Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Kevin James Announces Half A Million Dollars Pledged In Race To Be LA's Next Mayor

Barely a day after a Los Angeles Times op-ed piece deliberately omitted to mention Mayoral candidate Kevin James in what appeared to be a biased review of Mayoral hopefuls, Kevin James responded with the only news that really matters; he has already received campaign contribution commitments which "Exceed $500,000".

Kevin James announced his candidacy on March 16, 2011. In slightly less
than 2 and a half weeks, James has $500k in campaign commitments.
In a statement released on his campaign website, KevinJamesForMayor.com, James stated:

“I am honored and humbled to have earned such strong early support from all across the community. I am encouraged and motivated by their commitment to this campaign and promise to do my best to put Los Angeles back on track to prosperity. We can do better. We must do better.”

James’ political consultant, John S. Thomas, noted: “This early show of support clearly demonstrates Kevin James’ strength as a candidate. Our campaign fully intends to garner the resources necessary to run a winning campaign. This is precisely the kind of momentum an outsider requires to topple the status quo and break through the barrage of special interest money that will be flooding our opponent’s bank accounts.”

What is interesting is how James has been able to raise so much money, so soon. Some clue as to James' remarkable success might be found in something else that Thomas said; "a select list of early contributors will be available by request. These donors have committed to serve as Co-Chairmen ($25k) and Finance Committee ($10k)."

It 's a very smart approach to fundraising, the kind of financial smarts this City will need in its next Mayor who will take over the eight years of fiscal irresponsibility that will be Mayor Villaraigosa's legacy.

Thus far, James has set himself ahead of the pack of Mayoral hopefuls which is said to include L.A. City Council members Jan Perry and Eric Garcetti, City Controller Wendy Greuel, First Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner, County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and real estate developer Rick Caruso.

On June 30, 2011 all campaigns have to file reports of their fundraising, so it will be interesting to see which of the others will be in second place to James.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Kevin James for Mayor 2013

A refreshing breath of  fresh air swept across the south lawn of Los Angeles City Hall this morning; Kevin James announced his candidacy for Mayor of Los Angeles.

Retired LA Daily News editor Ron Kaye introduced James, a 47 year-old former Assistant US Attorney who currently hosts a late night talk show on KRLA 870.

James gave a short speech outlining his vision for America's second largest city. “LA must become more business friendly across the board. Bringing jobs back is one of my top priorities.” James stated,“Given the wide range of industries based in the Los Angeles region, coupled with the diverse and far reaching pool of talent in our city, there is no city in the country better situated for a major recovery than ours.”

I'm sure it was purely coincidental that the City of Los Angeles decided to cut off the electricity powering the public address system, nevertheless, James's message was clearly heard, leaving little doubt that James means business; business for Los Angeles.

James's business friendly message received enthusiastic applause from the small but influential crown of supporters, and the strong presence of local media showed that James's candidacy is one to be taken seriously.

Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley was amongst the spectators cheering James's candidacy. LA's 'Top Cop' stopped short of an official endorsement, simply describing James as "a very good friend" of many years.

Underlining that James means business, Gary Aminoff a respected businessman and President of the San Fernando Valley Republican Club, showed his support of James's candidacy with hearty congratulations  and encouragement on the launch of the campaign website, www.KevinJamesForMayor.com.

James stated that he expected to raise between $2M to $3M for his campaign, and indicated that he had received commitments for "over a hundred thousand dollars" since word of his candidacy spread yesterday.

Good luck Kevin James, Los Angeles needs you.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Kevin James to run for Mayor of Los Angeles

Kevin James will officially announce his candidacy for Mayor of Los Angeles at 10AM, Wednesday, March 16, 2011 on the South Lawn at City Hall. It's a welcome piece of good news after the doom, gloom and disaster that we've witnessed in the past week - and of course I'm not just referring to the results of the 2011 City elections.

Kevin James, former Assistant US Attorney and current KRLA Talk Show host
led a brave and honorable call to investigate fundraising irregularities in 2009
According to the Los Angeles Times, "Another contender for the 2013 Los Angeles mayoral race is throwing his hat into the ring.

Radio personality Kevin James, who broadcasts on KRLA-AM (870) weekdays from midnight to 3 a.m., plans to announce his candidacy on Wednesday on the steps of City Hall.

Campaign spokesman John Thomas said James, 47, wants to make Los Angeles more business-friendly and believes that "we desperately need new leadership in L.A." James already has working relationships with union leaders, business officials and nonprofit groups, Thomas said.

"One of the secrets to his candidacy is he brings a broad-based coalition to the table," Thomas said.

A radio broadcaster since 2003, James lives in Laurel Canyon and has practiced law for such firms as Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher. He was a prosecutor for the U.S. attorney's office and spent six years on the board of directors of AIDS Project L.A."

Fittingly, the last time James was on the City Hall steps at the South Lawn was in May of 2009 when he was one of a few good men and women brave enough to join me in demanding an investigation into election irregularities by a City Hall insider.

In having the courage then to stand up to the "business as usual brigade," James demonstrated the kind of no-nonsense leadership and commitment to transparency that this City desperately needs after six years of catch-phrases and photo-op failures.

I hope you will join me on City Hall's South Lawn tomorrow to cheer "Kevin James for Mayor!"

Monday, March 7, 2011

Wondering How To Vote on Tuesday, March 8 2011?

Tuesday, March 8, 2012 is Election Day in LA, although if you don't live in one of the City's 8 even-numbered Council Districts, you might not know it. If you don't know where to vote, CLICK HERE.

In case you are undecided about which way to vote, or whether to vote at all, I have some suggestions for you, as well as some links to others with different recommendations. Although we may differ on our recommendations, the one thing I know we all agree upon, is that you have to vote. Our democracy fails when voters allow elected officials to get a pass because of voter apathy.

So here goes:

No question, vote to re-elect Paul Krekorian. Regardless of the fact that he is the odds on favorite, go and vote for him anyway. The bigger his majority in votes cast, the stronger message it sends to other Councilmembers that they need to be as accountable and accessible as Krekorian in order to justify holding on to office. Vote Krekorian.

This is a hard choice. Incumbent Tom LaBonge is facing credible challenges from Stephen Box and Thomas O'Grady, making the likelihood of a runoff between LaBonge and one of the challengers increasingly likely.

LaBonge is one of the politest people you will meet in City Hall, but many wonder if being a nice guy is enough to justify a third term. My recommendation is a vote for LaBonge if you like the way he has represented your district and respect his 35 years of public service.

But if you want to make a change in Los Angeles, vote for Stephen Box, he endorsed by LA Clean Sweep, and has the wit, desire and will to be an accountable representative in City Hall. Vote Box for CD4.

This is an easy one for me. David Barron is a Los Angeles City Code Enforcement Officer who has a keen interest in the City he lives and works in. Like Stephen Box, David Baron is endorsed by LA Clean Sweep, the movement to oust lackluster incumbents like Tony Cardenas who seem more concerned with special interests than the needs of LA. Vote Barron.

Another easy one. Incumbent Bernard Parks has been the target of a nasty and well funded campaign by Forescee Hogan-Rowles, mostly because he is the most fiscally prudent Councilmember in City Hall. Parks is also endorsed by Los Angeles Clean Sweep. Vote Parks.

If incumbent Herb Wesson Jr. can be beaten by anyone, then Althea Raw Shaw is the person to vote for. I can do no better than to repeat what Higby at the Mayor Sam blog says "Herb Wesson is a joke with his animal shows in Council. He's another recycled politician from Sacramento. Althea Shaw however would bring the sensibilities of a regular person and would be an impassioned advocate for public safety and victims. Shaw was thrust into the spotlight when tragedy befell her family much in the same way Carolyn McCarthy became a respected member of Congress following the shooting death of her family members. Vote for Shaw."

Brad Smith (another Los Angeles Clean Sweep endorsee) could well surprise favorite Mitch Englander with voters associating the name Smith with that of outgoing Councilmember Smith. Vote Smith.

Rudy Martinez. There is no other choice given the way the incumbent has conducted his campaign. Vote Martinez.

Easy. No on everything. The City's problems will not be solved by propositions, but by sound and prudent fiscal management. If we had a Council where the elected officials care more about balancing a budget than pandering to the special interests who line their pockets at our expense, we wouldn't need propositions to solve revenue shortfalls. Say 'No' to everything, and kick out those who got us into this mess, and install candidates who will run the City responsibly.

Seat 1: Essavi
Seat 3: Write in "Mark Isler"

District 1: Lee
District 3: Pugliese
District 5: Fernandez
District 7: Love

Check out what others think:

Walter Moore - Walter has a handy-dandy concise voter guide.

Mayor Sam Blog - Very detailed analysis and endorsements from Higby and Joe B.
CD2 Paul Krekorian
CD4 Stephen Box
CD6 Anyone But Cardenas
CD8 Split Decision
CD10 Anyone But Wesson
CD12 Anyone But Englander
CD14 Split Decision

Street-Hassle - Tons of analysis from Mulholland Terrace

Whatever you do, please, please, please, GET OUT AND VOTE!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Apologies - Site Updates In Progress

As many of you know I  have not been active on this Blog since June 2009, due to potential conflicts of interest while serving at the City Attorney's Office. I left the City Attorney's Office in March 2010 and returned to the District Attorney's Office.

I decided to reactivate this Blog yesterday and, in the process, many of you may have received an email with nothing but a list of old posts. I apologize for this unintended intrusion, and assure you that in future there will be something worth reading.


David Berger