FROM Allan Hoffenblum
Very Few Voters Make Lots of Big Decisions Yesterday’s Republican tide did not sweep into California — although the Democrats’ supermajority in Sacramento has come to an end. We look at the election results.
Another Political Earthquake in LA On KCRW's Press Play with Madeline Brand today, Los Angeles Democrat Henry Waxman listed some of his proudest achievements in Congress: investigations, reports and legislation to protect consumers, the air and the water, help control HIV and make healthcare available to seniors and children. In 1994, he chaired the committee when the CEO's of major cigarette companies famously claimed their product was not addictive. Waxman is known for aggressive interrogations in public. Today, after 40 years in Washington, Waxman announced that he won't stand for re-election.
California GOP Pushes Immigration Reform against Party Grain Governor Brown says he'll sign at least some controversial bills designed to make life better for undocumented workers. Approved by Democrats in the legislative session that ended on Friday, they would allow illegal immigrants to practice law, serve on juries and obtain drivers' licenses among other things. Most Republicans voted, "no," but not State Senator Anthony Cannella, whose district spreads from Merced, in the Central Valley, to Salinas, which is inland from Monterey.
Will New Voters Change California Politics? Two proposed tax increases for education, repeal of the death penalty and the prospects for a veto-proof Democratic majority in Sacramento: those are just some of what's on the California ballot tomorrow. Voter registration has reached a record of 18 million -- including 300,000 who signed up on October 22 — the last possible day to qualify.
The Slate Mailer and Other Election News There's an election next Tuesday and, like it or not, slate mailers are arriving at the homes of registered voters. With local political coverage harder and harder to find, they are sometimes all that many Californians have to go on. Allan Hoffenblum, a veteran of moderate Republican politics, publishes The Target Book , which both parties regard as the last word on legislative and congressional districts. He used to run his own slate mailer.
Jane Harmon Resigns Congressional Seat Los Angeles' Westside Democrat, Jane Harmon , plans to resign from Congress to take over the Woodrow Wilson Institute for Scholars in Washington. That means a special election in the 36th Congressional District. Allan Hoffenblum edits The Target Book, which both parties call the last word on legislative and Congressional politics.
US Senate Dumps the DREAM Act Last Wednesday, undocumented immigrant students cheered when the so-called DREAM Act passed the House, but this weekend it was killed by Republicans in the Senate. The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act would have granted the students and others a path to legal status if they were brought to this country before they turned 16.
Midterm Elections: California Goes in a Different Direction All California’s statewide elected offices will be in the hands of Democrats starting next year, with only the race for Attorney General still undecided. Despite having spent at least $140 of her own money as the Republican candidate for Governor, Meg Whitman lost by 13 percentage points — almost a million votes. Governor-elect Jerry Brown said nothing more about how he plans to govern than he did during his campaign. We join a panel of politicos to discuss yesterday's results and what they mean for the future.
In Tomorrow's Elections, Follow the Money About $120 million has been spent on nine ballot propositions collectively, with most of the money often coming from just one side. They're all initiatives, which means that special interests put them on the ballot. Kim Alexander and Bob Stern remind us what the measures would do and where the money's coming from. The Superintendent of Public Instruction is a statewide office that gets little attention in a year when the races for Governor and US Senator crowd out almost everything else in the room. In an odd arrangement, the elected Superintendent carries out policies set by the Governor's appointed Board of Education . Jack O'Connell is termed out after eight years, and the candidates for this nonpartisan office are both Democrats, Assemblyman Tom Torlakson and former school superintendent Larry Aceves . Howard Blume has covered the race for the LA Times . Ken Ofgang if Metropolitan News-Enterprise updates us on the judgeships on the ballot, which hardly see any campaign spending at all. And it just wouldn't be WWLA? on election eve if we didn't talk slate slate mailers with Allan Hoffenblum, who co-edits the most authoritative running account of legislative and Congressional elections, the California Target Book.
Props 20 and 27, a Recipe for Confusion Two years ago, California voters decided to set up an independent commission to draw the boundaries for legislative districts, a job now done every ten years by the lawmakers themselves. Governor Schwarzenegger and others claimed that was the source of legislative gridlock in Sacramento and more than 50 percent of the voters agreed. Proposition 20 on this year's ballot would extend the panel's authority to Congressional district boundaries. Prop 27 would abolish the panel before it's even created.
Truth and Advertising in the Campaign for Governor We'll get to the issues later. Maybe the candidates will, too. In the meantime, Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman are exchanging accusations of lying in television commercials. The Whitman campaign went back to a moment in 1992 when Brown was running against Bill Clinton in the presidential primaries, and has used that moment in her own TV spot. Whitman's ad Brown's ad California Teachers' Association ad
What's at Stake in Tomorrow's Election? Despite record spending by candidates, their supporters and special interest groups, experts predict a low turnout tomorrow — less than a third of registered voters. But, in case you're fed up with politics, one initiative measure could mean it won't be conducted the same way any more. We hear more about Proposition 14 , which would establish what's called an "open primary," and several other issues on tomorrow's ballot .
Whitman, Poizner Face Off for the First Time In Costa Mesa last night, two Republican candidates for Governor held their first recorded debate. The Los Angeles Times reports that Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman " skipped lightly " over the state's financial mess.
Democrats Finally Have an Announced Candidate for Governor Jerry Brown was elected to the Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees in 1969. A year later, voters made him Secretary of State. Next, it was two terms as Governor, from 1974 until 1982. Then, he spent two terms as Mayor of Oakland, and he was elected state Attorney General in 2006. Today, he announced that he wants to be Governor once again — in a video appearance on the Internet.
The Governor's Race Heats Up Arnold Schwarzenegger will be a lame duck Governor until January, 2003, but political consultants are already trading insults and charges on behalf of candidates in next year’s Republican and Democratic primaries. Republican candidates: Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman Former State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner Former Congressman Tom Campbell Democratic candidates: San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom former California Governor Jerry Brown
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.