We start with two election day stories: First, why is the race for the relatively obscure post of state superintendent of public instruction so heated? Then, how has big money affected judicial elections? Next, we hear from a Politico writer who says Border Control has gotten out of control, plagued by problems and lax oversight. Then, KCRW host and former congressional candidate Matt Miller talks about his failed run for Henry Waxman’s seat in California’s 33rd District. Finally, what does the Wisconsin gubernatorial race, pitting embattled incumbent Scott Walker against a Democratic challenger, mean for the national political landscape?
FROM THIS EPISODE
It’s election day, and voters all over the country will cast ballots in high-stakes gubernatorial and congressional races. But here in California, the most fiercely fought contest has been for a relatively obscure position: state superintendent of public instruction. We look at who poured $30 million into the candidates’ campaigns, and how the race is a proxy battle for a national debate over education.
In nearly every country in the world, judges are appointed rather than elected. But in 39 states, including California, judges have to win elections to get on the bench. Those races are getting increasingly expensive in the post-Citizens United era, raising questions about the influence of spending by partisan political groups.
In March, a Honduran woman, her 14-year-old daughter and another teenage girl crossed the border in Texas. When they turned themselves into border patrol agent Esteban Manzanares, he should’ve taken them to a holding facility. Instead, he raped all three women. Manzanares had already been flagged for misconduct before the assaults. Why wasn’t he punished? A new story in Politico Magazine says his story speaks to systemic problems within the Border Patrol.
Wisconsin’s Scott Walker is a political anomaly, a Republican governor in a blue state. He’s fought unions and survived a recall vote, but today’s he’s in a dead heat with his Democratic challenger. If he loses, top Republicans say the loss would be so big, it would overshadow a GOP Senate takeover. We look at what Wisconsin’s gubernatorial race means for national politics.
Photo: Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin, credit: Gage Skidmore