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FROM THIS EPISODE

The LA City housing scandal involves rampant misspending of taxpayer money, first reported by KCET public television last March. Controller Wendy Greuel, a candidate for Mayor, didn't start her audit until August. We hear from her and her predecessor, Laura Chick, who says Greuel waited too long. Also, should counties charge convicted inmates for living expenses when they're sentenced to jail? On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, has an Arab Spring arrived during the Russian winter?

Banner image: Screen grab of ousted LA Housing Authority Chief Rudolph Montiel from KCET's SoCal Connected feature on HACLA

Producers:
Sonya Geis
Frances Anderton
Anna Scott

Main Topic Was City Controller Wendy Greuel Slow to Check Out a Scandal? 20 MIN, 15 SEC

SoCal Connected on KCET has added a third report to its ongoing series on HACLA. That's the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, which spends a billion dollars in mostly federal money each year, supposedly to help find homes for people who need them. The first report was last March, and the story has finally caught the attention of elected officials.

Guests:
Laurel Erickson, KCET (@SoCalConnected)
Wendy Greuel, former Los Angeles City Controller (@Wendy_Greuel)
Laura Chick, Office of the Los Angeles City Controller (formerly) (@Laura_Chick)

Reporter's Notebook Riverside Jail Inmates Pay to Stay 6 MIN, 39 SEC

The Riverside County Counsel told the Board of Supervisors that most convicted criminals don't have jobs or assets of any kind. Nevertheless, the Board agreed to join several other counties in charging feels to convicts for time spent in county jail. Phil Willon reports for the Los Angeles Times.

Guests:
Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times (@LATimesWillon)

Main Topic Has the 'Arab Spring' Come to the Russian Winter? 26 MIN, 47 SEC

Has the 'Arab Spring' Come to the Russian Winter? Russian authorities did not clamp down on massive protests in all that country's nine time zones over the weekend, despite repeated shouts of Vladimir "Putin is a thief" and "Russia without Putin." Today, the billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov announced he'll challenge Putin in next year's presidential elections; the former finance minister Aleksei Kudrin said he'll form a new party to push for liberal reforms; and the Russian Orthodox Church called for election reform.  We hear about Saturday's mass protest and political challenges from the left, the right and even the Orthodox Church. Is Putin really at risk of losing his power?

Guests:
Andrew Kramer, New York Times (@AndrewKramerNYT)
Konstantin von Eggert, Kommersant
Stephen F. Cohen, New York University
Fiona Hill, Brookings Institution (@BrookingsInst)

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