Tuesday Buzz, 6.6.06

Morning BuzzYes it's Election Day all across California. A little political news and more after you click on the Buzz.

♦ Lonely at the polls: Not many of us plan to vote, apparently—the predicted turnout of 38% would be one of the lowest ever in a California primary—and analysts tell the Daily News' Rick Orlov that negative campaigning is a big reason that people will stay away.
One of the oddest attacks came in a race for a state Senate seat in which former Assemblyman George Nakano, D-Torrance, accused Assemblywoman Jenny Oropeza, D-Carson, of refusing to send her children to Los Angeles schools. Oropeza has no children.
♦ Do not call: Reader Lynn Zook writes that she can take the ads on TV and radio and can live with the glossy hit pieces in her mail, but the phone calls have to go:
I don't know if anyone else has emailed you about this but after receiving almost 2 dozen pre-recorded phone calls this weekend from political campaigns I have only this to say. One way to guarantee that I won't vote for your candidate or for your cause is to call me with a pre-recorded message. After countless evening phone calls and two dozen calls this weekend, despite being on the Do Not Call list, color me angry as I go to the polls.
♦ Party note: Yes on 82 will also be with the Westly folks at the Bonaventure tonight.
♦ Ludlow sentenced: Former city councilman Martin Ludlow received five years probation, must perform 2,000 hours of community service and has to pay back $36,400 after pleading guilty in federal court to conspiring to embezzle union funds during his 2003 campaign. He also agreed to help prosecutors make a case against Janett Humphries, the former head of SEIU local 99.
I'd like to apologize to the court and to my family and anyone in this matter that has been affected," Ludlow, 41, told the judge. "I do accept responsibility for what I did." Ludlow admitted to improperly using union money to pay six people who were put on the union payroll but who actually worked on his City Council election campaign. The money also covered the cost of a cellphone he used in the campaign.
♦ Well looky here: Fraser Ross, owner of Kitson, the Robertson Boulevard boutique frequently mentioned in tabloids and magazines, is also an investor and officer in the new paparazzi agency Sunset Photo and News LLC. "We have long suspected collusion between the editors of tabloid magazines, the owners of these paparazzi agencies and the business that happened to always get in these publications," said Blair Berk, a Beverly Hills attorney who represents Lindsay Lohan, Halle Berry and Reese Witherspoon. "It is outrageous, but not unexpected."
♦ Cost of parking: If you get towed by Mayor Villaraigosa's new Tiger Teams for parking during rush hour on major boulevards, it will cost you $65 for the ticket, $144 for the tow and $33 a day for storage. The $33 kicks in after one hour. One wonders how much the tow truck operators contribute to political coffers.
♦ Campus killing: A student at Venice High School was shot after a black-Latino fight in the teachers parking lot.
♦ Oh that will help: Officials of troubled King/Drew Medical Center have reversed earlier policy and denied a Times request for data on the number of deaths, medication errors, patient falls, infections and medical mishaps at the hospital. It's a public facility, but the county counsel says the statistics can be withheld.
♦ A+D: The Architecture and Design Museum of Los Angeles has moved in to the ground-floor space at 5900 Wilshire that used to house the Carole & Barry Kaye Museum of Miniatures.
♦ McMansion crackdown: Councilman Tom LaBonge called for regulations to limit how big homes can be in relation to lot size and the character of the neighborhood.
♦ Playing the Xenu card: When Church of Scientology nemesis Mark Ebner found a member videotaping him outside the Celebrity Centre, he started divulging church secrets until the taper fled. Then Ebner called in the LAPD.
♦ Weighing in: Economist and former UC Regent Velma Montoya has a piece on university salaries and compensation at Inside Higher Ed.
♦ Possible Reggie sighting: A woman told authorities she saw the head of an alligator break the surface in a flood control channel near the lake where Reggie the wayward gator has gone missing.
♦ L.A. obituary: Dr. Helen Martin, 100, graduated from the USC School of Medicine in 1934 and "became one of the nation's most respected women in medicine as a physician, researcher and teacher," the LAT says.


More by Kevin Roderick:
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The Media
LA Times gets a top editor with nothing but questions
LA Observed Notes: Harvey Weinstein stripped bare
LA Observed Notes: Photos of the homeless, photos that found homes
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