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Arguments over rates charged by LA's Department of Water and Power have been central to what Mayor Villaraigosa calls the undermining of "civic unity." Now he's put a Wall Street banker in charge of the DWP. We ask Austin Beutner about his qualifications to run a public utility, how the DWP can be made accountable to the public that own it, his plans for converting to "green energy" and what they might cost.  On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, in a Top Secret memo, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said there's no long-range plan to deal with Iran if it learns to make nuclear weapons. Gates denies it was a "wake-up call."  So, what was he up to?  And what are the options?

Banner image: Mayor Villaraigosa announces nomination of Austin Beutner as Interim General Manager of the Department of Water and Power. April 19, 2010

Main Topic Dissecting the Iran Memo 27 MIN, 44 SEC

President Obama has tried diplomacy, but yesterday Iran announced that it's starting work on a new plant to enrich uranium. The President's fallback strategy is getting the United Nations to step up sanctions designed to prevent Iran from "reaching the threshold." That means developing the capacity to build a nuclear bomb.  But what if that doesn't work?  Sunday's New York Times revealed a Top Secret three-page memo from Defense Secretary Robert Gates saying the US does not have an effective long-range policy.

David Sanger, National Security Correspondent for the New York Times (@SangerNYT)
Tony Karon, Time magazine (@TonyKaron)
Michael Rubin, American Enterprise Institute (@mrubin1971)
Trita Parsi, National Iranian American Council (@tparsi)

Main Topic Mayor Villaraigosa's Latest Choice to Lead the DWP 25 MIN, 1 SEC

In last night's speech on the State of the City, Mayor Villaraigosa said the strain of challenges facing LA have "undermined civic unity." He referred specifically to the battle over increasing utility rates, explained as necessary for the Department of Water and Power to switch from fossil fuels to "green energy." He promised to reform the DWP, an agency he said is known more for secrecy than transparency. This week Villaraigosa appointed Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner to become the DWP's ninth general manager in the past 10 years.

Austin Beutner, Los Angeles Times owner (@austinbeutner)
Ron Kaye, RonKayeLA.com
Mary Leslie, LA Business Council (@labctweets)
Margot Roosevelt, Reporter, Los Angeles Times

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