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25th CD special election Tuesday is a referendum on Trump



History will mark this moment, this May 12 special election in the California 25th congressional district as either a rebuff of President Trump or a resignation to Trumpism. In the race to fill former Rep. Katie Hill’s vacated seat, Democratic Assemblymember Christy Smith is neck-in-neck with Trump fanboy Mike Garcia, whose primary qualification seems to be that he is a former defense industry executive and one-time fighter pilot who promises to cut taxes.

Trump wants to win the seat badly, tweeting over the weekend: “Governor @GavinNewsom of California won’t let restaurants, beaches and stores open, but he installs a voting booth system in a highly Democrat area (supposed to be mail in ballots only) because our great candidate, @MikeGarcia2020, is winning by a lot. CA25 Rigged Election!”

In fact, as KPCC reported May 5, it was the twice-elected Republican Mayor of Lancaster,  R. Rex Parris, who requested an in-person voting center from the LA County Registrar of Voters because he is concerned about the disenfranchisement of his very GOP city’s high concentration of black and Latino voters.

“This is something the county should fix immediately,” Parris told KPCC, even though voter confusion would help Garcia, whom he supports. “There should not be even the appearance of affecting the outcome by limiting the ability to vote.”

Parris added: “I want Mike to win, I think he’d be a better congressman, but I don’t want to ‘jimmy’ the election.”

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Newsom issued an executive order that all elections must be conducted through mail-in ballots, although ballots can also be dropped off and some areas still offer in-person voting at local voting centers, preferred by low-income and foreign-born voters, according to election officials.

Republicans tend to turn out more than Democrats for special elections. On Sunday, the Los Angeles Times reported that “a ballot was mailed to each of the 25th District’s roughly 425,000 voters, with return postage paid. As of Saturday, 39% of GOP voters had mailed in their ballots compared with 25% of Democrats, according to Political Data Inc.”

Without a shred of irony, Garcia, 44 — who praises proud sexual harasser Trump at every juncture — used Hill’s resignation over leaked revenge-porn nude photos to augment his campaign against Smith.

“The last year and a half has been an embarrassment for our district,” Garcia wrote in an op-ed in the Santa Clarita Valley Signal. “And it’s time we restore integrity to our representation in our nation’s capitol.”

Meanwhile, Smith, 50, has campaigned as an educator and community activist who cares more about the health, social and financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic than false and dangerous survival-of-the-fittest bravado. One Smith campaign ad features video of Garcia extolling Trump’s leadership and says, “Everyone should have to figure out how to fend for themselves” during the pandemic.

During a Zoom debate, Garcia also touted the 2017 tax cut as “the catalyst and the fuel that started this booming economy that is now the best economy, before the coronavirus, that this world has ever seen.”

The reality now, however, is that the coronavirus has hit the state hard: as of Monday, May 11, California has 67,939 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 2,770 deaths. That’s in addition to  4.5 million unemployed and businesses in all sectors that may or may not survive, schools closed to the end of the year and May serving as “the transitional period into the Western Fire Season,” with some areas of concern for the summer months.

Meanwhile, Gov. Newsom has to delicately deal with a temperamental narcissistic president in order to get desperately needed federal funding.

Even when the times weren’t so dire, the Los Angeles Times  April 17 endorsement of Smith was clear: “There’s no question which candidate is better prepared to step into the debate and help shape smart policy. That’s state Assemblywoman Christy Smith, a quietly accomplished and centrist Democrat whose background includes stints as a U.S. Department of Education policy analyst and as a longtime member of the Newhall School District board. Her experience guiding a school district through the last economic downturn and now the state through its pandemic response makes her uniquely qualified for precisely this job at precisely this moment,” said The Times.

“Smith’s opponent, by comparison, is simply not a good fit for Congress at any moment,” with the editorial noting that Republican Mike Garcia‘s “nice backstory…doesn’t translate into legislative competence.”

But as Trump’s presidency indicates, competency is no longer a qualification to be an elected or public official.

Smith’s race against Garcia is a test: will those who claim to value their vote actually vote for a representative democracy or will voters slough off civic responsibility despite knowing the calamity a Garcia victory portends?

Mail-in ballots will count if they are postmarked by midnight on Tuesday, May 12, as long as they land at election offices in Ventura and Los Angeles counties by the close of business on Friday.

If Republicans succeed in flipping this blue district back to red, they will certainly cheer and Trump will tweet his thumbs off. It may also serve as a wake-up call for Democrats who do not think they have to worry about losing ground in November.

But this is not like any other predictable election year and while Smith and Garcia will face each other again on Nov. 3 to seek their own full two-year term, the winner of the CA 25th race on May 12 will have bragging rights and time in Congress to vote on funding and other matters immediately critical to California.

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Los Angeles

Los Angeles Mayor: Supreme Court decision “fundamentally un-American”

Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke to the Los Angeles Blade reflecting on Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade



Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (Blade photo from video by Troy Masters)

LOS ANGELES – During the Los Angeles Mayor’s Pride Garden Party held at The Getty House, the official residence of the mayor Saturday afternoon, Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke to the Los Angeles Blade reflecting on Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade.

Garcetti noted that “here in LA we defend those rights” after taking aim at the actions of the high court Friday in the ruling on the Mississippi case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health clinic. “Make no mistake, we have to be active,” Garcetti added.


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Los Angeles

Reminder: 101 closed through DTLA until 10pm Sunday

The closure began at 10 p.m. Saturday and will be completed by 10 p.m. Sunday, the Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering announced



Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – (KTLA) Motorists are being reminded that the stretch of 101 through the downtown area of Los Angeles is shut down for road restoration and reconstruction work.

KTLA reported the closure began at 10 p.m. Saturday and will be completed by 10 p.m. Sunday, the Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering announced.

The 24-hour closure between State Route 60 and the 10 Freeway interchange is needed for the Sixth Street Viaduct Replacement Project, which aims to replace the original, seismically-deficient structure built in 1932, authorities said.

During the closure, the California Department of Transportation will also be doing slab replacement work along the same stretch of the 101 Freeway.

The closure will center around the east side of the viaduct construction site in Boyle Heights. While the stretch is closed, drivers headed west on State Route 60 from the Pomona area will not be able to access the 101, officials said.

Off-ramps and on-ramps in the area will also be closed during as road work gets underway.

Drivers who reach the closure will see signs directing them to a detour.

(The City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering)

The new $588 million viaduct is expected to be completed in Summer of 2022, stretching between Boyle Heights and the Arts District.

Officials say it is the largest bridge project in the history of Los Angeles.

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Los Angeles

LA-DWP & Mayor Garcetti announce new outdoor watering restrictions

Sprinkler watering will be allowed Monday & Friday at odd-numbered addresses in the city, and even-numbered addresses on Thursday & Sunday



City of Los Angeles (Blade file photo)

LOS ANGELES – In a press conference Tuesday Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and officials from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) announced that outdoor watering in the city will be restricted to two days a week starting June 1.

The announcement comes as the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California declared an unprecedented water shortage emergency two weeks ago, imposing restrictions after MWD’s board voted to adopt the emergency measures to “reduce non-essential water use” in certain areas. Cities and smaller water suppliers that get water from MWD are required to start restricting outdoor watering to one day a week, or to find other ways to cut usage to a new monthly allocation limit.


In Tuesday’s press conference Mayor Garcetti said L.A.’s two-day limit was still more lenient than the one imposed by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which has ordered many of its member agencies to restrict outdoor watering to once a week.

Sprinkler watering will be allowed on Monday and Friday at odd-numbered addresses in the city, and even-numbered addresses on Thursday and Sunday.

For more information visit the LADWP webpage here.

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