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FROM THIS EPISODE

 Mayor Villaraigosa has hired a world-class business tycoon to make LA more "business friendly" and create jobs by getting in on the Green Revolution. We hear from Austin Beutner. We also talk with Bill Gross of eSolar in Pasadena, who says China is employing California technology to outstrip the US. On our rebroadcast of To the Point, one faction of the "tea party" movement will stage a national convention next month. It'll cost $549 to hear Sarah Palin make the keynote speech. Who are the tea-partiers?  Do they have that kind of money?  Are they a force for change or just scornful Republicans?

Banner image: Mayor Villaraigosa speaks with First Deputy Mayor and Chief Executive for Economic and Business Policy, Austin Beutner

Producers:
Frances Anderton
Sonya Geis

Main Topic Are 'Tea Parties' Real Politics? 27 MIN, 24 SEC

In the first year of the Obama Administration, the "tea party" movement made almost as much news as the federal stimulus, Wall Street, healthcare and the President himself.  Who organizes tea parties? Who goes to them?  Do they believe in "principles" or the slogans they chant for TV news cameras?  Could they become a coherent "movement" that could be seized by a charismatic candidate, like Sarah Palin?

Guests:
Dale Robertson, President, TeaParty.org
Mark Leibovich, New York Times (@MarkLeibovich)
Thomas Frank, Harper's magazine
Joe Bageant, journalist

The Wrecking Crew

Thomas Frank

Making News Proposition 8 Federal Trial Starts in San Francisco 17 MIN, 23 SEC

In a federal court in San Francisco, the challenge to California's Proposition 8 got under way today.  Both sides made opening statements and began calling witnesses. Brad Sears is executive director of the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy at the UCLA Law School.

Guests:
Brad Sears, Executive Director, UCLA's Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Policy

Main Topic LA's New Job Czar; Pasadena Green Energy Leader's China Contract 17 MIN, 50 SEC

Los Angeles may be America's biggest manufacturing center, but it's also notorious as a hard place to do business. Mayor Villaraigosa has begun what he calls "a total refocusing of economic development and job creation" in the City of LA. The first step is appointment of Austin Beutner to the newly created position of First Deputy Mayor and Chief Executive for Economic and Business Policy.  In an unprecedented grant of authority, he'll oversee no less than 13 city departments, including the Department of Water and Power, the Port of Los Angeles and development at the Los Angeles World Airports.

Meantime, a Pasadena company has just announced "the biggest solar-thermal deal ever," a $5 billion deal to build a massive project using California-based technology.  But the project will be constructed in China.

Guests:
Austin Beutner, Los Angeles Times owner (@austinbeutner)
Bill Gross, CEO and Founding Chairman, eSolar

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