Garcetti Lands Gig in India
I imagine Eric Garcetti singing along to the words of John Denver’s “Leaving on a jet plane” or Demi Lovato’s“Sorry not sorry” (not to be confused with a Sari) as he learned that he will indeed become the next U.S. ambassador to India. It’s been nearly 2 years in the works and thanks to a Senate vote of 52 to 42 on Wednesday, the former L.A. City Mayor realized that dreams really do come true (cue Tinker Bell). While you may think it took sheer patience and persistence for Garcetti to get his new post, it actually took more than that. In fact, as shared by Calpeek, it took Eric’s parents (Sukey and Gil) to step in spending thousands of dollars on a DC lobbyist to help win over the Republican and Democratic votes Eric needed to board that Air India flight. The reason for the delay and the need to dip into the family coffers was due to concerns expressed by legislators about Garcetti’s knowledge of his senior aide’s conduct that led to sexual harassment claims (for the record, Garcetti denies all knowledge of the reported incidents, regardless of what photographs show). While Garcetti is moving on to a land where he can practice his Hindi, the charges against his aide still linger and will go to trial later this year.
Tour T-Shirts Not Available for This Road Show
Governor Gavin Newsom is skipping the normal “State of the State” address and will instead “tour” California. He is starting his tour at home: in Sacramento. Isn’t that like a “staycation”? Some might have thought a “tour” would require traveling around the state in a large bus or maybe by train. To be fair, the Governor will be giving speeches in three other locations: the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and San Diego. So what the Governor calls a “tour” others might call hitting the four largest media markets in the state. A tour does sound more interesting, but we doubt there will be any t-shirts made. The Sacramento Bee’s Jack Ohman suggested a few other stops the Governor could make and even wrote some talking points.
Doesn’t a 19 Count Indictment Deserve More News Coverage?
Maybe it is a sign that Angelenos are so used to their elected leaders being tried for corruption that they hardly pay attention anymore. As Calpeek has discussed, suspended L.A. City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas is on trial for corruption, among other charges, in Federal court. The trial started last week and there has been very little news coverage to date. Calpeek would like to thank some local journalists, especially 2 Urban Girls, which has been posting regular updates on the trial. Most other news outlets have not written about the trial since it started. Ridley-Thomas was one of the most powerful politicians in Los Angeles and his case involves other major players. A cynic might question why local news outlets aren’t providing coverage.
Maybe Try Butter on Your Bagels This Year
Bagels and lox may be a staple for some, but this year, bagel lovers may need to find other options. Both commercial and sport salmon fishing off the California coast is “…dead in the water for all of 2023,” according to a story in the Sacramento Bee. Federal regulators are trying to protect the fish population, which has significantly dwindled during the ongoing drought. The recent rains are expected to help the population rebound over the next few years, but Californians will have to look elsewhere if they want to put a little poached salmon on the dinner table. The Golden State Salmon Association says the $1.4 billion industry will take a huge hit this year including a massive impact to those who fill the related 23,000 jobs. Sounds like a bigger problem than what to put on your bagel.
How Do We Spell Boondoggle in California?
It’s spelled H I G H S P E E D R A I L. According to Dictionary.com, a boondoggle is “a wasteful and worthless project undertaken for political, corporate, or personal gain, typically a government project funded by taxpayers.” The example they use is high-speed rail. Seriously. In 2008, California voters narrowly approved a ballot proposition that would fund high-speed rail’s $9 billion dollar price tag. Additional funding was expected to be necessary. 15 years later, the costs have skyrocketed (over $100 billion more than originally estimated), expected future ridership is down, and completion is over 10 years away. The California High-Speed Rail Authority has released a “2023 Project Update Report”. They deserve credit for being optimistic, but the L.A. Times reports that there is little reason to be optimistic. Former Governor Jerry Brown, construction trades unions, and construction companies love the idea, but loving an idea and making it a reality are two different things.
Prop 22 Ruling is Uber Win for Gig Employers
As reported by the New York Times, a California appeals court stated on Monday that Proposition 22 – the ballot measure California voters passed in 2020 which classified Uber and Lyft drivers as independent contractors rather than employees, should remain state law. Now, if you thought the courts had overturned the proposition, you are correct – but that was so last year (literally). The most recent ruling is a victory for gig employers who do not have to pay workers for unemployment insurance, health insurance, or business expenses. But don’t celebrate yet, Corporate America. The Service Employees International Union along with several rideshare drivers filed a lawsuit challenging the proposition in 2021.