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LA County got more confusing than ever yesterday, when three out of five supervisors voted to re-take control of two troubled departments that deal with children. That was a public humiliation for Executive Officer William Fujioka. His job was created by the supervisors themselves just four years ago to make county government more coherent.  What are county residents supposed to think now? We talk with Zev Yaroslavsky and Mark Ridley-Thomas, board members on different sides of the issue. Also, a surprise runoff in the race for California's 36th Congressional District. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, Osama bin Laden is dead, but the way he was killed has led to a UN investigation, and the way he was found has renewed debate over torture. 

Banner image: LA County CEO William Fujioka with Supervisors Zev Yaroslavsky (L) and Mark Ridley-Thomas (R)

Making News Race for California's 36th District Set for a Run-off 7 MIN, 39 SEC

Yesterday, a primary election was held to fill the South Bay congressional vacancy created by Democrat Jane Harman when she quit to work for a Washington think-tank early this year. There were 16 candidates and, under California's new election laws, the top two will be in a run-off, regardless of party. Since the district was Gerrymandered for a Democrat, political observers figured the top two would both be from that party. Gene Maddaus, who reports for the LA Weekly, says maybe not.

Gene Maddaus, Variety (@GeneMaddaus)

Main Topic Will LA County Government Ever Make Sense? 17 MIN, 45 SEC

Los Angeles County government was established more than 120 years ago, with five co-equal supervisors to both make the laws and carry them out. That was long before it became the largest local government in the country, including a collection of gigantic bureaucracies with no single authority to coordinate management. Efforts to establish a county mayor have gone nowhere, but four years ago the board established an appointed county executive to oversee all the departments. William Fujioka was hired and given administrative powers. Yesterday, the supervisors voted three-to-two to take back control of two troubled departments. We talk with supervisors on both sides

Jim Newton, Blueprint (@newton_jim)
Zev Yaroslavsky, veteran politician (@ZevYaroslavsky)
Mark Ridley-Thomas, LA County Board of Supervisors (@mridleythomas)

Main Topic Osama bin Laden: Targeted Killings and Torture 26 MIN, 37 SEC

Osama bin Laden: Targeted Killings and TortureThe killing of Osama bin Laden was an act of finality, but international debate about its legality and morality has just begun, and the discovery of his hideout in Pakistan has renewed arguments in this country over what some call "enhanced interrogation" and others call "torture."

Evan Pérez, CNN (@evanperez)
Ben Wizner, American Civil Liberties Union
Jed Rubenfeld, Yale Law School
Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post (@JRubinBlogger)
David Sirota, International Business Times (@davidsirota)

Back to Our Future

David Sirota

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