FROM Barbara Maynard
Democrats and Public Unions: A Rift between Friends? Last week's national election story was the failed recall of Republican Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin, a state where Republicans and Democrats are sharply divided. There's another division — within the Democratic Party. Consider California, one of the bluest states in the nation. In the Republican stronghold San Diego, 67 percent of voters approved limitations on the pensions of public workers, but in San Jose, the margin was 70 percent -- for reductions in pensions and benefits for public employees, including police and firefighters. We hear more about what happened in California and whether it's likely to spread.
Public Unions and Democrats: A Rift between Friends? Last week's failed recall of Wisconsin's Republican Governor Scott Walker was bad news for public employee unions in a crucial swing state. The news from blue-state California may be worse. In Republican stronghold San Diego, 67 percent of voters approved limitations on the pensions of public workers. No big surprise. But Democrats who run the City of San Jose persuaded 70 percent of the voters to roll back retirement benefits for public workers. More and more Democrats agree that union benefits are so high they threaten major cuts in basic services, including public safety. If Democrats don't support unions, will union members support them? What are the consequences for this year's elections? This story was informed in part from sources in the Public Insight Network, find out more: www.KCRW.com/insight
Facing Huge Shortfall, City Budget Negotiations Continue LA Mayor Villaraigosa says he'll veto an early retirement program he once supported. After two days of long, closed-door sessions with a coalition of labor unions, the City Council voted unanimously to keep the idea alive. But, with the city spending a million dollars a day more than it takes in, layoffs and furloughs are more likely than ever.
Looming Budget Troubles in Los Angeles The City of Los Angeles faces a record shortfall of $530 million. Mayor Villaraigosa won't produce his new budget for two weeks, but he's telling city workers that, if they don't make some concessions, it'll cost them 2800 jobs. He's prepared a videotaped message to members of municipal unions that proposes three cost-saving options.
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?