Off The Presses Radio Summary

Last week on Off The Presses radio, we interviewed Joel Fox
and hounded him with questions about his new book and some Nov. 2 ballot
initiatives. Joel did a good job explaining how Prop. 25 would work in terms of
whether some taxes could be raised with a simple majority vote and the legal arguments
over the language being used in the ballot description and arguments.

Off The Presses also spoke with Variety’s managing
editor Ted Johnson about a variety of fun issues including net neutrality, Levi
Johnston, Robert Gibbs, Prop. 8 and how various politicians have responded to
recent court rulings.

Click HERE to listen
to the full show!

Off The Presses

Who says money and politics don’t mix? (Well, nobody).

On this week’s episode of Off
The Presses
radio program, we spoke with Bob Stern of the Center for
Governmental Studies who commented on the organization’s new report, Money &
Power in the City of Angels
. Among its findings is that L.A. city
incumbents were all easily reelected and outraised their opponents, 19-1, and
that 99.993% of L.A. City Council votes were unanimous last year.

We also chatted with PR guru and political pundit Michael
Levine who publishes the LBNElert and
explained why we’re fascinated with Lindsay Lohan’s and Mel
Gibson’s troubles and how he’s leading a boycott of Scotland over
its role in releasing convicted Lockarbie terrorist Abdel Baset al-Megrahi and
if BP had any influence in return for new oil agreements in Libya. Michael also
revealed who won’t be the next GOP nominee for president.

Disclose Act and Cheese Factories on the Moon

On Off The Presses last week, we caught up with Dick Castner of the
U.S. Chamber of Commerce who explained how the pending "Disclose"
Act will put  business interests at competitive disadvantages when
supporting candidates.

awaiting action by the U.S.
Senate, the bill would sets new rules for American corporations and
groups, including a prohibition of corporations and other interest
groups in
coordinating spending with candidates or political parties. Plus, CEOs
have to appear in any ads paid for by their corporations (which, of
course,could help launch the political careers of more corporate

We also spoke with CSU Channel Islands political science
professors Sean Kelly
and Scott Frisch,
who have co-authored a new book about Congressional pork spending,
"Cheese Factories on the Moon: Why Earmarks are Good for American
Democracy," which will be published this summer by Paradigm Publishers.

Paul Koretz’s Beauty Pageant Monologue

While many of Los Angeles’s city officials are seemingly ignoring our
fiscal decline into Chapter 11, one Valley city councilmember thinks
he has the answer, "people power!"

In his monthly column published in the June edition of the Sherman
Oaks News, Councilman Paul Koretz writes, "Even though Los Angeles
faces many tough challenges, I have great hope for the future of our
city. The reason is simple – I’ll call it people power!"

He continues: "Every day, people in action make a difference for the
sake of their community. To me, this is absolutely inspiring."

Off The Presses

week, Off The Presses radio interviewed Meg Whitman’s policy advisor
Rob Stutzman and Fox & Hounds’ publisher Joel Fox. Click here to listen.

Stutzman presented some of Ms. Whitman’s policy objectives to reign in
state spending and improve the state’s business climate through
regulatory reforms.

He also drew contrasts between Whitman and Jerry
Brown along the lines of business management experiences and "career
politician" experiences, which will surely be a theme of Whitman’s ads
between now and Nov. 2. Plus, Stutzman is a witty guy and rolled with
the radio show hosts’ weird senses of humor.

Off the Presses – Internet Radio Talks Policy and Politics

Last week, my Off the Presses radio co-host Damian Jones and I spoke with LAUSD board member Tamar Galatzan
about her lone vote against a motion for the cash-strapped school
district to boycott non-union carwashes (yes, carwashes).

We also spoke
with economist John Husing about how west coast seaports are
recovering from the recession and creating jobs in new sectors related
to international trade and goods movement.

Click here to tune in! And don’t forget to listen live this Thursday at 10 a.m. via as we talk to Joel Fox, as well as Rob Stutzman who most Fox & Hounds readers will recognize as Meg Whitman’s policy advisor.


Remember last year when incoming president Barack Obama said on national TV that he would like to use some of his political capital to push for a college football playoff system?

I don’t see the tea party activists holding him accountable to this promise, but perhaps they should, especially those who live in Boise, ID.

The only thing more complicated than the health care reforms passed by the Senate and the House is the formula used to determine which top two football teams get to play for the Bowl Championship Series game at the end of the season. In this case, the BCS system seems a little more transparent than the health care reform process in Congress, but not by much.

On the topic of health care reform, maybe if we fed the age, weight, and physical condition of every American into the BCS computer, it would spit out a better health care plan?

High Times and Misdemeanors in L.A.

On the same day that a new police chief assumed the helm in Los Angeles, a battle waged at City Hall over marijuana dispensaries.

Here in L.A., we have experienced an explosion of such dispensaries over the past four years. While other cities in California acted to limit the numbers of dispensaries, our city council opted to keep punting the issue to avoid having to favor important constituencies over others.

Today, it is estimated that there are approximately 1,000 pot dispensaries in the City of Los Angeles, many of which are concentrated in the San Fernando Valley where I live. One is located just one block from my house, and another is located two blocks from my kids’ elementary school.

For those with chronic pains or facing deadly diseases, I don’t think very many people object to them being able to get relief. The objections usually arise from residential and commercial neighbors who complain about the dispensaries’ clientele, who, in some cases smoke pot inside the store or in the parking lot or loiter in front of the store. Others worry that some stores are a magnet for crime.

Rushed Judgments on Limbaugh Buying Rams

As someone who dislikes the current ownership of the St. Louis Rams as much as I dislike Rush Limbaugh, I was not disappointed that the self-appointed head of the GOP was dropped from a bid to purchase what used to be my favorite football team.

Limbaugh’s politics don’t offend me; I just don’t like him, and neither do many of the NFL’s owners and players who objected to his potential ownership of an NFL team.

I agree that his conflicts with leaders in the African American community would be bad for business, so the NFL owners had every right to vote against his bid just as they could vote against Howard Stern owning a team or anyone else who would be a lightening rod of undesired publicity.

Yet, I am amused that the reasons why they objected to Limbaugh owning an NFL team had to do with his past criticisms of black athletes and politicians.

Confessions of an Irresponsible Voter

Since nobody in Sacramento is accepting responsibility for the state’s
fiscal disaster, I will. I am not a state officeholder or government
employee. I am just a small business owner, husband, and father of two in
the San Fernando Valley. I pay my taxes, and I do my best to support local

So, why should I accept responsibility for the state’s ongoing fiscal
problems that resulted in a near meltdown this year? What do I have to do
with teachers being laid off and seniors losing in-home support services
while our taxes increase?

The reason is that, as a voter in every state election since 1988, I have
voted for several items that I should have studied more carefully before I
bought into the hype and voted with my heart instead of my brain.

I have let you down, California, and I apologize.