FROM Harvey Rosenfield
Time Warner, Comcast and the Urge to Merge Yesterday in downtown Los Angeles, two members of California's Public Utilities Commission heard arguments about the massive merger proposed by Comcast and Time Warner. Comcast is big in Northern California. Time Warner has about two million customers in the Southland.
CA Insurance Commissioner Race Boils Down to Power Debate Democrat Dave Jones is running for re-election as California Insurance Commissioner . His opponents are Republican State Senator Ted Gaines and Peace and Freedom candidate Nathalie Hrizi . There's not much interest in next week's primary, but there's a lot at stake for November.
Next Week's Election… and Your Money Whoever's elected as California’s Insurance Commissioner next week will have a lot to say about how much you pay to insure your property. We look at the candidates.
Healthcare Reform Is about to Begin in California Republicans might want to repeal federal healthcare reform, or at least chip away at it while President Obama is still in office. In the meantime, officials in many states will be about the business of putting it into effect. In California, that task falls to Insurance Commissioner-elect Dave Jones , a Democrat who defeated Mike Villines , a Republican whose campaign was financed indirectly by insurance companies through “independent” TV ads by the state Chamber of Commerce. The Insurance Commissioner was made an elected officer when California voters approved Proposition 103 in 1988.
The Politics of California Car Insurance State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner says the Mercury Insurance Group has illegally denied auto coverage to bartenders, liquor-store owners, cocktail servers and artists by using standards it doesn't apply to people in other professions. He also claims that Mercury has failed to correct other violations going back more than ten years. The company could face millions of dollars in fines if it doesn't correct each violation in ten days.
Can the Initiative Process be Changed? In the June election, California voters will be confronted once again with dueling initiatives — two different measures dealing with the same subject in different ways. This time it’s the government taking of land by eminent domain. In the meantime, the confusion voters will undoubtedly face is a classic example of what we’re addressing today, which is the initiative process itself. When voters directly set policy as Prop 13 did with the property tax, they essentially become a fourth branch of government. But the measures they’re asked to decide are often extremely complex.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
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.