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Democrats now hold both California's US Senate seats, almost three-fourths of the Congressional delegation, and all the statewide elected offices. They're on the verge of supermajorities in both the state Assembly and Senate.  Even Republicans say they're becoming irrelevant. Eighteen years ago, they offended Latinos -- the state's fastest growing voting bloc. Is there any chance they can turn that around? Also, the LA City Council has tentatively approved a retail sales tax increase for the March ballot, while doing a favor for real estate interests. But the two council members running for Mayor said, "No." On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, the FBI investigation of the CIA turns to the Pentagon.

Banner image: Barack Obama/flickr

Making News Real Estate Tax 7 MIN, 11 SEC

The LA City Council today voted to put a retail sales increase on the March ballot. Speaking with KCRW's Saul Gonzalez, Council President Herb Wesson reiterated the city's freeze on hiring and pay reduction for new police officers, saying, "We think that this would be an appropriate time for us to ask the voters what do they think." At Wesson's prodding, the Council turned down a proposal to tax real estate sales. Eric Garcetti and Jan Perry, both mayoral candidates voted against a new sales tax. Perry, who also talked to Saul, blamed a lack of clear language for how a real estate tax would be spent. "I think we owe it to the voters, the residents, and our city employees that if we put something like this on the ballot, that we have to be very clear that it will be spent on police, or fire, or whatever." Dave Zahniser covered today's action for the Los Angeles Times.

David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times (@DavidZahniser)

Main Topic Will Latinos Rescue California's Republican Party? 19 MIN, 29 SEC

In 1994, Republican Governor Pete Wilson won re-election with Proposition 187, which denied almost all state services to illegal immigrants. It was finally thrown out by the courts, but Latinos have never forgotten. Now they're the fastest-growing part of a very different electorate.  And yet, this year's GOP platform sounds exactly like Prop 187, "We call for the termination of all… state benefits to illegal aliens other than emergency medical care."

Ron Nehring, Republican strategist (@RonNehring)
Luis Alvarado, co-founder of Grow Elect, a Latino Republican PAC; former press secretary for the California Republican Party (@latinostrategy)
Jaime Regalado, California State University, Los Angeles (@PBI)

Main Topic The FBI, the CIA and Now, the Pentagon 25 MIN, 22 SEC

Image-for-WWLA.jpgDefense Secretary Leon Panetta says one of the women associated with former CIA Director David Petraeus exchanged tens of thousands of pages of e-mails with General John Allen, Commander of US and NATO troops in Afghanistan, nominated to be Commander of NATO in Europe. At the White House briefing today, press secretary Jay Carney expressed the President's admiration for the job Allen had done in Afghanistan, acknowledging that "at the request of the Secretary of Defense, the President has put on hold General Allen's nomination as Supreme Allied Commander Europe pending the investigation of General Allen's conduct by the Department of Defense IG." Is the nation at risk?  Is it really about the hubris of powerful men, designing women and Washington politics?

Scott Shane, New York Times (@ScottShaneNYT)
Jane Mayer, New Yorker (@JaneMayerNYer)
Paul Pillar, Georgetown University / Brookings Institution (@GeorgetownCSS)
Adam Entous, Washington Post (@adamentous)

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