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New year, new talk about California and L.A. politics

January 3, 2012 | 12:36 pm

Last week brought an end-of-year flurry of top 10 lists from 2011. But that was then and this is now. It's time to discuss what’s coming in California, and Los Angeles in particular, in 2012.

On Monday I joined Mariel Garza, editorial pages editor of the Daily News and other Los Angeles Newspaper Group papers, on Deadline L.A. to talk about the year to come with hosts Barbara Osborn and Howard Blume. Listen to the podcast: Download Kpfk_120102_152953deadlinela

We kept away from the obvious national stories, like the presidential election, and focused on the state and local stuff. We even stayed away from the mayoral race; we'll be hearing a lot about it, but it's really a 2013 thing. So what did we come up with?

If you like politics and elections -- and Mariel and I do -- there is the fallout from redistricting, with incumbents and challengers scrambling to figure out what districts they're in now. There's the whole matter of how the new "top two" primary system that we're using June 5 might upend the traditional Democrat-versus-Republican story. I make my pitch for the importance of the race for district attorney and how it could affect medical marijuana, the death penalty and how many adolescents we continue to lock up. Speaking of the death penalty, Mariel sees a possible showdown at the ballot box this year over whether to shut down the death chamber or keep it running. We talked about the state budget crisis, cuts and November measures on taxes too, but I'm insisting that it's still too early to know which initiatives will make the ballot and which won't.

Did we miss anything? Of course. Listen, then send me a note and set us straight.

If you're already feeling nostalgic for 2011, you can listen to the podcast of the previous week's program with Mariel and me, hosted by Barbara and Howard, running through our version of last year's state and local greatest hits. Listen to the podcast here: Download Kpfk_111226_152953deadlinela

And if you're off work this week and at a loss for things to do, you can listen to the program from several weeks ago in which I attempt to unravel for Barbara and Howard some of the lies, cheats and secrets involved in California taxes. Here's a teaser: Despite popular belief to the contrary, and despite a series of ballot measures to purportedly put a stop to the practice, Sacramento has never raided gas tax money to pay for non-transportation things. Never. Ever. Listen to the podcast here: Download Kpfk_111219_152953deadlinela


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--Robert Greene

Photo: Gov. Jerry Brown outside the Capitol. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

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