Saturday, December 31, 2011

"Newly Drawn Assembly Districts Could Lead to Competitive Races"

Many of our state's newly drawn legislative districts are under fire. As I previously wrote here, here, and here, those who oppose the new districts have launched a twofold attack against the legislative lines.

Opponents are going both to the ballot box (regarding the State Senate lines) and to the courthouse (regarding the Congressional lines). It remains to be seen whether newly drawn legislative districts -- drawn for the first time in the state's history by an independent redistricting commission -- will stand, or whether they will change as a result of either a judicial decision or the voters' decision.

Finish reading this article on KCET.

"Which State Senate Maps Will Show the Way?"

Challenges to California's newly drawn legislative lines are abound. As I have written about here, here, and here, opponents of our state's newly drawn district lines have waged a two-step attack and have taken their battles to the ballot box and the courthouse.

No one can predict the success of opponents' challenges. Judges may find that the lines are constitutionally drawn. Voters may decide that the independent redistricting commission did its job and that the current lines will stand.

Finish reading this article on KCET.

"The Housing Authority Gives Nothing But Disappointment"

This morning I spoke with one of my dearest friends, a very smart person, generally about the state of our government. The words we used to describe current events were "poisonous" and "unbelievably disappointing." At one point we agreed that much of what our public officials do is mere "theatrics."

Is this type of contempt and dismay warranted? Unfortunately this week brings yet another -- in a seemingly endless series of examples -- of a public official behaving badly.

Finish reading this article on KCET.

"Think Lobbyists Cannot Give Campaign Donations to California Politicians? Think Again."

Under California law, registered lobbyists are prohibited from giving campaign contributions to state candidates. The purpose of this prohibition is rather straightforward. Contributions from those overtly seeking to influence elected officials could lead to corruption, or at least the appearance of corruption. Simply put, such contributions are or seem particularly unseemly.

However, under federal law, lobbyists are free to give to federal candidates. Federal law controls federal races, while state law dictates the permissible behavior for state races. Therefore, when state elected officials run for federal office, the same lobbyists prohibited from giving to state campaigns are free to give to federal ones. It strains common sense to think that state elected officials would be thankful for contributions to their state campaigns, but not as grateful to lobbyists for contributions in their federal campaigns.

Finish reading this article on KCET.

"Occupy L.A.: Was It Worth It?"

Jessica Levinson's 12/22/11 piece on is here.

Friday, December 30, 2011

"How Will the Political Landscape Change in California in 2012?"

Jessica Levinson's piece on on 12/27/11 is here.

"What is Next for Occupy L.A.?"

Jessica Levinson's piece on on 12/29/11 is here.

"Tracing the L.A. Coliseum's fiscal decay"

Jessica Levinson is quoted in this piece in the Los Angeles Times.

Here is an excerpt:

The Coliseum is now so broke that it is unable to make upgrades promised in its lease with USC, whose football Trojans are the stadium's main tenant. As a result, the panel is about to turn over day-to-day control of the taxpayer-owned property to the private school.
Jessica Levinson, a Loyola Law School professor who studies public corruption, described the commission's failure to spot warning signs of the scandal as a "great tragedy."
"This was below the standards of how you would run a neighborhood lemonade stand," she said.