Today, we begin with the author of a new book on campaign finance and his theory of how the problem of money in politics goes way beyond Citizens United. Then, an update on the air quality in Porter Ranch, how it has been tested and what the potential health impacts could be. Next, the behind-the-scenes story of how the NFL came back to L.A. And finally, a look at Kendrick Lamar, Hillary Clinton and this moment when it comes to race in America and American politics.
FROM THIS EPISODE
The fallout from Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death is being felt on the campaign trail. One of the most controversial decisions he backed was Citizens United, the 2010 case that gave corporations and unions unlimited spending power in political campaigns. This is expected to be the most expensive presidential race in history. Candidates on both sides are talking about campaign finance reform. But do they have any real power to make changes? We hear from the author of a new book on money in politics.
Richard L. Hasen
L.A. County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, Sen. Barbara Boxer and other state and local politicians are calling for more testing to make sure the area around the gas leak in Porter Ranch is safe for residents. SoCal Gas Co. has put a cement seal over the leak at its Aliso Canyon gas storage facility. But many of the thousands of displaced Porter Ranch residents don’t trust the company and are reluctant to move back. It was the strong smell of rotten eggs that first alerted them to the giant natural gas leak back in October. Many complained of headaches, nausea, and nosebleeds. But what exactly was in the air that was making residents sick? Was the danger to their health only temporary? And how is the air being tested for these compounds? Reporter George Lavender explores the science behind these questions.
Photo: SoCal Gas Company
For years and years – since the Rams left in 1994 really – there’s been talk about bringing pro football back to Los Angeles. Now, it’s finally happening. The Rams and maybe even the Chargers will be playing in a brand new, $2.7 billion entertainment complex in Inglewood beginning in 2019. But, according to an in-depth new piece, the behind the scenes story of how the deal went down is as bloody and bitter as the best NFL game. Seth Wickersham is a writer for ESPN.
Last night at the Grammy Awards, Kendrick Lamar gave an electrifying performance about being black in America. He came on stage shackled in chains, wearing prison blues, while his band performed behind bars. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is scheduled to deliver a big speech on race in New York today. Both she and Bernie Sanders have had to address issues facing African-Americans and minorities as they compete in more racially diverse states. Mass incarceration, police brutality, inequality, Ferguson … the list looms large in this election. We discuss it all with two guests.
Jody David Armour
More From Press Play with Madeleine Brand
Why black boys from rich families have a 50-50 chance of falling into poverty New research shows that black boys raised in U.S. -- even in the richest neighborhoods -- still earn less money when they grow up than white boys of similar backgrounds. But that’s not the case for women. Black and white women usually track together, while black men rarely make it to the same levels as white men.
California case: free speech v. abortion rights Crisis pregnancy centers are generally run by pro-life groups that aim to convince pregnant women not to get abortions. A California law requires that employees tell their clients that the state offers free and low-cost abortions and other family planning services. Now a group of these centers is arguing that the law violates their freedom of speech.
Does copyright law cover graffiti? Clothing company H&M did a fashion shoot in Brooklyn featuring models standing against a gray wall painted with black waving lines. The graffiti was the work of an LA-based street artist, who wanted compensation. H&M responded by filing a lawsuit against him, then dropped it a few days later.
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