As Los Angeles' credit rating gets a downgrade, we look at Mayor Villaraigosa’s plan to save money by cutting the staff for Neighborhood Councils. Unemployment, bank bailouts and government gridlock have created a nightmare scenario for the party in power. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, will the Democrats lose control of either the House or the Senate in this mid-term election year? Is Republican Scott Brown really bipartisan? Is Barbara Boxer in trouble?
FROM THIS EPISODE
Last month, when the Wall Street Journal and NBC News asked voters which party they liked best, Democrats and Republicans tied with 41% each. That's a change from the pattern of recent years, when Democrats have come out ahead in so-called "generic" polls. Among voters most intensely interested in this year's midterm elections, Republicans this time around had a 15-point lead.
Jennifer Duffy, Cook Political Report (@jennifereduffy)
Dana Milbank, Washington Post (@Milbank)
Jerry Roberts, CalBuzz.com
Tom Davis, former Congressman (R-VA)
David Corn, Mother Jones magazine (@DavidCornDC)
First it was Moody's, which put the City of Los Angeles on its negative watch list. Today, Standard & Poor's downgraded LA's credit rating from AA to AA-minus. That means it'll cost millions of dollars more to operate on borrowed money. Mayor Villaraigosa is trying to cut costs, and one target has been the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment. DONE provides support for Neighborhood Councils, and some Council leaders are concerned that elected officials are trying to gut the city's experiment in grassroots democracy.
More From Which Way, L.A.?
Which Way, LA? The Question that Won't Go Away 23 years ago, the fires of the Rodney King riots were burning and the sirens wailing when KCRW first asked, WWLA? We've been through fires, floods, earthquakes and massive social, cultural and economic change. While this is the last program titled WWLA? the question still needs to be asked. We talk with a group of important and thoughtful people about what LA has become and about the challenges to be faced in the future…as we continue.
Then and Now: Is LA Still the Car Capital of the World? Urban planners got some bad news today. Ridership on public transit in Southern California is on the decline, despite the billions being spent in recent years to build light rail and subway lines. Why aren't more drivers leaving their cars at home, as traffic gets more congested than ever? Meantime, there's a shortage of money to repair aging roads, bridges and other parts of the infrastructure. We look at the impact on the state's economy.
Does California Have a Double Standard for the Public's Protection? Porter Ranch and Vernon are mirror images of each other. In one, schools have been closed and thousands of residents are being moved away by the polluter—just months after a natural gas leak was discovered. In the other, residents complained for years about health risks to school children from exposure to lead and arsenic from a battery recycling plant— until the federal government finally stepped in.
Is 'Warfare' a Thing of the Past at the LAPD? Video of police misconduct wasn’t as common 25 years ago as it is today. The spectacle of LAPD officers beating Rodney King was a wake-up call, but didn’t persuade a jury in Simi Valley. When the cops received not-guilty verdicts, the city exploded. We hear from veteran officers who say they’ve changed. What about their tactics? Have they gained the trust of marginalized communities and people of color?
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