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Democratic State Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi and former Torrance Mayor Frank Scotto will continue on to November’s General Election in their race to represent the South Bay in California’s 66th Assembly District, following Tuesday’s California Primary Election.

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Luminaries from across the state, including Governor Jerry Brown, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and County Supervisor Janice Hahn, gathered Wednesday to celebrate breaking ground on the Torrance Regional Transit Center, the future terminus for the LA Metro Green Line extension.

The light rail project, which currently ends at Marine Avenue in Redondo Beach, would run through Lawndale and Redondo to service South Bay commuters and eventually connect to Metro’s forthcoming Crenshaw/LAX line.

“This is a win-win-win,” said Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, who was credited by Brown with fighting to secure additional funding to complete the project as part of Garcetti’s “Twenty-Eight by ’28” plan. Using funding from Measure M and Senate Bill 1’s gas tax increase, the Green Line extension is projected to be completed by the 2028 Los Angeles Summer Olympics, well ahead of its originally-scheduled 2033 completion.

In fact, the gathered officials took the opportunity to stump against the SB 1 repeal effort, which has been used as a rallying point for conservative politicians throughout the campaign season.

“This is improving transportation, improving quality of life, and providing jobs for people. Some people will say, why not just borrow the money? Italy tried that, and Greece did too,” Brown said, referring to the financial insolvency crises faced by the two countries in recent years. “Nobody likes the tax, but we’re doing stuff… that’s the price of a decent society and civilization. You have to pay it.”

Garcetti likened the tax to keeping up repairs on a house.

“We know if we don’t fix the leak, we’re going to pay a lot more in the future. The long-term cost of living cheaply in the short-term is unacceptable,” Garcetti said.

Metro is currently exploring four possible project alternatives for the Green Line’s path between the existing Redondo Beach-Marine Avenue station, and the Torrance Transit Center, on Crenshaw Boulevard, just south of Del Amo Fashion Center. Two plans would direct the train along an existing right-of-way, while two others would take the train along Hawthorne Boulevard.

One possible hitch is the City of Lawndale, which is crossed by each plan and has opposed the extension for the better part of a decade, due to concerns about the plan’s potentially negative effects.

Redondo Beach Councilman Christian Horvath, who was also in attendance, expressed hope that Lawndale would come to terms with the plan.

“I hope that they’ll partner with us and figure out a way to work on a solution, to ensure the South Bay is connected,” Horvath said.

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Easy Reader News

Memorial Day ceremonies at Redondo Beach’s Veteran’s Park are traditionally dedicated to those who gave their lives in service of the United States.

This year, organizers also paid tribute to a young man who never got the chance to do so.

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CBSLocal

TORRANCE (CBSLA) — California Gov. Jerry Brown was in town Wednesday to celebrate the expansion of the LA Metro Green Line to the South Bay.

The 4.6-mile extension from Redondo Beach to the future Torrance Transit Regional Park and Ride Terminal is meant to take more traffic off the 405 Freeway and onto the Metro.

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Red Green and Blue

Two bills to protect the California coast from new Trump’s plan for offshore drilling leases passed out of their respective Appropriations Committees today after being referred to the suspense file in April.

The Assembly and Senate committees both held hearings today on Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi’s Assembly Bill 1775 and Senator Hannah Beth Jackson’s Senate Bill 834 – bills that were referred to the suspense file. The two bills will now be eligible for floor votes in the Assembly and Senate next week.

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The Sacramento Bee - Christopher Cadelago

President Barack Obama, delivering on a promise to assist legislative hopefuls across the country, swooped in Thursday to offer a rare endorsement to a trio of Democratic candidates for the California Assembly.

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, in a congratulatory message posted on social media, said Obama is backing former Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, D-Torrance, and fellow Democratic challengers Abigail Medina, a school board member in San Bernardino, and ex-Pleasanton Councilwoman Cheryl Cook-Kallio.

“Thanks to (Obama) for his support of Democrats up and down the ballot,” Rendon said. “As he recently reminded us, ‘Our progress is on the ballot.’”

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Los Angeles Times - Christine Mai-Duc

President Obama has thrown his support behind three Democratic candidates running in races the party is targeting for the California Assembly. 

Obama endorsed the following Democratic challengers, according to the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee:

  • Cheryl Cook Kallio, challenging Assemblywoman Catherine Baker (R-San Ramon) in Assembly District 16
  • Abigail Medina, who's running against Assemblyman Marc Steinorth (R-Rancho Cucamonga) in Assembly District 40
  • Al Muratsuchi, a former assemblyman in a rematch against Assemblyman David Hadley (R-Manhattan Beach) in Assembly District 66

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KSBY

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California's political watchdog is taking a state lawmaker to court for failing to comply with an investigation into his re-election campaign.

A Sacramento judge has ordered Assemblyman David Hadley to explain why he has not turned over all the communications requested by the Fair Political Practices Commission.

The FPPC says the documents could help it determine whether the Torrance Republican's campaign illegally coordinated with an independent committee in the June primary.

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Los Angeles Times - Christine Mai-Duc

The Spirit of Democracy California, an independent expenditure committee backed by Republican mega-donor Charles Munger Jr., has dropped more than $1.4 million on a single Assembly race this year between Assemblyman David Hadley (R-Manhattan Beach) and former Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, a Democrat.

The matchup is one of the most closely watched this cycle, attracting more than $2.6 million in state and local party spending on both sides. 

Munger's group has spent more on the coastal Los Angeles County race than all other races it has spent on combined.

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Los Angeles Times - Christine Mai-Duc

The campaign of Assemblyman David Hadley (R-Manhattan Beach) has delayed turning over documents related to an official investigation into his campaign practices, according to court documents filed by the state Fair Political Practices Commission.

The investigation grew out of a complaint from Hadley's opponent, Democrat Al Muratsuchi, that claims Hadley's campaign was illegally coordinating with an independent expenditure committee that also supported Hadley.

In a letter to the FPPC, Muratsuchi claimed Hadley's campaign and Spirit of Democracy, a group funded mostly by Republican donor Charles Munger, Jr., shared consultant Steven Presson during at least part of the primary campaign for Assembly District 66.