Eric Garcetti won the race for mayor Tuesday in Los Angeles, where he will be the first elected Jewish mayor of L.A. and that city's youngest mayor in a century.
From the LAT's Seema Mehta and Laura J. Nelson: "During early returns Tuesday, Greuel led the race by a slight margin. But as the night wore on, Garcetti's lead grew. Election tallies from the city clerk's office posted at 1:38 a.m., with nearly 73% of precincts reporting, showed Greuel had fallen 8 points behind Garcetti."
"After seeing those numbers -- Greuel 46%, Garcetti 54% -- she called Garcetti at 1:42 a.m. to concede the race..."
"Garcetti, a city councilman, and Greuel, the city controller, were onetime City Council allies. Both raised in the San Fernando Valley, Garcetti and Greuel were vying to be the leader of a city of 3.8 million people that has only recently shown signs of lifting itself out of a five-year economic mire -- one that triggered perennial budget deficits, layoffs and cuts in basic services such as street paving and tree trimming." And the turnout appeared to be miserable, too ...
Meanwhile, LA voters are giving a thumbs up to the city council's efforts to regulate marijuana dispensaries, while rejecting a couple of other pot measures.
From the LA Daily News' Rick Orlov: "Los Angeles voters decided Tuesday to back a City Council plan to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries and cap their number at 135, while rejecting two competing proposals from outside groups."
"Proposition D would also increase the tax on medical marijuana sales to 6 percent. It was developed by the City Council after an initiative measure qualified for the ballot that would have overturned the city's plan to ban all dispensaries."
"Ordinance F, written by dispensaries that would be shut out of the 135 cap, would have allowed a virtually unlimited number of dispensaries as long as they maintained a distance from schools, parks and churches and followed other restriction. A third measure, Ordinance E, caps the number at 135, but does not have a tax increase or other restrictions. Its main supporters decided to shift their backing to Prop. D."
Gov. Brown's budget is running into flak from fellow Democrats, who hope to restore at least some social service programs. The Capitol's traditional Reep-vs.-Dem budget fight is being replaced by Dem-vs.-Dem.
From Capital Public Radio's Ben Adler: "Many Democrats have been hoping state revenues would improve enough to restore at least some of those cuts, such as Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), who spoke at the rally for after school programs. "To the degree that we have a little bit of additional money - yes, we want to pay down debt and yes, we want to put some money away, appropriately, for a Rainy Day, but then we need to reinvest where we can," Leno said."
"But Democrats in the Senate and Assembly have different priorities. The Senate hopes to increase money for mental health programs, adult dental coverage and career technical education. The Assembly is focused on child care programs, courts and child poverty grant increases for the state's welfare-to-work program."
"However, Gov. Jerry Brown has made it very clear he's not interested in any of that. "Everybody wants to see more spending," he said last week as he released his updated budget proposal. "That's what this place is - it's a spending machine. You need something? Come here and see if you can get it! Well, but I'm the backstop at the end, and I'm gonna keep this budget balanced as long as I'm around here."
Gov. Brown's effort to take $500 million from the special fund fueled by the state's cap-and-trade auctions and use it instead in the state budget is drawing bipartisan criticism.
From the Bee's Dan Walters: "The two Democrats and one Republican on a Senate budget subcommittee denounced Brown's plan, which was included in a revision of his state budget last week."
"The $500 million loan to the general fund is designed to partially offset the Brown administration's forecast that revenues will dip below earlier projections in the 2013-14 fiscal year by $1.8 billion, but members of the committee said it made little sense since the same budget proposes to repay some of the state's "wall of debt," which is mostly money owed to schools."
"Money from the fees is supposed to pay for programs that reduce greenhouse gases, and the Legislative Analyst's Office had warned in the past that using the fees for other purposes could be illegal."
(For a more detailed look at the issue, click here for Capitol Weekly's story last week.)
The state's election officers, responding to demands from a number of media organizations, says she'll expand the release of campaign finance information to include daily spreadsheets listing raw data.
From the AP's Judy Lin: "California Secretary of State Debra Bowen has agreed to expand the way her office presents campaign finance data online after initially rejecting the request from a coalition of good-government groups, research organizations and newspapers, her spokeswoman said Tuesday."
"The Secretary of State's Office will make California's entire campaign finance and lobbying database, known as Cal-Access, available for download on one spreadsheet daily by Labor Day. Currently, the secretary of state's office creates CD-ROMs upon request and sends them by mail for $5, or the public has to search online by each candidate, group or committee.
The groups that asked for the change to the state's website applauded Bowen's decision and say it will help the public keep track of who is funding the campaigns of elected officials."
"The groups that asked for the change to the state's website applauded Bowen's decision and say it will help the public keep track of who is funding the campaigns of elected officials."
Finally, from our "Best Dressed Crooks" file comes the tale of a woman who robbed a bank in what looks like a floor-length ball gown.
"Stuart police are looking for someone who robbed a local bank while wearing a bright green dress, officials said."
"Officers responded to a report of a bank robbery at First State Bank in Stuart around 3:45 p.m. Monday, authorities said."
"The suspect handed the teller a note demanding money and the teller complied, police said. The suspect fled and a witness later reported seeing the suspect climb into the trunk of a car parked in a nearby alley."
A vision in green chiffon....