FROM Dennis Zine
Waste, Fraud, Abuse and Los Angeles Politics San Fernando Valley City Councilman Dennis Zine and Westside attorney Ron Galperin have joined me in the KCRW studios. They are candidates to replace Wendy Greuel as Los Angeles City Controller. But what does the Controller do? We ask Raphael Sonenshein, who was executive director of the Charter Reform Commission that re-designed the Controller's job, then hear from the candidates themselves.
Los Angeles: The City of Fees The City of Los Angeles has furloughed some workers, laid off others and cut services to get rid of a deficit once set at $450 million. At the same time, it's failed to collect some $541 million in unpaid debt. Billing problems have turned up in audits by the elected City Controller, Wendy Greuel, and now the City Council has created a new job, Inspector General of Collections. We hear from Greuel and from the only council member to vote against the new position, Dennis Zine from the San Fernando Valley.
Mayor Villaraigosa and the State of the City This was the day for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to put up or shut up with regard to city finances, the Department of Water and Power and relations with the City Council. Just a few days ago, he warned that whole departments might have to shut down for two days a week and that 4000 workers might have to be laid off. Credit agencies lowered LA’s rating. Today, the Mayor presented a new budget and addressed the State of the City .
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
In Janesville, WI, Middle America meets the new American dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn't prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. We hear what's happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.