFT of Jerry Brown, Lt. Governor and former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and/or Attorney General Kamala Harris?
I guess so.
But, Texas Governor Rick Perry must be licking his chops for all of the California businesses planning to move out of state, once this massive property tax increase hits the ballot.
A morning collection of links and comments about my home, California.
Today, everyone awaits California Controller John Chiang’s decision on whether the California Legislators who passed a questionably balanced budget last week (soon vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown) will be paid. The per diem pay which the members of the California Assembly and State Senate receive while in session is paid weekly and Chiang has withheld last week’s paycheck pending his determination as to whether the “balanced” budget complied with California Proposition 25 passed by voters last November.
In the meantime, the California Legislature is in session and have floor sessions scheduled for noon today. Various legislative committees are also meeting. The California Assembly website is here and the State Senate is here.
The California Legislative Portal is located here.
On to the links:
Reformers in California had been trying since 1926 to empower an independent commission, rather than the Legislature, to draw political district lines. So it was an historic day on June 10 when the first such commission held a news conference to unveil the state’s first proposed maps drawn without the stench of a smoke-filled room or the taint of partisan deal-making.
To the microphone in a room at the State Capitol stepped chairman-for-the-day Gabino Aguirre, a Mexican immigrant, one-time migrant farmworker and retired high school principal.
The questions came fast from an assemblage that included a dozen or so reporters and a bank of television cameras. One, posed by a reporter from Antioch, was confrontational: How could the commission have so botched the proposed lines to divide communities in the hills of the East San Francisco Bay?
Aguirre, unperturbed, answered philosophically.
“I’ve mentioned to people that Santa Paula is the center of the universe,” Aguirre said of the town in which he lives and once served as mayor. “If I go to a commission and say, ‘We are the center of the universe,’ that is great. But the work of the commission is to draw the state into districts with large chunks of population. It may not be possible to give each community everything it wants.”
The confrontation defused, Aguirre moved on.
For the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, many more such confrontations lie ahead. It is in the midst of a rigorous two-week period during which it is conducting 11 hearings around the state to receive public feedback on its proposed maps, a tour that will include a stop Wednesday evening at the Oxnard College Performing Arts Center.
The commission will consider public input, issue revised maps on July 12 and then enter a final stage of internal review before submitting final maps to the secretary of state on Aug. 15.
Dr. Ami Bera, an Elk Grove resident who lost the Congressional District 3 race last November to Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Gold River), said June 17 he is seeking a rematch against Lungren in November 2012.
“We are firmly committed to running against Dan Lungren,” Bera said.
These comments come a week after the California Citizens Redistricting Commission unveiled the first draft of their proposed Congressional district maps for California.
Under the current proposal, Lungren would no longer represent Elk Grove and would instead have his district cover eastern Sacramento County.
Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento) would have her district expand over Elk Grove.
If the proposed maps were finalized, Bera would have to move out of Elk Grove to Lungren’s new district area to challenge him.
A senior judge and law professor examine rising costs of the program. Without major reforms, they conclude, capital punishment will continue to exist mostly in theory while exacting an untenable cost.
Taxpayers have spent more than $4 billion on capital punishment in California since it was reinstated in 1978, or about $308 million for each of the 13 executions carried out since then, according to a comprehensive analysis of the death penalty’s costs.
The examination of state, federal and local expenditures for capital cases, conducted over three years by a senior federal judge and a law professor, estimated that the additional costs of capital trials, enhanced security on death row and legal representation for the condemned adds $184 million to the budget each year.
The study’s authors, U.S. 9th Circuit Judge Arthur L. Alarcon and Loyola Law School professor Paula M. Mitchell, also forecast that the tab for maintaining the death penalty will climb to $9 billion by 2030, when San Quentin’s death row will have swollen to well over 1,000.
In their research for “Executing the Will of the Voters: A Roadmap to Mend or End the California Legislature’s Multi-Billion-Dollar Death Penalty Debacle,” Alarcon and Mitchell obtained California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation records that were unavailable to others who have sought to calculate a cost-benefit analysis of capital punishment.
In his first appearance on “Meet the Press” in his role as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa presented his argument Sunday for an increase of federal funding to cities.
And, part of that, he said, is ending the wars in the Mideast to make more money available to cities.
“I think the term was used that (it) is like they are on another planet,” Villaraigosa said when asked about the Republican presidential debate.
“The fact is, Americans are out of work. Too many people are not able to get back in the workplace and not enough is being done to train them for new work.
“We are asking that we need to focus on home again, and the issue is front and center in the cities.”
Villaraigosa said because of the costs of war, Congress has taken money away from the biggest needs in the cities _ transportation, housing and education.
It is in the cities, he said, where the basic services are provided and where help is needed, Villaraigosa said.
“We are the ones who are delivering the services, and we find the debate among Republicans as being out of touch with everyday people,” Villaraigosa said.
Villaraigosa took over as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors this past weekend and he is making his inaugural speech today, where he is expected to call for the mayors to take a more active role in lobbying Congress to deal with urban issues.
Enjoy your morning!
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa gestures during an interview Monday, June 22, 2009, at City Hall in downtown Los Angeles. Villaraigosa announced his decision Monday not to run for governor of California in 2010, because he wants to finish his job as mayorNot really a shock and Mayor Tony knows he cannot beat California Attorney General and former California Governor Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown in a contested Democrat Primary anyway.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced on national television today that he would not be running for California governor in 2010 after flirting with a bid for higher office for months.
â€œI canâ€™t leave this city in the middle of a crisis,” Villaraigosa said. Noting that Los Angeles is grappling with a $530-million deficit, a 12.5% unemployment rate and more than 20,000 people who have lost their homes over the last two years, the mayor said: â€œI feel compelled to complete what I started out to do.â€
Elected to a second, four-year term in March, the mayor broke the news to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room,” saying he wanted to devote his full attention to Los Angeles.
The former state assembly speaker said he had been making up his mind â€œfor a long timeâ€ and that the state’s challenges had made the decision an “agonizingâ€ one. Villaraigosa called the situation in Sacramento â€œan abomination,â€ but hinted at the political risks of announcing a statewide run so soon after being reelected to a second term. â€œI was elected mayor and reelected by the people of this city.Theyâ€™ve given me the honor for a second term, and I feel compelled to complete the promise that I made to them. Iâ€™m going to dream, and I want the people to dream with me,â€ he said.
Villaraigosaâ€™s decision adds a dash of clarity to the race for the 2010 Democratic gubernatorial nomination which, at the moment, appears will be between state Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. Brown has yet to say if he will run, while Newsom already has announced his candidacy.
In a personal note, Villaraigosa said the demands of the campaign trail would have kept him apart from his 16-year-old daughter, whom he called the â€œapple of my eye.â€ â€œSheâ€™s got two more years of high school and then sheâ€™s gone, and I donâ€™t want to be campaigning for a year, and then leading the state in Sacramento and my little precious is, you know, finishing up her high school education.â€
Pundits will say Mayor Tony pulled out because of his self-inflicted summer of love affair with Mirthala Salinas or even his latest fling with television news anchor Lu Parker but it is really the candidacy of Jerry Brown that gives him pause.
Mayor Tony will now simply wait until after Brown loses to Meg Whitman or Steve Poizner and then run for Governor at a later time or for Dianne Feinstein’s United States Senate seat when she retires.
But, Villaraigosa will be judged on his second term as Mayor of Los Angeles and he had better do a better job.
And, KTLA television anchor/reporter Lu Parker, Telemundo television anchor Mirthala Salinas, and his ex-wife are NOT part of the rationale.
Remember how Rudy Giuliani’s family life, including affairs have sunk his political aspirations? It is a whispering campaign behind the candidate’s back – but is always there. If Mayor Tony ignores this reality and does not deal with it, then put a fork in him – He’s done.
Read the editorial here.
So, does LU Parker agree – it is NOT about her?
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says reports this week that he’s dating another TV reporter will not be a factor in whether he decides to run for California governor.
The Democratic mayor said Wednesday the public has scant interest in his personal life.
He says his decision on entering the 2010 contest will depend only on whether he can best serve Californians.
The mayor is reportedly dating Lu Parker, a former Miss USA who works at KTLA-TV. Villaraigosa’s wife, Corina, filed for divorce in 2007 during his affair with another local newscaster, Mirthala Salinas. The divorce is pending, and he later split with Salinas.
Villaraigosa declined to comment about Parker.
When asked whether he was in love, he said, “I love life.”
Knowing what a PIG Mayor Tony has been over the years, means it probably doesn’t matter. Lu is one of many and two years later note the Los Angeles Mayor is still not divorced.
Mayor Villaraigosa is going nowhere in the California Governor’s race anyway. If Mirthala Salinas wasn’t enough to sink him in his infamous summer of love in 2007, then the latest Los Angeles Magazine Cover calling him a failure will be sufficient.
On the other hand, the two other probable candidates for the Democrat Governor’s nomination, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and California Attorney General Jerry Brown have their own personal baggage, so you never know.
But, I am certain that Lu Parker won’t be around should Mayor Villar decide to take a 2010 political plunge.
Lu, have you scheduled that lunch with Mirthala yet?
A screencap of KTLA Anchor/Reporter Lu Parker reporting last Sunday of Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosaâ€™s prospects for a 2010 run for California GovernorAnd, to whom?
After all, KTLA anchor/reporter has been removed from the local political beat which according to some journalists was not so much in any case.
Not that this is much of a demand, as it seems Ms. Parker — a former Miss South Carolina, a former Miss USA, a former model, actress, “avid golfer” and amateur skeet-shooter has petty much spent all of her adult life recusing herself from reporting seriously on anything. I base this harsh judgment on her official station bio and not from any personal knowledge.
Let’s get real folks. She’s a great-looking, emmy-winning READER of news and I congratulate my friend the Mayor for his fine taste in fine-looking women. But what’s the big ethical issue here? I, for one, am absolutely confident that Ms. Parker has never done any real reporting on the Mayor and never will. She very well migh read or introduce the stories that others do on him, but that’s about it.
And, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was recently re-elected to another four year term, apparently will not run for California Governor next year and is getting divorced anyway.
Sounds like Mayor Villaraigosa is yesterday’s news.
The pattern is interesting. You know, the dark-haired, beauty queen, local news reporter, TV personality – just like the last one, Mirthala Salinas.
This entire matter is MOST important to Ms. Parker.
Lu, have that lunch with Mirthala.
KTLA-TV Channel 5 anchor/reporter Lu Parker and Mayor Antonio VillaraigosaRemember the summer of love of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Telemundo Channel 52 anchor/reporter Mirthala Salinas a couple of years ago?
Well, it is Deja Vu all over again – now with Lu Parker and said Los Angeles Mayor Villar (except this time he is single).
Over the weekend, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was spotted perusing the merchandise in a Larchmont bookstore with a local television reporter who is also a former Miss USA.
Earlier today, NBC Channel 4â€™s L.A. news website posted a story about the sighting, including a snapshot of the two together inside Chevalierâ€™s bookstore with the mayor casually dressed, wearing shades and having a laugh. The woman, Lu Parker of KTLA Channel 5, is a general assignment news reporter and weekend anchor for the station.
And that made it newsworthy, given that the mayorâ€™s prior relationship with a different TV reporter coincided with the widely publicized breakup of his marriage.
â€œWitnesses say they did not hold hands or kiss, but appeared very chummy,â€ the NBC Channel 4 story said. â€œParker was seen touching the mayorâ€™s chest and stomach while they spoke. She was also seen looking at a book about Kenya and overheard saying to Villaraigosa, â€˜We should buy it for our trip.â€™ “
And, Parker has already told her bosses at KTLA that she and the Mayor are dating.
Flap wonders if the Mayor’s new squeeze is the reason he seems disinterested in the 2010 California Governor’s race and recently passed on the California Democratic Party Convention, where he was conspicuous by his absence.
Mayor Villar appears to be busy.
Watch Lu Parker interview the Mayor on election night in November here.
Good luck Tony, you will probably need it, knowing your track record.
Economic recovery press conference: Eric Cantor, Mitt Romney and Meg Whitman, former eBay CEO and McCain campaign adviser answer questions submit by the American People via YouTube, January 15, 2009The latest poll from Rasmussen is extremely favorable for former eBay CEO Meg Whitman in the race for California Governor in 2010.
The race may be nearly two years away, but early match-ups for the 2010 gubernatorial election in California show that it’s likely to be a close one.
With the state’s current Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, ineligible for reelection, the most prominent name mentioned on the GOP side is former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, and for now she beats two of the three leading early contenders for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.
- Meg Whitman – 38% Vs. Jerry Brown (California Attorney General and former Governor – 40%
- Meg Whitman – 37% Vs. Gavin Newsom (San Francisco Mayor) – 34%
- Meg Whitman – 41% Vs. Antonio Villaraigosa (Los Angeles Mayor) – 34%
Forty-three percent (43%) of California voters view Whitman favorably, including 10% Very Favorable, while 22% view her unfavorably. Just five percent (5%) have a Very Unfavorable opinion of Whitman. A third of voters (34%) donâ€™t know enough about her to form an opinion.
Brown is the most well-known name to California voters and is viewed favorably by 46%, including 24% who say that view is Very Favorable. Thirty-eight percent (38%) have an unfavorable opinion of Brown, with 26% Very Unfavorable. Just 16%, however, are not sure what they think of the 70-year-old Brown who has been a fixture in California politics for nearly 40 years.
Newson is viewed favorably by 36%, unfavorably by 41%, and 23% are not sure what they think of him. Thirteen percent (13%) have a Very Favorable opinion of Newsom and 25% a Very Unfavorable view. Villaraigosaâ€™s ratings are 38% favorable, with 13% Very Favorable, and 42% unfavorable, including 27% Very Unfavorable. Twenty percent (20%) are not sure what they think of Villaraigosa.
Flap had mentioned that since Steve Poizner, California’s only statewide elected office holder, was running for Governor that perhaps Whitman should should run for the United States Senate instead. But, with these excellent poll numbers, it is fiull speed ahead with the governor’s race.
But, what will a contested GOP primary election do to her unfavorability ratings?
Watch Meg Whitman on video at the press conference referenced above.