Kevin James (broadcaster)

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Kevin James
President, Los Angeles Board of Public Works[1]
In office
2013 – Present
Personal details
Born1963 (1963) (age 56)
Political partyRepublican Party[2]
ResidenceLos Angeles, California
Alma materUniversity of Oklahoma
University of Houston Law Center

Kevin Lee James (born 1963) was a candidate in the 2013 Los Angeles mayoral election and a former Assistant U.S. Attorney for Southern California. Prior to his mayoral campaign, James was an American radio host and political commentator, focused on local and national politics. The program aired on KRLA AM 870 in Los Angeles between 12 a.m. and 3 a.m. on weekdays. Since 2007, Kevin James has focused almost exclusively on local, non-partisan issues that affect residents in Los Angeles.[3]

He was appointed by Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti as President of the Los Angeles Board of Public Works, in 2013. James continues to serve in that role and as Director of the Los Angeles Mayor's Office of Film and Television since 2015.

Early life[edit]

James earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Oklahoma where he was a President's Leadership Scholar and attended the University of Houston Law Center.[4] He is a member of the California State Bar.[5]


Assistant U.S. Attorney[edit]

James worked for three years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, prosecuting federal crimes. During his tenure as assistant U.S. Attorney, James received the Director's Award for Superior Performance.[4] He also worked for more than 20 years in private practice, representing entertainment industry clients.[4]

Talk show host[edit]

After several years as a guest and substitute host for talk radio programs in Los Angeles, James worked as the morning drive host on KTOK AM 1000 in Oklahoma City in 2004.[4] In 2005, James became the host of Red Eye Radio, an overnight (1 a.m. to 5 a.m.) call-in program on KABC (AM) 790 in Los Angeles.[6] He focused on both local and national issues. Over Memorial Day Weekend 2007, James began hosting The Kevin James Show on KRLA AM 870 in Los Angeles.[7][8]

James also appears as a guest commentator on television news programs. He was a regular on Court TV’s now-cancelled Catherine Crier Live and has appeared numerous times on Hardball with Chris Matthews.[9]

In 2010 James announced a neighborhood council tour in which he would visit over 45 neighborhood councils all across Los Angeles, taking their issues of concern directly to the airwaves.[10] He launched TeamKevinJames, a website for his listener audience to follow his neighborhood council tour schedule and other local activity, learn his issues of top concern and communicate with him regularly. Since 2010 James has been supportive and involved with LA Clean Sweep, a non-partisan grassroots citywide coalition of community groups and activists working for change at City Hall in Los Angeles.[11]

Political career[edit]

2013 Mayoral Run[edit]

James was a candidate for the 2013 Los Angeles mayoral election. James's campaign focused on fiscal accountability and transparency, including delegating power to the neighborhood councils and reducing business taxation.[12] To further support his campaign focus in regards to transparency, James reminded Angelenos of a recent controversy which took place at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.[13] He would have been the first openly gay mayor of Los Angeles.[14] He finished third in the mayoral race held on March 5, 2013, in which only the top two candidates advanced to a runoff election.[15]

President of the Los Angeles Board of Public Works[edit]

In July 2013, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed his one-time mayoral rival Kevin James to a key City Hall position, giving him a job as a commissioner on the Board of Public Works.[16] James, who decried City Hall corruption and incompetence during his bid for Los Angeles mayor earlier in the year, said he would focus on street improvements and sidewalks in his new position.[16] The commissioners meet three times a week at City Hall and serve collectively as the general managers of the Department of Public Works, which oversees city services such as lighting, beautification and street services.[16] James was then chosen unanimously to preside over the powerful five-member board as President.[17]

Director of the Los Angeles Mayor's Office of Film and Television[edit]

In March 2015, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti named Kevin James to the post of chief film liaison.[18] James continues to serve in his role as President of the Board of Public Works, and is also now the City Hall point person on film and TV production.[18]

Media Appearances[edit]

May 2008 Hardball appearance[edit]

James achieved notoriety for a May 15, 2008, guest spot on the MSNBC television program Hardball with Chris Matthews, in which James supported an apparent comparison by President George W. Bush of Democratic primary presidential candidate Barack Obama to American Senator William Borah of Idaho, who was serving at the time of Hitler's invasion of Poland.[19]

Earlier that day, President George W. Bush, addressing the Israeli Knesset, had said: "Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: 'Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided.' We have an obligation to call this what it is -- the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."

"Some people suggest if the United States would just break ties with Israel, all our problems in the Middle East would go away. This is a tired argument that buys into the propaganda of the enemies of peace, and America utterly rejects it."[20]

On the show, James said, "Well, I don't know who he was talking about for sure, Chris, but if he wasn't talking about Barack Obama, he should have been talking about Barack Obama, I hope he was talking about Barack Obama." [19] The other guest, Air America Radio president and Democratic politician Mark J. Green, denounced Bush's comparison.

In the interview, host Chris Matthews asked James what he thought British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain did wrong in 1938-1939 in the lead-up to Hitler invading Poland. When James repeatedly failed to give an answer more specific than "he was an appeaser," it became obvious to Matthews that James had no knowledge of the historical events he was attempting to debate. James finally conceded that he did not know what Chamberlain did in Munich. Mark Green, Matthews' other guest, said: "Kevin, when you're in a hole, stop digging." Matthews finally answered his own question, stating that Chamberlain's appeasement came in the form of giving away half of Czechoslovakia, rather than merely talking to Hitler. A clearly frustrated Matthews ended the segment by saying, "You don't know what you're talking about. If you don't understand 'appeasement' then don't use the word. It's giving away things to the enemy. Not talking to the enemy." [19]

James appeared on the January 12, 2009, episode of The Daily Show, the American late night satirical news show, as a direct result of his Hardball appearance.[21]


  1. ^ "Kevin James, Board Of Public Works Commissioner, Accepts Post By Former Rival And New Mayor Eric Garcetti". Huffington Post. 2013-07-13.
  2. ^ McDonald, Patrick Range (23 March 2011). "Kevin James Los Angeles Mayoral Candidate Reconfirms He's A Gay Republican". LA Weekly. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
  3. ^ Los Angeles Magazine - Google Boeken. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
  4. ^ a b c d "Kevin James Biography". KRLA. 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-07-21. Retrieved 2008-05-17.
  5. ^ The State Bar of California. "California Bar Membership". Retrieved 2013-12-03.
  6. ^ "Kevin James Named New Host of Talkradio 790 KABC's Red Eye Radio", KABC March 3, 2005 press release
  7. ^ "KRLA Website". Archived from the original on July 4, 2007.
  8. ^ "The Kevin James Show". 2013-11-18. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
  9. ^ [1] In this MSNBC video, host Chris Matthews ends the segment by stating that James won the debate regarding the negative political impact of Barack Obama's affiliation with Rev. Jeremiah Wright
  10. ^ Neighborhood Council Tour
  11. ^ "L.A. Cleansweep". L.A. Cleansweep. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
  12. ^ "Kevin on City Issues". Kevin James for Mayor 2013. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
  13. ^ Regardie, Jon (June 18, 2012). "Kevin James is the Man Who Would be King". The Regardie Report. Los Angeles Downtown News. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
  14. ^ Macdonald, Patrick Range (March 23, 2011). "Kevin James Los Angeles Mayoral Candidate Reconfirms He's A Gay Republican". "The Informer" blog. LA Weekly. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
  15. ^ Mehta, Seema (March 6, 2013). "L.A. Votes: Dismal turnout puts Greuel and Garcetti in mayoral runoff, sales tax bombs". "L.A. Now" blog. The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
  16. ^ a b c "Garcetti Appoints Former Rival". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  17. ^ Zahniser, David (2013-07-31). "Kevin James elected president of L.A. Board of Public Works". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  18. ^ a b "Kevin James Named L.A. Chief Film Liaison". Variety. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  19. ^ a b c Video Clip Appearance from MSNBC
  20. ^ [2] White House Transcript, May 15, 2008
  21. ^ Huffington Post article: ""Daily Show's" Jason Jones Goes To Pundit School (VIDEO)".

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