Joe Mathews of the Times' Sacramento bureau has sold a book proposal called The People's Machine: Governor Schwarzenegger and the Rise of Blockbuster Democracy, says Publishers Lunch. The book is said to be about the roots of movie populism and political populism, and how "authentic populist" Schwarzenegger used both to win and to govern. The book sold to PublicAffairs for publication in winter 2006.
Speaking of Schwarzenegger coverage, the LAT has hired a new editor to oversee local political reportage and Sacramento. It's Pat McMahon, a former editor in Metro and Orange County who left the paper several years ago. Most recently he was a correspondent for USA Today in Seattle. Sources say one of his main charges is to improve coverage of the governor and the state Capitol.
The paper also has added a new reporter to the L.A. City Hall beat: Noam N. Levey, whose first byline was on a piece yesterday on former councilman Nick Pacheco's relationship to the law firm of Thever & Associates. Levey comes from the San Jose Mercury News and is expected to focus on the mayor's office.
Finally, former LAT political reporter and San Francisco bureau chief Maria LaGanga has rejoined the paper to cover the presidential campaign.