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FROM THIS EPISODE

In the race for Attorney General, oil company ads attack San Francisco Democrat Kamala Harris for being soft on crime. Are they more concerned about how she'd enforce environmental regulations? LA Republican Steve Cooley has declined an invitation to appear on our program. We ask Harris about her vision of what's often called California's second most influential elected office? Also, why supporters of Prop 23 have shifted to Prop 26, and the latest Great White shark attack off Central California. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, global economic realities are leading to big changes in the welfare states of Europe. Will the US see an Age of Austerity after next week's elections. Do voters really want the “small government” they're demanding?

Producers:
Andrea Brody
Frances Anderton
Sonya Geis

Main Topic An Age of Austerity: Can It Happen Here? 28 MIN, 23 SEC

In France, pension reform has led to street demonstrations and occasional violence. In Britain, a new coalition government is prepared for massive cuts in government spending.  In the US, calls for "smaller government" are the major theme of this year's political season.  What would that really mean?

Guests:
David Herszenhorn, New York Times (@herszenhorn)
Tom Edsall, Columbia School of Journalism (@Edsall)
Ted Fishman, 'China, Inc'
Neal Gabler, Cultural Historian

Shock of Gray

Ted C. Fishman

Making News Kamala Harris: Democratic Candidate for State Attorney General 11 MIN, 6 SEC

First, we look at the race for state Attorney General between the District Attorneys of Los Angeles and San Francisco. LA Republican Steve Cooley has declined our invitation, so we speak with Democrat Kamala Harris. After eight years as a prosecutor in Alameda County, Harris crossed the San Francisco Bay and won a bruising election in 2003, becoming the first African American District Attorney in California history. In 2007, nobody opposed her for re-election.

Guests:
Kamala Harris, California Attorney General (@KamalaHarris)

Reporter's Notebook Great White Sharks Off the Coast of Southern California 5 MIN, 41 SEC

A funeral mass was scheduled today for Lucas McKaine, who died last week after a shark attack while he was surfing off Vandenberg Air Force Base. Other services have been held at UC Santa Barbara where McKaine was studying chemical engineering. Ralph Collier confirmed for the County Coronor that McKaine was killed by a Great White shark. He's President of the Shark Research Committee and author of Shark Attacks of the Twentieth Century: From the Pacific Coast of North America.

Guests:
Ralph Collier, President, Shark Research Committee

Main Topic Proposition 26 9 MIN, 58 SEC

Proposition 26 on next week's ballot would re-label what now are called "fees," "levies" and other assessments and call them "taxes" instead.  That means passage would require two-thirds super-majorities in the legislature, instead of the current 51 percent.  Fees for air and water pollution, oil-spill clean-up, tobacco and alcohol would be affected.  We get two perspectives on the initiative.

Guests:
Joel Fox, Californians for Reforms and Jobs, Not Taxes
Sean Hecht, UCLA's Environmental Law Center (@seanhecht)

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